How to Kill Bamboo Permanently

Bamboo is a tough plant that is notoriously hard to kill. Though many people enjoy its delicate appearance and use it to provide privacy from neighboring yards, it grows rapidly and can quickly overtake a small area. To permanently kill bamboo, you must attack the plant with herbicide and continually treat your yard for several months. With persistence and luck, you can permanently kill bamboo in your yard or garden.

Bamboo can be hard to kill.

Step 1

Paint the herbicide glyphosate directly onto the bamboo leaves. You may use a spray bottle as long as there are no nearby plants that could be damaged.

Step 2

Use a hand saw or lopping shears to cut the bamboo stalks down to about 6 inches above ground.

Step 3

Immediately paint glyphosate directly onto the open cut of the culms. Apply the herbicide within 10 seconds of each cut otherwise the sap will retreat into the interior of the plant and remain unaffected by the chemical.

Step 4

Remove any remaining leaves. Any leaves or stalks left uncut will encourage the plant to keep growing.

Step 5

Repeat above process two or three times or until no new shoots appear.

Kelsey Erin Shipman

Kelsey Erin Shipman is a writer, performer and educator. She teaches creative writing to senior citizens, inmates at Travis County Jail, and undergraduates at Texas State University where she earned her MFA in creative writing. Her work has appeared in "Borderlands: Texas Poetry Review," "The Austin Chronicle," and "The African American Review." Shipman is Writer-In-Residence at the Katherine Anne Porter House.