How to control weeds in the bamboo

A customer wrote: 

We bought a Vivax and a Blue from you last fall. Both came through the winter with no damage and have already sent up bunches of new canes this spring. They are so pretty and so much fun. Every day, we go look just to see what's new!
What do you recommend for weed control around the bases of bamboo?
I recall that you planted ground cover plants around some of your clumps. What plants work well?
But I think most of your clumps were weed-free without a ground cover. Do you use a herbicide?
Would a 0.5-1% glyphosate spray hurt them if I removed the leaves that might get spray on them first? I would have guessed that, being grasses, they'd be sensitive but I gather from reading on the web that it's actually pretty hard to kill them with glyphosate.
I've looked around on your web site but didn't find any discussion of weed control. If it's there, please just point me to it.
My response:

I'm glad to hear that your plants are doing so well.  If you have time, email me some pictures.  I'd love to see them.

For weed control we recommend a heavy mulch.  Weed by hand any obvious weeds then apply as deep a mulch as you can around the bamboo.  You can use any type of natural mulch - leaves, wood bark, etc.  To make the mulch extra impervious to weeds, you can apply a thick layer of newspaper first and then mulch on top of them.  Unlike with trees, mulches can go right up around the base of the canes without worry or harm to the plants.

We don't use any herbicides at the nursery and don't recommend using them at home.  Bamboo is just a giant grass and although herbicides won't kill the bamboo, it won't do them any good either.  If you want to use a ground cover, I've found the following plants work well:  wedelia, ruellia and wandering jew.  Any other shade-loving ground cover would work as well.

Wedelia growing as a ground cover beneath a grove of Vivax running bamboo

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