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Homeowner bewildered after invasive backyard plant starts overtaking house: 'Sometimes I think I should move'

"It looks like there was an attempt to control it with barriers, but it burst through it all."


Photo Credit: iStock

A Redditor has provided some evidence as to why you might want to think twice if you're considering planting bamboo in your yard.

It might seem like an elegant, natural way to provide a privacy screen between your house and your neighbor's property, but before you know it, the plants will spread — sometimes to unexpected places.

On the r/landscaping subreddit, the bewildered homeowner showed how the bamboo — planted at the property by the previous owner — had started creeping under a window and into the house.

"PSA: This is why you shouldn't plant bamboo in your yard," they captioned the image.

"It looks like there was an attempt to control it with barriers, but it burst through it all."
Photo Credit: Reddit

"It looks like there was an attempt to control it with barriers but it burst through it all," they added. 

The comments section soon filled up with sympathetic gardeners who have encountered bamboo themselves, knowing how difficult it can be to remove and how quickly it and other invasive species can grow.

"In our old house, the previous owner planted bamboo in a 2" thick cement box…" one user began. "Yup, broke through like it was made of landscaping canvas."

"God, we moved into our new house last June and the entire backyard was a blanket of English ivy," another Redditor said. "Took us the rest of the summer and fall to pull it all out."

Whether it's bamboo, English ivy, mint, or nasturtiums, aesthetically pleasing or functional plants can grow out of control if not contained appropriately. The latter two are especially welcome additions to a garden, providing a number of benefits, but they can soon lead to serious headaches if not kept in their pots.

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When it comes to bamboo, digging up your garden, tracing the rhizomes (underground stems), and removing them bit by bit might be the only solution that shows any long-term results — especially if you want to avoid chemical-laced herbicides.

Some types of bamboo are native to some areas, so the problem might not be so pronounced depending on where you live. But it's definitely wise to do your research before planting to save you a tricky job in the future and protect you from the wrath of your neighbors.

Choosing native plants will not only soothe your spreading stress, but they also require less maintenance and less water than most non-native plants and will bring a host of pollinators to your green space. If you don't want to replace your whole lawn, even a partial replacement with clover or buffalo grass can make a big difference. 

"I think planting bamboo isn't allowed where I live because it is on the official list of invasive species," said one Redditor. "Yikes, I can see why." 

"I have bamboo (knotweed), bittersweet, burning bush, and ivy in my yard..... oh yea poison ivy too. Sometimes I think I should move or call in a nuclear strike," another said

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