Advice on handling bamboo, please

When we moved in 7 years ago, we planted some golden bamboo. We dug two holes, lined them with plastic film and made a concrete “collar” around them.
That had kept it contained until this spring, when it escaped. The escapees are much bigger than the parent plants.

  1. Why did it escape? I thought the roots spread under ground, so the concrete should have stopped it, right?
  2. Hubby wants to use Roundup™ on the escapees. Will the Roundup kill any of it, the whole stand, or just the escapees?
  3. If we can’t control it, will it hurt the foundation of our house? It’s about three feet away from the house now.
  4. Any one want some bamboo?


Oh, that is insidious stuff. The roots can go right through concrete, as some people with swimming pools or ponds have discovered to their chagrin.

When we planted some in my wife’s Japanese garden, I dug a trench all around it about 20 inches deep, then got some aluminum roof flashing that comes in strips 18 inches wide. I put this down vertically around the plant as a barrier, and in the past ten years, it has contained the roots.

I had been told the roots would not get through metal sheeting, but evidently concrete is pourous enough that they somehow get through.

I don’t know what will kill the damn things, but give Roundup a try, it’s pretty effective. Just be careful not to let the wind or spray get on other plants.

If you can’t kill it, enjoy eating the new bamboo shoots as they come up. :smiley:

Get a panda.

  1. Yeah, use a metal barrier (to 1.5 or 2 feet deep).
  2. Chop into the ground between the parents and escapees. Then kill the fugitives if you can’t dig them out.
  3. Consider clumping, rather than running, bamboo.
  4. Grow bamboo in containers, up on blocks so that the drainage holes aren’t in contact with soil and you can clip any escapees.

My deepest sympathy.

As far as physical handling of bamboo, wear gloves.