Gardening: ‘Easy’ hack to prevent invasive bamboo from spreading

Black bamboo: Expert shares tips to stop spreading

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Bamboo are great plants for screening and privacy, however, they are also vigorous plants that can grow very large and spread rapidly. If left to grow out of control, they can become invasive and spread beyond their boundaries. Bamboo shoots can appear anywhere in the garden including in neighbouring land or even through solid barriers.

They can even sprout up in patio and conservatory floors.

Bamboo can cause damage to property and is costly to remove.

Some bamboo can cause disputes between neighbours if left to grow out of control.

Phyllostachys nigra, or “black bamboo”, has the potential to be very invasive.

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The plant can spread quickly thanks to its underground rhizomes.

Gardening expert for BBC Gardeners’ World Magazine Kevin Smith has shared how to stop bamboo from spreading and colonising other areas of the garden.

Kevin said black bamboo is “easy to prevent” from spreading.

He said: “Get an old rigid plant pot about the size you want the clump to reach, and cut off the base.

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“I usually do this with a pair of sharp loppers or a small saw.

“Plant the bamboo in the pot with the rim slightly above soil level.”

Bamboo can end up looking clumpy rather than delicately swept.

To stop this happening, gardeners can allow the plant to spread and use a “root barrier” to stop it spreading too far.

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Kevin added: “Sturdy plastic buried about 45cm deep is the best thing to use.

“Sink it into the earth around the plant leaving about five centimetres above the ground.

“Alternatively, you could bury old concrete slabs slightly overlapping around the plant.”

There are several varieties of bamboo that are known as “clumping” or “running” types which have underground systems.

The running types of bamboo can send out lateral rhizomes that can run up to 30 feet in length from the main plant.

Environet UK, a leading specialist in Japanese knotweed and other invasive plants, said bamboo can be more damaging than Japanese knotweed.

Both plants can break through solid boundaries like flooring, walls and patios.

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