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Bamboo runners pain

Hello everyone my son has inherited a large spreading bamboo in his garden and to stop the runners coming up through the lawn last year he dug a black rubber barrier down in the ground around 18 inches and he has managed to get the grass into much better shape than it’s ever been but today he’s noticed some more runners are coming up. Does anyone have any advice on best way to tackle this please? 🙏🏻 Thankyou 


  • bertrand-mabelbertrand-mabel Posts: 1,715
    Does he know what bamboo it is? If it is into the lawn then cutting back it will weaken the growth but he will need to be very on top of looking out for  new growths. We have many bamboos and love them but also realise that they get out of control and need to be in check at all times.
  • CopperdogCopperdog Posts: 464
    hello @bertrand-mabel thank you for your reply.  No he doesn't know which one it is as he only moved in a year ago.   There were runners all over the place he discovered and has put the rubber barrier in although it was very difficult as there were lots of bricks and rubble in the soil so that was hard work too!  is it just the summer you get the runners - is this when this plant grows mostly?  Would he be bettering off painting the runner top with something or is cutting it ok, I didn't know if cutting it might make it more vigorous?
  • pansyfacepansyface PEAK DISTRICT DerbyshirePosts: 20,554
    My two bamboos only send up shoots in the summertime. They are growing now. But mine are in very very large pots so they can’t escape.

    Bamboos are a type of grass, so I would imagine that cutting them might encourage them to resprout, like a lawn, whereas applying poison to new shoots (probably cut to aid absorption) would deter them.
    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
  • PosyPosy Isle of Wight.Posts: 3,443
    My husband dug a trench around the plant to about 18 - 24 inches and put in a barrier of slates, which we happened to have. It did the trick. Any stray runners can then be dug back to base and removed. However,  we later took out the whole thing.
  • KT53KT53 South WestPosts: 6,850
    It's possible/probable that the new growth has punctured the barrier, or that the new runners he is seeing in the lawn are regrowth from last year.  Sorting it is going to be time consuming and will initially cause damage to the lawn.  There are two ways to attack it.  Either check at the barrier for anything which has managed to breach it and trace the runners, or work from the new tips back to the main plants. Either way he needs to to trace each shoot and pull it out in its entirety.  The runners aren't generally very deep, typically no more than a few inches.  The process is the same.
    From the tip end - Gently cut the turf away behind the new tip i.e. in the direction of the border it has come from to expose the runner.  Once there is enough of the runner exposed to get a decent grip, it should be possible to pull it upwards and then cut the turf to expose more of the runner, repeat until back to the main plant.  I cut the turf with an old carving knife to expose the runner. 
    From the main plant end, expose the runner and trace toward the tip.
    I found it best to work from the main plant as the runners are thicker and less likely to break when being pulled.
    It's a long job, but I found it strangely satisfying, and had very little regrowth.  What regrowth there was, was controlled by mowing.  I had the problem 10 years ago, and after the first couple of years there was absolutely no sign of anything in the lawn.
  • CopperdogCopperdog Posts: 464
    Thank you very much everyone for all your replies these have been very helpful and in particular @KT53 I will pass this information on. 

  • KT53KT53 South WestPosts: 6,850
    @Copperdog you're welcome.  As you will probably guess, I've been there and done that.
  • CasparCaspar LancashirePosts: 29
    Our experience of a neighbours bamboo, is it spread all along the adjoining fence on our side and across along the side of our house together with spreading outward across the bottom of our garden (all stemming from the same corner).

    We found initially, that snapping it off just brought it back again.

    The only way we got rid of it, was to dig down about 4 feet (as deep as we could see the roots) and continued in a long trench all along where they were coming up, right back to the corner.  It was back breaking work.

    When we pulled it all out, we reached the corner where it had come through (around the concrete post), sawed it off and bent it back to their side.  

    We haven't had any more since. But to be sure, every week for a month, we looked at the corner post to make sure it wasn't coming back. And we still check periodically - it's been 5 years now and all is well.  

    Water, feed, tweak - then start again......... 
  • CopperdogCopperdog Posts: 464
    Thankyou @Caspar for your indepth reply to this. I have only just been back on here this evening and saw it. Goodness you did incredibly well! 
  • CasparCaspar LancashirePosts: 29
    Copperdog said:
    Thankyou @Caspar for your indepth reply to this. I have only just been back on here this evening and saw it. Goodness you did incredibly well!  

    @ Copperdog,   Just hoping it can help others to know how to eradicate it. We believe it should he banned due to how invasive it is.  Indeed it was put in a lot of gardens here, by the builder and has caused lots of problems for lots of people. Hoping you can get rid of it on your side, once and for all .
    Water, feed, tweak - then start again......... 
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