Homeowner receives firm warnings after considering planting invasive plant: ‘It is monstrous’
Home & Gardening

Homeowner receives firm warnings after considering planting invasive plant: ‘It is monstrous’

A new homeowner recently took to the r/gardening subreddit for advice about whether or not to plant bamboo. The advice they received may not have been what they were looking for, but they would do well to heed it.

“How invasive is bamboo? I want to plant along a fence line for privacy,” the poster wrote, seemingly unaware of the can of worms they were opening.

The words of warning came fast and unequivocally: Do not plant bamboo on your property.

Despite being known mostly as an attractive little tree that adorable pandas love to munch on, bamboo is an invasive plant that spreads quickly and forcefully and is nearly impossible to eradicate once it has taken root. Many other homeowners have learned this lesson the hard way, as the comments section of the post indicated. 

“Fifteen years before I bought my home, the prior owners planted a bamboo privacy hedge. Now, although the hedge does provide privacy, it is monstrous,” wrote one commenter. “We find runners 50 feet from the main hedge. It spread so much that it will now cost $10k to remove and haul the debris (also, not too many dumps will take bamboo waste).”

“Everyone I’ve seen ignore gardeners (including professionals) has deeply regretted it. Unless you’re also going to buy a couple of Pandas, I’d avoid it,” another commenter wrote.

“This is one of those life choice moments where your life splinters into two realities. Choose wisely,” another chimed in.

Some of the bamboo horror stories must be seen to be believed. In one instance, a home gardener in the U.K. caused $120,000 of property damage to their neighbor’s house when their out-of-control bamboo spread underneath the house and burst through the concrete walls and floor.

The lesson here is clear: Native plants are always the best choice when deciding what to plant in your home garden. Native plants will fit into your local ecosystem, help pollinators, and not destroy your neighbor’s house. 

Opting for a native-plant lawn that includes local flora, clover, buffalo grass, or even xeriscaping elements can also help you save money and time on lawn maintenance. It will conserve water as well — even if you only replace part of your lawn with native plants

Bamboo is a wonderful plant with many great uses that fits in well in its native ecosystems — but planting it in non-native environments should be avoided at all costs.

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