How to Kill a Bamboo Plant


Use a herbicide to kill bamboo and the results will disappoint you. Unlike most plants easily eliminated through using herbicides, hardy bamboo continues to live underground even if soil-level plants appear dead. Identify your bamboo as a runner or clumper, advises the American Bamboo Society. Clumpers do not invade; remove these types easily by digging it up and transplanting it. Runners, on the other hand, require a more intense method to kill the plant.

Step 1

Cut the stalks from the bamboo. Stalks grow in clumps called groves, one plant connected below the ground by rhizomes, a kind of stem. Use sharp, clean pruning shears to cut the stalks from the bamboo.

Step 2

Cut the grove to ground level. With a spade or saw, cut pieces of the grove apart to remove all pieces above ground.

Step 3

Place stalks and grove pieces in an outside trash container.

Step 4

Water the soil around the plant until well-saturated; not soggy, but moist.

Step 5

Apply 2 circular inches of manure around the bamboo plant. Cover the manured area with mulch to retain moisture. Water and fertilizer cause new growth, required to properly kill the plant.

Step 6

Cut new growth from the plant when shoots emerge. Cut the plant to the ground every time new growth appears. Repeat cuttings exhaust the plant and will stop the plant from producing new shoots.

Things You'll Need

  • Pruning shears
  • Spade or saw
  • Manure
  • Mulch


  • Seattle Bamboo
  • American Bamboo Society: Controlling Bamboo

Who Can Help

  • American Bamboo Society: Runners and Clumpers
Keywords: kill bamboo plant, removing bamboo, bamboo plant removal

About this Author

Sommer Sharon has a bachelor's degree in IT/Web management from the University of Phoenix and owns a Web consulting business. With more than 12 years of experience in the publishing industry, her work has included "Better Homes and Gardens," "Ladies' Home Journal," "MORE," "Country Home," "Midwest Living," and "American Baby." Sharon now contributes her editorial background by writing for several Internet publications.