mystery bamboo

Asked May 5, 2020, 2:57 PM EDT

last year I fertilized some trees and directed some water runoff down a bank.
the bamboo that has been there has never spread before. (15 years) there has been some new growth but never spreading. recently I have noticed a lot of growth and bigger bamboo. I dug some up and from the root system it is a runner.
is it possible to have a runner be dormant due to lack of water? and what I did just got it all excited to grow? thanks for any advice

Haywood County North Carolina

1 Response

Bamboo can normally thrive under a variety of conditions, including dry/drought-y soils, so I wouldn't think you had anything to do with accelerating its growth necessarily. There could have been other factors (i.e. damage to the roots this winter or in the past) that stimulated some growth and that is why you are seeing this happen, presumably just this year. I'll bet it's a combination of things: 1). mild, wet winters and an early spring this March just had many plants popping up at the 'wrong time,' and 2). being home more due to current events likely has you looking at things a little more extensively than you might have done in the past. It sounds like you are a pretty vigilant gardener, however.

If you are trying to get rid of this plant (which I definitely recommend), you are going to have to use a multi-pronged approach of digging and cutting back the root system, possibly applications of herbicides in the freshly cut or dug areas, and as much disturbance to the root system this spring and summer as you can muster. Is eradication a possibility? I guess it would depend on how adamant you are on getting rid of this thing, but you can read more from Clemson here: https://hgic.clemson.edu/factsheet/bamboo-control/.

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