Ideas & inspiration

Install rhizome barrier - how it's done

Bamboo, blackberries and Co. look nice, but they can be a real annoyance. For example, if they overgrow too much. A rhizome lock can help, however.


There are some plants that form roots so strongly that they quickly overgrow everything else. These include, for example, raspberries, blackberries, Chinese reed, ivy, mint, black and sea buckthorn, vinegar tree, bamboo, lily of the valley or horsetail. If you do not intervene early and keep the plants at bay, this not only means that your garden will eventually look very overgrown, the plants just mentioned can also make the other plants controversial.

It is advisable to install a rhizome lock (also called root lock) so that the rapidly growing plants do not spoil your mood and do an unnecessary amount of work. With the appropriate equipment, this is not that difficult and can even be retrofitted in the garden.

You need this for installation

When it comes to installing a rhizome barrier, you always have to take into account the peculiarities of the respective plant when implementing it. Some plants, such as bamboo, form extremely strong rhizomes. In this case, you also need to install an extremely strong root barrier so that you can actually stop the rhizomes.

In such a case, it is also best to use a rhizome barrier made of HDPE (high-pressure polyethylene) that is at least two millimeters thick, as this cannot be pierced by the roots of the plant (e.g. available here). An alternative to this plastic could at most be concrete slabs, but the installation is of course a lot more difficult in this case. So it's best to use HDPE. On materials such as a robust pond liner, on the other hand, you should do without immediately, as this would not last in the long run.

So a root barrier is installed

It is important that the barrier is as deep as possible in the ground so that the roots cannot grow under it. A depth of around 60 cm is therefore recommended. However, it is equally important that you leave enough room for the plant in width, otherwise the runners will grow more deeply and eventually come under the root barrier. Now that you know that, do the following:

➥ Step 1:

root barrier

Dig the hole for the plant 60 cm deep and then take the root barrier at hand.

2 Step 2:

Connect the two ends of the rhizome lock with the supplied aluminum rail so that a ring is created that has no gaps.

3 Step 3:

Now insert the rhizome barrier vertically into the trench and ensure that it protrudes 5 to 10 cm. This means that no root runners can spread out at the top.

4 Step 4:

Then fill the gaps with the excavated soil and insert the plant in the ring. Make sure that you do not plant the plant flush with the top edge of the rhizome barrier, but about 10 cm lower.

Install the root barrier later

Sometimes you place plants in the garden and don't think about installing a root barrier at that moment. Of course, you can also install the lock later. However, this involves a lot more effort.

➥ Step 1:

First of all you have to cut off all existing root extensions with a spade.

2 Step 2:

After cutting around the plant, dig a trench to insert the lock there.

3 Step 3:

Then carefully connect the two ends of the rhizome barrier and then fill the soil back into the trench.