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Experts warn: Trendy bamboo in your garden could become next Japanese knotweed

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Manish Saini
Manish works as a Journalist and writer at Revyuh.com. He has studied Political Science and graduated from Delhi University. He is a Political engineer, fascinated by politics, and traditional businesses. He is also attached to many NGO's in the country and helping poor children to get the basic education. Email: Manish (at) revyuh (dot) com

People have been warned about the menace of the trendy plant bamboo, with experts branding it as the new Japanese knotweed.

The roots of some varieties of plants can spread up to 30ft, can easily take over, and become a weed if left unchecked.

Now many are urging people to “think before you plant” as bamboo, which looks relatively harmless, is compared to Japanese Knotweed – capable of causing severe damage to nearby underground structures and building foundations.

Many experts now fear bamboo could pose a threat to native plant species as it shows signs of being extremely difficult to get rid of once it has spread.

In a bid to raise the issue, Nic Seal, founder of Environet, believes the public should be informed about the danger of bamboo plantation.

“It’s time for garden centres and plant nurseries to take some responsibility for the escalating problem being faced by gardeners up and down the country who have bought bamboo in good faith with no warning of the risks,” he told MailOnline.

“The fact is that most bamboos are invasive – and I expect they would be a good deal less popular if gardeners were given the facts at point of sale.”

“We’re regularly dealing with entire gardens that are a mass of bamboo rhizome, where homeowners have desperately tried to keep on top of the problem by cutting back or mowing new shoots as they emerge.”

“But once it’s on the run, the only way to deal with it properly is to excavate the root ball and dig out every lateral rhizome, which often means chasing them across boundaries into neighbouring gardens.”

“I’ve even seen bamboo growing up between the skirting board and wall of a house, having encroached beneath the patio from next door’s garden and exploited a weakness in the property’s foundations.”

The foundation has been urging gardeners to avoid planting bamboo in their garden, but if they wish so, there are few guidelines to follow.

  • Choose a clumping variety of bamboo such as Bambusa or Chusquea
  • Plant it in a strong root barrier container or a pot, not directly into the ground.
  • It should be trimmed every year to keep it neat and clean.
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