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Getting Rid of Bamboo

By Ellen Brown

Q: Does vinegar really kill bamboo? We've cut it down, gut out lots of roots, sprayed with Roundup and weed whacked, and mowed daily, but it keeps growing. What can I use? Where I can I purchase 20-30% vinegar?


Mer serkel

A: Mer serkel,

I'm assuming your trying to rid yourself of Japanese Stilt Grass, also sometimes referred to as bamboo. Perseverance is a necessary virtue when it comes to eradicating this prolific invader. The seeds from this grass can remain viable for up to 7 years, so the key is to stay on top of it and keep it from setting more seed (usually in September). Try spraying an "over the top" mixture of 1 cup salt, 1 gallon of vinegar, and 1 tsp of Ivory dish soap (to get it to stick). This mixture is non-selective and can kill other plants and grasses, so apply it with care. Don't expect to see any changes for at least 24 hours, maybe even several days. Be patient. If you can't find 20-30% acid vinegar at a local feed store, you can strengthen regular 5% vinegar (the kind sold at grocery stores) by boiling it down to half its original volume. An effective commercial alternative is Ornamec, a herbicide available at many hardware and garden centers.


About The Author: Ellen Brown is our Green Living and Gardening Expert. Click here to ask Ellen a question! Ellen Brown is an environmental writer and photographer and the owner of Sustainable Media, an environmental media company that specializes in helping businesses and organizations promote eco-friendly products and services. Contact her on the web at


Getting Rid of Bamboo

This information might help from the American Bamboo Society website:

Getting Rid of Bamboo

Get that vinegar at Home Depot. (07/29/2005)

By cookwie

Getting Rid of Bamboo

Here is a link to some more ways of getting rid of bamboo.

I like the bit about sending in the pigs. (11/17/2006)

By Harvey

Getting Rid of Bamboo

I cut down the stalks; some 30-40 feet high. Then I used a large sump grinder which goes pretty deep and disintegrated all the roots. (04/27/2008)


By Joe from Ft. Wash, MD MD

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