Non-Herbicide Way of Eliminating Mexican Bamboo?
Hello, We recently purchased a home in NJ and discovered that the backyard has shoots of Mexican Bamboo planted by a former owner. Our new neighbor told us how hard it is to eliminate. We've seen it grow a foot in about 5 days. As we haven't moved into our home, yet, but will be there in a month's time, we're worried about what type of jungle will welcome us when we finally settle in. I really have no interest in using a strong herbicide on the plants as we have small children that will be running around the backyard. Can I physically uproot the stalks? Will that worsen the problem? Is there a non-herbicide way to get rid of these plants?
Essex County New Jersey
Persistence is the key to eliminating bamboo. If you allow it to get six inches tall, you are allowing the leaves to fuel the wide spreading root system. If you do not want to use herbicide you will simply have to keep it cut. As soon as you see the first baby leaves, get them cut off.
Using glyphosate (active ingredient in RoundUp and other products) is comparatively safe. There are glyphosate products that are labeled specifically for bamboo. As soon as you cut down a bamboo stalk, paint the cut surface with glyphosate. Do not get the glyphosate on plants that you value. By not spraying the area with herbicide, you reduce you and your children's exposure to glyphosate. https://extension.umd.edu/sites/default/files/_images/programs/hgic/Publications/HG28%20Bamboo.pdf https://extension.umd.edu/hgic/bamboo vw
Thank you so much for your thoughtful and helpful answer!