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Remove Bamboo Roots Without Chemicals

how to remove bamboo roots get rid of bamboo

The best way to remove bamboo roots is to dig out the entire bamboo plant or parts you want to contain. The Bamboo culms are joined to the rhizomes that grow just below the topsoil. By uprooting the rhizomes, you can contain bamboo from spreading or completely remove them.

Although the bamboo roots are not deep in the soil, the intricate network of root and rhizome is often difficult to remove.

Here are 4 non-chemical ways to remove bamboo plants permanently.

Recommended tools

  • Pickaxe/shovel
  • Garden rake.
  • Pairs of secateurs or garden loppers.
  • Pots and containers for holding cuttings.

Here is the list of tools you will need.

Hand tools/Uses


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Wrecking bar: Provides leverage for removing tough rhizomes, roots or blocks.

DIY Hand Tools at B&Q online

Pickaxe: Dismantles rhizomes and clumps.

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Handsaw/Loppers: Cuts culms to propagate.

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Sharp garden spade: Digs/cuts small rhizomes and roots, clears dirt.

Pedigree spade is ideal for narrow spaces.


Garden rake/hoe: Clears soil and dirt around the work area.

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Pair of secateurs/garden loppers: Cuts large rhizomes and culms.

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Steps for Removing Bamboo Roots

Step 1: Cut down the culms (stems), remove the branches and store the bamboo canes for future use.

Step 2: The rhizomes grow on the top layer of the soil, so dig down, along with or around the bamboo plant. Cut all the rhizomes and pull them out.

Step 3: You will also have to remove the whole bamboo buds and clumped base. Put a pickaxe through the base of the bamboo and remove them one by one. Use a pair of secateurs or garden loppers to cut the rhizomes into smaller pieces.

Step 4: Remove any soil around the bamboo roots and base of the parent plant. Keep the cutting in direct sun or pour boiling water on them to stop the cutting from growing again.

Tip #1: Cut bamboo stems/culms

Select and cut the bamboo stems (culms), you want to remove, close to the ground. The tools that you choose to use for cutting the culms depend on their sizes.

For the smaller clump-forming and running bamboos, you will require a pair of secateurs or garden loppers. The big bamboos will require an electric saw or hand saw to remove cut the thick culms.

Cut the bamboo stems horizontally (neatly across), close to the node as possible so that you have a nice and neat space to work. Do not cut the stems at an angle to avoid any pointy ends sticking out.

Use the bamboo sticks in the garden.

Tip #2: Dig and remove bamboo roots and rhizomes

If you want to completely kill the bamboo, you must remove all the rhizomes.

Start by digging 20 – 30cm around the bamboo plant to expose the root hairs and rhizomes. (The best tool for this job is the pickaxe). Cut any rhizomes that you see and remove the soil as you dig.

Carefully store the rhizomes cuttings in a large pot or bin for a few weeks before discarding them from your property.

Tip #3: Intertwined bamboo roots and rhizomes

Bamboo roots do not grow deep into the soil. As a grass variety, the roots and horizontal stems (also called rhizomes) are often found at the top 20 – 30cm of the topsoil.

That does not mean it is easy to remove bamboo roots.

The root hairs and intertwined rhizomes network under the soil requires a lot of digging, cutting, pulling and removing.

Tip #4: Prepare work area

Before starting, inspect the bamboo to understand how much work you can do in one hour and how long it will take to complete it.

Removing bamboo roots is painstaking work if you are doing it yourself, so prepare well for the job. The right tools and preparations are important for getting the job done.

Prepare the cuttings collection bins, tools and gloves and anything you may need.

Join us

Please leave a comment below, let me know how I can help. Check out my practical tips on YouTube. This video shows how I contained the Bamboo Roots and Rhizomes that are invading the garden.

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