Bamboo – is this the next Japanese knotweed?

Wednesday 23rd May 2018

We are experienced in dealing with all sorts of invasive weeds, from Giant Butterbur to Knotweed hybrids, we can handle it.

However there is one group of plants, which still has the power to amaze me – these are the bamboos. Bamboos spread by underground stems – rhizomes – they can destroy hard surfaces, ruin neighbours gardens and are hard to kill and control. Sounds familiar? Yes they are very similar to Japanese knotweed! However they are also a woody species and really hard to dig up or to cut down.

A few fun facts about bamboo:

Bamboo can grow up to 35 metres high. Yes 35 metres. Now most bamboos in this country don’t reach that height… typically a maximum height of 20 metres… but in your garden?

The shoots (culms) reach their full height in the first growing season, typically taking 3-4 months to do this. The culms then remain alive for some years, creating sugars by photosynthesis and passing this to the rhizomes to make more culms…

A new culm might grow up to 1 metre in a day…

Plant bamboo as a screen and quite often they will simply spread into your neighbour’s garden as well – please note that they may not too pleased about this! Also if you’ve planted a tall bamboo, neither you nor your neighbour will get to enjoy the sunshine very much.

Bamboo has a definite life expectancy and often reaches flowering point (after years or decades) and then may die after seeding. Rats love the seed by the way!

Most bamboos (in my experience) are not suitable for planting in your average garden. They are very hard to successfully contain with root barriers (bamboo rhizomes can grow over the top or angle down below the barrier) and other methods require a lot of constant monitoring and work. Bamboos are generally speaking not happy to be planted in containers and will happily send roots out of the bottom of the container…

Bamboos are fairly cheap to buy - however if I may advise you - they can be very expensive to get rid of once established and can cause significant neighbour issues.

We’ve been eradicating bamboo for years. We have a successful track record of dealing with problematic bamboo issues.

With staff covering all of England & Wales, speak to the professional company about your bamboo problems, contact us on 01327 703129 or 01962 886060 or email us on or