How Do You Kill Bamboo Roots?

Bamboo roots spread vigorously, making the plant hard to remove. Roots can be removed with chemical application or with physical effort. Both methods require at least a year for complete removal. These instructions are for physical removal.

  1. Remove the bamboo canes

    Cut the bamboo canes to the ground. The canes perform photosynthesis for the plant, providing the energy needed for growth. Removal starves the roots and gives you room to maneuver as you dig. Small shoots can be mowed down, while larger canes require a lopper or saw.

  2. Dig up bamboo roots

    Dig up as much of the root mass and rhizomes as possible. The roots are very dense, but fairly shallow. Begin at the outer edge of the clump, working your way to the middle. Dig at least 12 inches to access the roots.

  3. Monitor and remove new growth

    Examine the area for new growth. If new shoots appear, mow them down or dig them up. Removing the new shoots eventually starves the entire root system, preventing it from sending out rhizomes and creating new roots. Diligence is required in examining the area for new growth. Since the entire plant is connected, allowing one area of bamboo to regrow provides energy for the entire root system.