How to Kill Invasive Bamboo


Ornamental bamboo can be a beautiful and useful plant, but when bamboo gets out of control, watch out. Invasive bamboo spreads quickly, grows even more quickly and is difficult to remove from the ground. Clumping bamboo grows in thick clumps or clusters, separated from each other, while running bamboo is spread in long chains of plants and often spreads more quickly. Running bamboo is particularly difficult to eliminate.

Clumping Bamboo

Step 1

Cut all the canes to ground level. You may discard the bamboo canes or save them for a craft or gardening project.

Step 2

Dig a hole around the entire stand of bamboo. Your hole should be at least a foot deep.

Step 3

Slice the root system into pieces with a sharp spade, ax or chainsaw and pull the pieces out.

Step 4

Check the perimeter of the hole you dug for other bamboo roots you may have missed. Pull them out.

Running Bamboo

Step 1

Cut the area you want to destroy off from any bamboo you want to save. Dig a 6 inch deep perimeter around the part you want to destroy with a sharp spade, cutting any rhizomes that connect it with the part you want to save.

Step 2

Cut the bamboo canes down to the ground.

Step 3

Watch for new shoots of bamboo in the spring for the next two to three growing seasons. Immediately cut down any new shoots as soon as they sprout. Running bamboo typically has very intricate root systems that are nearly impossible to dig out. You will have better luck starving the plant out over the next couple of years by cutting off new shoots until it runs out of food.

Things You'll Need

  • Garden shears
  • Spade
  • Ax
  • Chainsaw


  • Bamboo Removal and Eradication
Keywords: running bamboo, clumping bamboo, bamboo shoots, kill bamboo, get rid of bamboo