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An Easy Guide to Killing Bamboo with Roundup

An Easy Guide to Killing Bamboo with Roundup

Have you tried using bamboo to give your garden a tropical vibe, only for it to backfire and end up killing the vibe of other plants in your garden instead? We hear you!

The hard truth is that no matter how great bamboo can be for aesthetics, its invasive features cause harm to nearby plants, leading to a landscaping disaster. 

If you’re ready to say goodbye to bamboo in your garden, read this article to learn how to get rid of bamboo using the common herbicide, Roundup.

Will Roundup kill bamboo?

Will Roundup kill bamboo
Image: The Garden Glove

Roundup can effectively kill bamboo through a high amount of glyphosate, inhibiting growth enzymes and preventing bamboo from growing and functioning altogether.  

Once glyphosate comes in contact with the bamboo tree, this chemical travels through its vascular system toward the roots. 

Glyphosate targets and inhibits a tree enzyme called EPSP Synthase, which regulates the protein production that aids a plant’s growth. The bamboo tree then stops producing the essential proteins and dies. 

How to Kill Bamboo with Roundup

How to Kill Bamboo with Roundup
Image: Yard Life Activities
DifficultyEasy ●○○○○
Duration1 to 2 hours
Things You NeedSprayer Roundup
Lopper Shovel

1. Cut down the bamboo trees.

Cut down the bamboo trees
How To Do:

1. Mow or cut the bamboo tree up to 3 feet high. This is best done in late winter, so new bamboo shoots and leaves will regrow in spring.
2. Use a lopper to cut the stringy bark of the bamboo tree.
3. Let the bamboo regrow to get the optimum effect from Roundups.

2. Sever the bamboo rhizomes.

Sever the bamboo rhizomes
How To Do:

1. Using the sharp edge of your shovel, dig under the new bamboo shoots and sever the rhizomes. 
2. Break up the clumps of rhizomes and the new sprouts above the soil.

3. Spray Roundup on the bamboo.

Spray Roundup on the bamboo.
How To Do:

1. Spray the Roundup solution on its leaves, stalks, and bamboo shoots. Within 30 minutes, the bamboo will absorb all the chemicals.
2. The chemical glyphosate will begin to inhibit the tree’s growth enzyme. 

4. Look out for bamboo shoots, rhizomes, and roots. 

Look out for bamboo shoots, rhizomes, and roots. 

Bamboo grows fast and clusters, so do not be complacent while waiting for the round-up to kill the bamboo. 

How To Do:

1. When you see bamboo shoots emerging from the ground, cut them right away. 
2. Watch for rhizomes and roots that are still underground. Pull them out manually or spray Roundup to prevent further growth. 

What will happen after spraying bamboo with Roundup?

What will happen after spraying bamboo with Roundup
Image: It’s Not Work It’s Gardening

A few hours after spraying Roundup on bamboo, the leaves will turn yellow. After a few days, they will then turn brown. 

During the first two weeks, you should expect that the bamboo growth will slow down. Afterward, the bamboo plant will become brown, shed all its leaves, and eventually die.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a bamboo tree?

A bamboo tree is an evergreen perennial plant known for its long smooth, green hollow stems and large leaves. 

Bamboo stems are used as a renewable source of wood in the construction industry. It also serves as a food source because of its edible seeds called bamboo rice.

Will Roundup kill bamboo roots?

Roundup kills bamboo roots. Its main active chemical, glyphosate, reaches the roots and prevents the production of essential proteins that keep the plant alive. 

Will Roundup kill bamboo rhizomes?

Roundup will not kill bamboo rhizomes that form an expansive network underground. The most effective method to remove them is digging and breaking up the clumps of rhizomes. 

What time of year should I apply Roundup to bamboo?

The best time to apply Roundup to bamboo is during the spring and summer seasons because this is the time that the bamboo plant is actively growing. 

Weakening the roots of the new shoots will prevent them from multiplying and spreading. 

During spring, you can begin cutting the bamboo below the stem joints. Come summer season, you can pour Roundup into these exposed joints. 

What are other methods to kill bamboo?

Triclopyr-based herbicide is another effective way to kill bamboo. It contains more potent chemicals and affects the soil to target the extensive root system of bamboo.  

How can you protect bamboo trees that are exposed to Roundup?

You can rinse off the chemical or use dirt, ammonia, or bleach to neutralize the bamboo exposed to roundup. 

Make sure to do this within 30 minutes because that is how long it takes before the plant fully absorbs the roundup. 

Is bamboo a weed?

Bamboo is not a weed species but it has characteristics of a weed, such as aggressively multiplying and spreading over gardens. 

For instance, the Golden Bamboo is considered invasive because it grows fast and suffocates surrounding vegetation. 

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