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How to Kill Bamboo Shoots

By Elizabeth Knoll ; Updated September 21, 2017
A grove of bamboo.

While bamboo can be a highly desired plant in your garden, it can also be invasive and spread to areas where it is not desired. Bamboo is an evergreen plant in the grass family and is the fastest growing plant on the planet. Bamboo plants spread via underground rhizomes, which can grow several feet away from the mother plant before shooting up out of the ground. With aggressive action, you can successfully manage your bamboo and kill the shoots before they become a problem.

Mark out the area where you want your bamboo to remain. Take a flat garden spade and push it several inches into the soil around the entire area you want to keep your bamboo. This will sever any rhizomes coming from the main bamboo plants.

Remove exposed bamboo canes outside of the area where you want the bamboo. Saw them down if they are large or use a pruning shears if they are small.

Monitor the area and continually remove new shoots that sprout up by stomping them into the ground or pruning them off. Eventually the bamboo will use up all of the energy in the rhizomes and die.

Plunge the spade into the ground around the desired area at least once per year to sever any shoots before they break the surface. You will now only have bamboo where it is desired.


Things You Will Need

  • Garden spade
  • Pruning shears
  • Saw


  • Avoid planting bamboo in areas where it cannot be easily controlled. If planted along the edge of a woodland, it can spread into the woodland and become invasive.