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Bamboo is one of the most popular plants in the garden. The grasses are not only robust and can be used for a variety of decorative ideas, they also grow exceptionally fast and tall. Exactly this joy of growth can lead to problems in the long run, especially if the bamboo spreads in the garden and prevents other plants from growing. In this case, the bamboo must be "destroyed" in order to protect the other plants.

Important: patience

If your bamboo is starting to become a problem, you should remove it naturally and gently. It is often advised to treat bamboo with glyphosate-based agents or other chemical substances to kill the grasses. However, the use of glyphosate is highly controversial and you should therefore absolutely avoid using such solutions. With the methods below, you can get rid of the bamboo effectively while you can be patient. Bamboo is extreme stubborn and can only be disposed of quickly as a young plant or as a small species. Otherwise years can pass before the bamboo is removed.

tip: If you want to get rid of your old bamboo, but don't want to do without the decorative grasses, you should choose species that do not form runners. In the case of stoloniferous species, however, you should never use the rhizome lock forgotten, which prevents the grass from forming lateral stolons that can quickly lead to invasive spread.

Remove bamboo - ways


If your bamboo plant is less than a meter tall, you can use the spade to remove the plant. If you notice in these growth stages that the plant drives out strongly and other plants or break through the lawn, for example, you should pull out your spade and dig up the plant and its roots. However, depending on the size and propagation, this work can take hours, but is the quickest of all the solutions mentioned here. With one or more helping hands, the work goes much faster and is a good workout.

tip: If you are not strong enough, you can rent a mini excavator. These can quickly and effectively get the rhizomes out of the ground in one piece and do not require any muscle power.


A motor hoe, also known as a tiller, is also very good for effectively chopping down the bamboo. This method works very well with bamboo of any size as the device plows through the soil and destroys the bamboo roots and rhizomes. Of course, you need a motor hoe and a little patience for this method, because the process takes several weeks. Once you have your device available, follow these instructions:

  • cut the bamboo as close to the ground as possible
  • discard the straws
  • now chop the location of the bamboo in a 2m radius
  • set the device to a depth of 50 cm
  • this is the only way to catch the rhizomes and roots, since bamboo is a shallow root
  • grind up the rhizomes and roots as best you can
  • in most cases you have to run the hoe over the same spot several times
  • check the soil several times to see if the rhizomes and roots are crushed;
  • now let the soil dry out for five to six weeks

As a rule, root pieces that are less than five centimeters in size no longer sprout. During the waiting time, they dry up and rot. It may be that more spurs form at the edges during this time, which you absolutely have to dig up. So dig up any stolons that have reached a centimeter in size and check again after two weeks for more stolons. After a period of about two to three months, the bamboo should be completely removed.


tip: You can rent a motor hoe cheaply in DIY stores and from specialist companies. On average, you pay 50 euros per day for the device, while you have to reckon with a weekend rate of around 75 euros and a deposit of 150 to 200 euros.

mowing machine

You can also tackle the grass with the lawnmower. With this method, you take advantage of the way bamboo grasses live, because they need a certain height to be able to continue growing. The lawnmower prevents them from reaching a certain height, which over time weakens the plant to the point that it dies. The best way to do this is to use a so-called Meadow or allmower on. These easily shorten the hard stalks of the bamboo and are therefore the ideal tool. Of course, conventional lawn mowers are an option, but you should robust have device available.


1. Cut the bamboo stems close to the ground and discard them. If you have a larger specimen in the garden, you can try to dig it up completely. Over time, spurs will form, which you can then trim with the lawn mower.

2. Now wait for new shoots. You can recognize them by their light color and thickness. The stalks are still very thin and can therefore be easily cut off with a lawnmower. As soon as the new shoots appear, cut them back to ground level with the lawnmower and repeat this step for several weeks. Depending on how eager your bamboo is to grow, you will cut back new shoots every week.

3. After the stalks look a little weaker over time, cut them back again with the lawnmower. Now prepare a layer of cardboard or paper at least ten centimeters thick to spread on the bamboo site.

4. Fix the paper layer with a black, heavy-duty tarpaulin that is completely opaque have to be. Stretch the tarp over the paper or cardboard layer. Be sure to secure these as tightly as possible to keep the tarpaulin in place. Heavy stones are best for this. The bamboo is now robbed of the sun, rain and fresh air they need to sprout. As a result, they shrink more and more over time and even more foothills are no longer formed.

With this method, you have to reckon with the fact that your lawn will suffer as well. To 2 to 3 months you can remove the tarpaulin and prepare the ground again. Of course you can try to remove the bamboo just by constantly mowing, but this takes longer and is not always crowned with success.

culm cut

The final method of getting rid of the bamboo is similar to using the lawn mower. However, you do not use the lawn mower for this, but one pruning shears, with which you can easily cut the stalks:

1. Start by cutting back all stalks to the ground. Proceed particularly carefully here so that all stalks really have the same length. This saves you a lot of work and the method works more effectively.

2. Now wait for the plant to sprout again and check when the side branches appear. The unfolding of the side branches is the indication of the next cut to slowly but surely finish off the bamboo.

3. Now cut the stalks back to the ground again. Repeat this process until no more green forms. In particular, small shoots at the interfaces must be cut away immediately as soon as you notice them, as they can lead to rapid budding.

4. Since this method lasts for several years, of course winter makes its appearance in between. If that's the case, just let them linger over the winter and prune them back in the spring when new shoots try to emerge.

5. Repeat this procedure throughout the year. A big advantage of this method is the gentle effect on the garden, because you don't have to dig anything or cover the earth. You'll have to wait a lot longer here, but the rest of your plants are doing great.

pruning shears

Dispose of bamboo waste

Bamboo waste is a bit difficult to dispose of, as the runners can sprout even in little soil. Especially if you want to get the entire plant out of the ground and dispose of it in one go, you have to do this with the household waste, as the compost is usually not suitable for this. Even some green waste dumps do not accept the bamboo remains, especially when it comes to rhizome acts, as these can even sprout in green waste. Therefore, you need to inquire about who is accepting the rhizomes. Of course you can cut stalks easily disposed of in the compost or in the green waste dump.

tip: Alternatively, you can give away or sell rhizomes through classifieds, as bamboo is extremely popular. This saves you a lot of costs and you can maybe even make some money on the side.

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