A KEEN gardener from Earley who was misled into buying bamboo has warned of the dangers to house foundations and patios.

Experts have warned that 'invasive bamboo' can be damaging and the importance of looking into different types.

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Angela Francis built a small Japanese ornamental garden a few years ago in her back garden in Earley, and did some research into the type of bamboo she should get.

However, was mis-sold, and although she was reassured that it wouldn't grow more than a metre high or spread, it is now several metres high and new shoots are appearing all over the garden.

It is also beneath the patio and causing the stones to lift.

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Mrs Francis said: "I'm a keen gardener and was actually quite aware of the invasive nature of bamboo, which is why I did lots of research and asked the experts at the nursery which type to buy.

"However, I was unfortunately mis-sold and now have bamboo that has grown several feet higher than the fence with new shoots popping up nearby.

"The patio needs to be dug up and we're worried that if we don't treat it, it could reach the house.

"Bamboo can look lovely but I would urge people to be very careful as most types are invasive and it could turn out to be a costly mistake."

Nic Seal, MD of Environet UK, which deals with all types of invasive plants including Japanese knotweed and bamboo, said: "Bamboo is a vigorous and fast-growing plant that is extremely popular, particularly in urban areas where it's favoured for its screening qualities.

"But planting bamboo on borders can be problematic as it’s very difficult to contain and often spreads across boundaries, causing disputes between neighbours.

"If you still think planting bamboo is a good idea, make sure you choose a clumping variety such as Bambusa or Chusquea and avoid the running types which send long roots out spreading many metres from the original site. It’s also a good idea to plant it in a pot or bed which is lined with a strong vertical root barrier designed to contain bamboo."