How to Remove Bamboo Plants


Bamboo looks like a graceful, easy to grow plant for your landscape or garden. But what starts out as a decorative accent can quickly turn into an invasive nightmare for unsuspecting gardeners. The plant is classified through much of the United States as a noxious weed thanks to its invasive spreading habit. Bamboo is actually a member of the grass family, and like many grasses the plant will spread on runners from one location to another. The plant spreads so effectively, it has been known to creep under cement walls up to three feet deep.

Step 1

Contain the bamboo to keep it from spreading into areas that you cannot treat by encircling the infestation with a cement wall that extends into the ground at least three feet. This will prevent the bamboo from spreading into a neighbor's yard or your flower beds.

Step 2

Dig up as much of the bamboo rhizome and root mass as possible using a shovel, mattock and grubbing hoe. Remove the stems of the bamboo with a chain saw.

Step 3

Treat exposed stumps and emerging plants with herbicides to kill the plant to the root. According to NC State University, bamboo is resistant to most herbicides. Wintertime treatments of diclobenil followed by summertime treatments of glyphosate seem to work most effectively. It will take two years of constant treatment with herbicide to completely kill all the bamboo rhizomes.

Step 4

Mow down bamboo sprouts with a lawn mower. Bamboo does not respond well to mowing. You will have to mow the entire infestation for two or more years to kill out the bamboo completely.

Things You'll Need

  • Shovel
  • Mattock
  • Grubbing hoe
  • Chain saw
  • Herbicide containing diclobenil
  • Herbicide containing glyphosate


  • Maryland Cooperative Extension: Home and Garden
  • NC State Univeristy Extension: Controlling Bamboo in Landscape Plantings
  • Clemson Coopertive Extension: Bamboo Control

Who Can Help

  • Mississippi State University: Small black line Tough, unwanted plants can be difficult to battle
Keywords: invasive plants, removing plants, digging up bamboo

About this Author

Tracy S. Morris has been a freelance writer since 2000. She has published two novels and numerous online articles. Her work has appeared in national magazines and newspapers, including "Ferrets," "CatFancy," "Lexington Herald Leader" and "The Tulsa World."