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Anyone planted bamboo in their garden?

(17 Posts)
Madmog Thu 13-Mar-14 14:41:15

We're thinking about putting some bamboo in front of the back fence to provide some interest and screening. It will get sun during the day.

Has anyone planted this and got any tips? Also, is it easy to keep.

echt Thu 13-Mar-14 15:49:35

Be very careful that you buy clumping, not running varieties, or the bugger will take over. They need plenty of water when establishing themselves and love a manure mulch every now and then.

We have it growing as a screen in part of our garden, and it works well. I can't recommend UK varieties, as I'm in a part of Melbourne that rarely gets a frost, and then only mildly.

I grow a purple-leaved tradescantia underneath mine for interest, though again, no frost.

We also bought our bamboo from a specialist who could guarantee its growth type.

ProfYaffle Thu 13-Mar-14 15:52:01

No but our neighbours have and it's a fecking nightmare. The runners come under the fence and have wrecked our garden, lifted our block paving, spears come up through the lawn so no-one can go out barefoot in summer. So yeah, clumpy not runny is important!

RosegoldRuby Thu 13-Mar-14 15:59:05

Don't do it!! My dad, a great gardener, planted a tiny clump ten years ago. There followed my mum's terminal illness, his descent into dementia and various other family crisis. The bamboo was left to its own devices.
The bamboo got totally carried away with itself, spread even under concrete, all the way under an outhouse and out the other side and sends up deadly spears in the lawn.
I now have responsibility for his garden and it is going to take me hours and hours of hard labour to get rid of it. I doubt I'll ever completely eradicate it.

I hate the stuff. It doesn't even look that good. There are hundreds of other plants you can choose.
If you go ahead with bamboo, keep it in check. Watch it like a hawk.

Yes, I am a bit passionate about this subject.

didireallysaythat Thu 13-Mar-14 19:39:00

Don't. Do. It.

Don't do it

Dollydowser Thu 13-Mar-14 19:42:06

Yes, I have blisters from trying to cut it down yesterday. Look for my new thread which will be anyone know how to eradicate bamboo?

ClownsLeftJokersRight Thu 13-Mar-14 19:42:29

I know zero about gardening but I do know avoid bamboo.

Catsmamma Thu 13-Mar-14 19:45:48

I love mine.... It is about ten feet tall...in a courtyard garden.

Previous owners had flagged the entire space....it looked like a prison yard, I lifted some paving stones at the back and both sides, dug out the layer of sand and dug in some compost on the east facing side with a big stone wall behind.

The bamboo was a small spindly clump 12 years ago, now it fills the whole border. (3ft+deep and 8ftish long i suppose It always looks a bit sad after the winter, the salt air just fries it, but in the summer it is gorgeous. It has made a bit of an effort to grow out of the allocated border but I think because there's still room in the border it's easier for it to stay there.

It has stifled my oriental poppies though. They are no more.

SwedishEdith Thu 13-Mar-14 19:48:58

The previous owners of our house planted it. I hate them. I just wouldn't take the risk with it.

iseenodust Thu 13-Mar-14 19:50:01

We have some which looks fab and has grown to 7ft tall. The tip we were given was plant it into a large plant pot and then plant that in the ground. Five years on it is still contained. The adjacent rambling roses and wisteria are fine.

Ferguson Thu 13-Mar-14 23:05:02

We have Phyllostachys nigra - black bamboo. Easy to grow and doesn't spread much; easy to dig out runners you don't want, and can then replant elsewhere.

Some are very expensive, so shop around, or if you can find someone who has it you could probably beg a piece.

www.vanmeuwen.com/trees-shrubs-and-ornamentals/bamboos/bamboo-black/63962VM

Madmog Fri 14-Mar-14 10:35:27

Thanks for your replies. We were thinking of it as screening. We're buying a house and the house at the back is a bit imposing, so looking for something else to focus on.

Thanks for your idea about planting them in pots. I guess they will need to be really big but should help stem root growth.

Obviously just weighing up the options here. Obviously some of you have had problems with it. Don't suppose anyone has any recommendations for something else which may work?

oscarwilde Fri 14-Mar-14 11:35:19

Hmm - we had black bamboo too, I wouldn't describe it as "doesn't spread much". We inherited it from a previous owner and dug the whole lot out down to 4 feet but clearly there was a runner left somewhere and it grew back. It grows at a frightening rate - circa 1ft a day for a few weeks in May and then nothing for the rest of the year on the surface anyway

When we dug it out we put it into pots (2ft x 4 ft tall) and it didn't thrive at all. Even with good drainage they got waterlogged so talk to a good gardener about how much gravel etc to put in them. They were enormously heavy and toppled over in high winds.

When it grew back - in a section of paved yard with some stones removed, it pushed up the slabs, dived under the slabs and popped up in a border 4 feet away.... I used to have nightmares about it pushing up the floor of the kitchen. Finally it crossed through a subterranean brick wall and popped up in the neighbours garden. We moved house then blush

So - that's all the bad stuff. It's green all year round but transparently so letting lots of dappled sunlight in - not a horrid leylandii style solid wall. It makes the most wonderful shushing sound when the wind blows and you don't have to do anything other than control the sod. I love it, it just gives me nightmares smile

If you want to put it in, can I recommend an enormous box trench of some kind that it can't escape from. Consult a landscaper who knows what they are doing.

Alternatively you could do this - it's super expensive though sad www.instahedge.com/product/pleached-trees/
or this - something like jasmine is very quick growing and green all year around (I think)
bespoketrellis.com/deluxe-fencing

RosegoldRuby Fri 14-Mar-14 18:41:05

Sometimes I look at one of my Dad's old photos of his garden, which shows the bamboo just planted. One or two little canes.

How I wish I could reach into that photo and uproot the m*th*rf*ck*r!

foofooyeah Fri 14-Mar-14 18:42:41

No. Just no.

mousmous Fri 14-Mar-14 18:49:55

be aware.
neighbours had it in pots, but it started to run out of the drainage holes. took a lot of work to remove it. and that was only a couple of pots!

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