Bamboos belong to the large family of grasses and despite the impressive height of many of them, they are herbs! Their ultra-rapid growth is very appreciable because you can obtain an effective plant screen in a very short time. Except that after a few years, the creeping bamboos end up invading the whole garden and even well beyond. Many gardeners, upset at not being able to get rid of them, regret having planted them. Fortunately, all is not lost since there is an effective solution to permanently eliminate the creeping bamboos that have colonized their entire environment.
Are all bamboos invasive?
The answer is no. And it is this characteristic that it is essential to take into consideration when buying bamboo. There are indeed non-tracer species which are unlikely to invade the garden. The reason is simple: their rhizome pachymorphe has limited growth. It grows horizontally underground and gives rise to new shoots, spears, which emerge in a restricted perimeter. If we plant these cluster bambooswe therefore obtain tight tufts that are not invasive.
Where things go wrong is when you set your sights on tracer bamboos who have a rhizome leptomorphe. The latter crawls underground and new spears emerge several meters from the mother plant. These bamboo shoots number in the tens, then in the hundreds, and over time also colonize neighboring properties when they are not perfectly controlled. Unless you want to create a bamboo grove, it is better to plant clumping bamboos!
Getting rid of bamboo permanently: only one solution
It should be understood that these are the aerial parts of any plant with rhizome which allow this type of root to accumulate reserves by the principle of photosynthesis. Bamboo is no exception to this rule. Logically, the longer the spears are allowed to develop, the more the rhizome is nourished and therefore gains in force. He can then continue to run underground, tirelessly and further and further because nothing stops him. In just a few years, creeping bamboos are capable of transforming an entire landscape. It is therefore high time to intervene.
There is only one solution to permanently eliminate the bamboo: lmanual intervention for natural destruction. But let’s be honest, it doesn’t happen overnight. When the bamboos have colonized a large area, this represents a colossal task since it is necessary to tackle the removal of all the aerial and underground parts of these plants. The goal is to achieve the weakening of the rhizomes by stopping their diet. This struggle takes place in three stages.
First of all, it is essential to cut the canes (or culms) of the bamboos at ground level with a saw, forage harvester or brushcutter. The tools are selected according to the diameter of the rods, which become thicker and thicker over time. The best period to carry out this removal of the aerial parts of the bamboos is the March.
Ensuite, each spear must be rigorously eliminated. The frequent passage of the mower helps to overcome it. Immediately after the cut, it is necessary asphyxiate the rhizomes by copious watering to literally overwhelm them. It is important to persist in the effort in order to carry out a merciless hunt and several seasons may prove necessary before noticing first of all that the spears are less and less numerous to grow back and finally that the rhizomes are dead, which can take about three years. But to save time,extraction des rhizomes requires the use of an excavator if the colonized area is really large. In a small garden, however, you can make do with a pickaxe. Whatever, do not leave any fragments in the ground because there is a good chance that new spears will reappear.
It’s a sports technique, but it works very well. She just demands patience and a big determination… However, bamboo rhizomes can be killed more quickly if, after having shaved off all the culms, the area concerned is covered with a opaque tarpaulin on which it is necessary to place large stones in order to keep it in place even in high winds. Deprived of rain and light, the bamboos will eventually die, but all the same it is necessary to continue to remove all the spears that develop on the areas not covered by the tarpaulin.
What about chemical control to eliminate bamboo permanently?
It is sometimes thought that a more “comfortable” solution than manual destruction is possible in order to permanently eliminate bamboo from the garden, namely chemical control. Many gardeners are tempted by the use of a weed killer but that’s not a good idea because it’s ineffective and in addition, it is very harmful to the environment and health. Anyway, the herbicides au glyphosate are no longer authorized for sale and it is forbidden to use those that we still have in the cupboards.
As for vinegar, bleach or even coarse salt, it is pure fiction to dislodge a bamboo grove and these different products are detrimental to the ecosystem. Nothing beats physical effort and tenacity to radically eliminate bamboo from the garden in two or three years. But the best is still choose your bamboos well at the start in order to limit the risk of being invaded.