commonly known as Bamboo, Japanese Bamboo, Japanese Knotweed, Mexican
Bamboo and Rice Cane, is native to Japan and was introduced into
the United States as an ornamental. Widely planted in the Northeast,
it escaped from cultivation and became an obnoxious weed. Regardless
of this fact, it can still be found in some nurseries.
bamboo grows 4 to 8 feet tall with stout, bushy, somewhat woody
stalks. It spreads rapidly by stout underground rhizomes and offshoots
or "suckers." The succulent tops are killed by frost each
fall, and new shoots arise each spring from the rhizomes. The plant
is often found in waste places and old neglected garden areas. It
usually grows in dense thickets due to its suckering habit.
Bamboo is particularly difficult to kill because of the rhizomes
it sends down deep into the soil. Pulling or digging out can control
it, but because of the depth of the rhizomes, results are not too
satisfactory. Soil sterilants seldom penetrate deep enough to kill
all of the rhizomes, and new growth reappears. Several weed killers
kill the tops of the plant but leave the roots virtually undamaged.
Regrowth from the roots is rapid. Repeated cutting or killing of
the top growth tends to weaken the plant but does not kill the roots.
(one trade name is Banvel-D and is usually sold in combination with
2,4D) or glyphosate (one trade name is Roundup) will control Japanese
Bamboo. Apply as a drenching spray at the peak of flowering, which
occurs in late August and early September. The solution, diluted
according to instructions of the manufacturer, should be sprayed
on the foliage so that it begins to drip from the leaves. Be sure
to cover both upper and lower surfaces of the leaves. If regrowth
occurs, allow the plants to grow through the next summer and spray
again in late August or early September.
Weed-killing chemicals are non-selective and will kill many kinds
of broad-leaved plants. Take precautions that they do not come in
contact through spray or drift with desirable plants in the vicinity.
Weed killers also enter the ground and may kill or severely injure
woody shrubs and trees whose roots are in the treated area or in
the drainage pattern of the soil.
from the UMASS Cooperative Extension, 2001