What are all the options for getting rid of invasive bamboo?

Asked July 3, 2014, 11:20 AM EDT

We have running bamboo invading our backyard from the adjacent property. We have tried to eradicate it by digging and pulling it from the ground with no success as it keeps coming back. It looks like it has built underground a network of invasive roots. It has moved into areas of established perennial garden, and the plants cannot be removed without destroying the majority of them. What are all the options for getting rid of this invasive bamboo...possibly short of destroying the garden perennials and starting all over with a new garden?

Hennepin County Minnesota

2 Responses

I believe this plant is called Japanese knotweed and is indeed an invasive plant.

While we recommend digging out small infestations, it sounds as if you are beyond that point. The only other way to eliminate this plant is by using an herbicide that contains glyphospate or triclopyr.

Here is a link that can help you make an identification: Japanese Knotweed.

Here is some more information on controlling this plant: Homeowner’s Guide to Japanese Knotweed Control.

When using these strong herbicides, you must take great care to avoid spraying on windy days because even a small amount that drifts onto desirable plants will cause damage or death. If the surrounding area is full of plants that you want to protect, you can cover them temporarily, or paint the offending plants with the liquid herbicide.

Be sure to read the label carefully and observe all of the recommendations.

It may take a few applications of the herbicide to completely eliminate these plants.