How to Kill Japanese Bamboo


Japanese bamboo, along with other species of bamboo, are extremely versatile plants and are difficult to completely kill off. Bamboo will grow rapidly and cause issues where gardening is concerned if left untreated. The rhizomes (or roots) burrow deep into the soil and have a tendency to spread horizontally beneath the earth. Simply cutting off the shoots and flowers of the bamboo will not kill the root system. The root system must be killed completely to avoid persistent bamboo growth.

Things You'll Need

  • Herbicides that contain dicamba or glyphosate
  • Thick rubber gloves
  • Pruning shears
  • Small handsaw
  • Shovel
  • Apply the herbicide to all off the bamboo stalks, including the leaves, until the bamboo is dripping. Cut off each stalk at the base and immediately drench the cut with herbicide. You must saturate the stalk cut immediately before the sap seeps deep into the plant or the herbicide will not be able to soak down into the root system.

  • Cut down the remaining bamboo stalks individually and repeat the herbicide application to the stalk cuts in the same manner as you did the first. Check the bamboo for growth after a couple of weeks. You may have to repeat the stalk cutting and herbicide saturation several times before the bamboo completely dies off.

  • Dig up the rhizomes, using a shovel, that are buried deep beneath the ground if the herbicides would affect nearby plant life. Completely remove all of the bamboo roots to stop any further growth. Dispose of the bamboo remnants in an appropriate trash receptacle.

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  • Photo Credit Bamboo Stems image by Snow Queen from
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