One person’s flower is another’s weed. There is no plant more perfectly matched for this scenario than bamboo. Attractive when used properly, and growing in popularity with the Green movement and the increased use of bamboo flooring, this plant will grow out of control if left unchecked.
Planting bamboo will pay quick dividends as it is a very fast grower. Who doesn’t love a little greenery on their property? But over the years that follow you will be forced to battle against the spreading root system of the shoots that attempt to spread the planting area constantly. Much like ivy, if you drop your vigilance for one season and all hope could be lost.
Once the bamboo starts to take over, you are stuck. The only way to really get rid of it is to dig it all up by the root. And that will still require repeated efforts. There have been some claimed successes with using Roundup, but the results are far from certain.
In addition to filling your yard, fence to fence, with bamboo, these planting also have additional side effects. For starters, they don’t recognize property boundaries. When that bamboo starts popping up in your neighbor’s yard, its safe to say your relationship just took a turn for the worse. Another side effect is that the roots of these plants often find their way into the sewer lateral of your property; clogging the flow of refuse and possible breaking the clay pipes apart.
There are steps that can be taken to prevent the future spread of bamboo plantings beyond their intended area, but why try it? Digging a trench around the plants or installing a metal or plastic divider in the ground to stop the spread of roots is not only a pain, it is also not a surefire method of prevention. There are plenty of other attractive plants that can provide the beneficial results of bamboo without all the messy troubles that accompany it. Think twice before planting it.