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Bamboo Root System – Are Bamboo Roots Invasive? (Answered)

Bamboo is one of the most common and famous plants throughout the world. Bamboo has so many uses that people grow for commercial and economic purposes. 

But bamboos have different types, and people grow them for decoration and other purposes.

So, when you want to grow Bamboo, you must know details about the plant. So, you might be confused about whether bamboo roots are invasive.

Moreover, learning about this plant is essential since invasive plants can damage foundations and streets. Let’s see details about the root system of Bamboo.

Bamboo Root System Explained

Bamboo has a unique root system with rhizomes. People consider the bamboo plant invasive. But all bamboos are not invasive. The roots of Bamboo spread quickly and go deep. The invasive ones can damage foundations and grow through concrete. But clumping bamboo is not invasive.

However, bamboos can be of different types. Each bamboo plant might have other characteristics. Some of them are invasive plants, and some of them are not. So, let’s see the root system of these bamboo plants.

Clumping Bamboo:

Clumping Bamboo is one of the unique bamboos. This bamboo plant is not invasive. That means the root of clumping Bamboo will not go too deep or spread too wide. This bamboo plant will not grow inside the walls or concrete.

This bamboo plant has a concise root structure. So, the root will not grow more than a couple of inches per year.

Gracilis bamboo:

Gracilis bamboo is also a non-invasive plant. Generally, this plant has a shallow, OK, and fibrous root system. Moreover, the non-invasive nature of this plant makes it different from other bamboos.

The roots of Gracilis bamboo stay within 300mm of the soil. These bamboo roots don’t spread too wide and are also non-destructive.

Heavenly Bamboo:

Heavenly bamboo roots are invasive. This Bamboo spreads so vast that you need to control the root not to damage the foundation. Generally, heavenly Bamboo can be 6 to 8 feet tall and 2 to 4 feet wide. This Bamboo has deep roots.

Black Bamboo:

Black Bamboo has a shallow root system. Generally, these bamboo roots are not invasive like heavenly Bamboo that can damage streets and concretes. For having an external root system, there is a chance the black Bamboo will be uprooted by harsh weather.

Buddha belly bamboo:

Buddha belly bamboo is not an invasive plant. This Bamboo is used most commonly for ornamental or decorative purposes. Buddha belly bamboo also has a unique shape. The root system of this Bamboo is short.

Gaint Bamboo:

Giant Bamboo is an invasive one. The root of this Bamboo can go 2 to 3 feet deep. Moreover, the roots produce rhizomes. So, the roots will spread through concrete and foundation.

Chinese Bamboo:

Chinese Bamboo also has an extensive root system. But the root grows gradually and slowly. But after a couple of years, the root system is the support of an entire plant.

Golden Bamboo:

Golden Bamboo also has deep roots. The roots produce rhizomes and can spread to a wide area. Even the root can go 2 to 3 feet deep. So, you can consider golden Bamboo as an invasive one.

Bamboo palm:

The bamboo palm root system is not too deep or not too short. The roots can go up to 2 to 3 feet. But they are supposed not to be invasive. Even you can see the roots are like spread mat if the soil is shallow.

Does Bamboo have deep roots?

Whether Bamboo has deep roots or not depends on the type of the roots. Because some of the bamboos have deep roots and are invasive. But some bamboos are not invasive. Even some bamboos are only for ornamental purposes.

For example, the Clumping and Gracilis bamboos don’t have deep roots. These bamboos spread their roots only some inches. Moreover, they don’t damage the foundation, wall, street, etc.

But some of the bamboos, like the Golden, Heavenly, Chinese, etc., bamboos have deep roots. These roots have rhizomes and can go up to 2 to 3 feet deep. These roots are considered invasive also.

How Deep Are Bamboo Roots?

Bamboo can be of many types. So, each type has different characteristics and different root depths. For example, if the Bamboo has an invasive root, the root will be 2 to 3 feet deep. Even the rhizomes of these invasive bamboos will spread over a large area.

But the non-invasive bamboo roots will not go so deep. For example, Clumping bamboo roots will go only a few inches deep in the soil. Besides, Gracilis bamboo roots will stay within 300 mm deep in the ground.

But in general, most bamboos are considered invasive and deep root systems. Most bamboo roots can go up to 2 to 3 feet deep. Otherwise, the depth depends on the type of Bamboo.

Is Bamboo a taproot or a fibrous root?

Bamboo has a fibrous root. Generally, the root system of Bamboo is pretty unique. The root of Bamboo has rhizomes. These rhizomes can produce new plants. But these make the bamboo roots fibrous.

These fibrous roots of Bamboo can spread through a large area. That’s why these roots are often called invasive. That means the fibrous roots will grow through concrete, wall, street, pipe, etc., and damage structures.

The roots are like ariel culms underground. However, the fibrous nature of the bamboo root gives the plant strength. But this type of root can often cause problems if planted beside houses and structures.

What type of root system does Bamboo have?

Now that you know bamboo roots are unique, you might want to know their type. So, let’s see what kind of root system bamboos has.


Generally, bamboos have a fibrous root system. These fibrous roots can spread through a deep and wide area. But some of the bamboos might not go deep into the soil. Still, these bamboo roots have a fibrous structure.


Most bamboo roots are invasive. That means the roots can go deep and even go through structures. For example, if you plant Bamboo beside a wall, the roots will grow through the wall.


Bamboo roots have rhizomes. Rhizomes are produced from the roots. These elements help bamboos to create new plants. But rhizomes can go deep in the soil and interact with structures.

Are Bamboo Roots Invasive?

Yes, Bamboo roots can be invasive. But all bamboos are not invasive. Most bamboos can be invasive and grow the roots deep in the soil. Even the roots can grow 2 to 3 feet deep in the ground. These roots will affect the structure and foundation underground.

But some bamboo roots are not invasive. For example, Clumping and Gracilis bamboo roots can go only a few inches in the soil.

Can Bamboo roots damage foundation or pipes?

Yes, bamboo roots can damage foundations or pipes. The plant roots that damage foundation or lines are called invasive roots. Most bamboo roots are considered invasive roots.

Bamboo roots can grow deep in the soil and affect the foundation or pipes in the ground. These roots will grow into the foundation or pipes, hamper their normal behavior.

These roots are strong enough to damage the foundation or pipes. But all bamboo roots are not invasive. Non-invasive bamboo roots will not damage the foundation or pipes.

Do Bamboo spread or multiply?

Yes, bamboos spread or multiply. Generally, bamboos prefer to reproduce by the root rhizomes. You might know that bamboo roots have rhizomes. These rhizomes spread through the soil and help the plant to grow new plants.

Bamboo can follow another way of multiplying. New plants can also grow by flowering and seeds. But the most common method of spreading the Bamboo is the rhizomes.

How big are Bamboo roots?

Bamboo roots can be up to 2 to 3 feet big. These roots are invasive types. Bamboo roots have rhizomes that help to spread the bamboo roots.

Bamboo roots that go deep, up to 2 to 3 feet, can affect foundation or pipes. But some non-invasive bamboos are also available. 

These non-invasive roots will not go more than a couple of inches. So, how big bamboo roots are will depend on the type of Bamboo.

Final Thoughts

The root system of Bamboo is fibrous. These roots are often invasive. Bamboo roots have rhizomes that can produce new plants. But the invasive Bamboo has deep roots that can damage streets, foundations, and structures underground. And they can go up to 2 to 3 feet deep.