This article will give you the tips that you need to grow bamboo in your garden as well as show you a few ideas that will inspire you to incorporate bamboo into your outside decor. Bamboo is one of the most beautiful, hardy, drought-and-pest-tolerant plants a homeowner can add to his yard. Many bamboo types make perfect privacy screens, hedges, and ornamental landscapes.
What is Bamboo?
Bamboo is a perennial evergreen in the grass family – yes, it’s not a tree – but it’s a grass! More than 1,200 different species grow around the world. Various species grow to heights of 100 feet or more. It grows new shoots without replanting and can be harvested within five years for building materials.
There are two main types of bamboo –
- Running bamboos are considered invasive because they spawn underground “runners” (called rhizomes) that extend away from the parent plant by large distances.
- Clumping bamboos produce a different type of underground rhizome that sprout new stems (clums) next to the original plant, which then expand slowly each year.Clumping bamboo is most often used in landscaping because it’s dense, fast-growing, and prunable.
- Bamboo is available in various colors, sizes, shape and height which gives visual interest and a striking design to a landscape.
- Bamboo is versatile, hardy and very fast-growing, doesn’t require any fertilisers to grow and drought tolerant.
- Bamboo plants grow successfully in a range of climatic conditions.
- Bamboo is easy to grow.
- Bamboo is evergreen.
- Bamboo is self-renewing.
Use of bamboo in Landscaping
Bamboo Wall Accent – Bamboo is used in this idea in two different ways. It is first used to create a more three-dimensional wall that stands out and looks amazing against the wood in this garden. Secondly, there are also live bamboo plants that bring life to the corner of the garden.
Screening Purpose –Natural bamboo screens can be trimmed to desired heights and widths and grow quicker and taller than shrubs and hedges. Popular bamboo species used for this purpose include clumping varieties, Golden Bamboo and Dwarf Malay.
Bamboo Hedge– Everyone likes to have a bit of privacy in their back yard, and this bamboo idea creates a perfect hedge-like design that will give you just that. The hedge is narrow, so it does not overwhelm the space, but it provides a good bit of cover.
Containers- Growing a bamboo privacy screen in containers is not only a great idea for those who live in densely populated areas where limited space is an issue, but also for those who rent or lease their homes and don’t want to make any permanent changes to the landscape. Containers submerged in the ground, placed on your patio or even grouped around your yard perimeter for a hedge effect always look amazing.
Alternative uses– Environmentally friendly and durable bamboos are also used for patio furniture, fencing, edging, water features, wind chime and for ornamental areas such as Zen gardens.
Common Clumping Varieties Used for Landscaping
Alphonse Karr or Multiplex Bamboo -This species has golden culms (bamboo stems) striped with green. This variety can grow as high as 30 feet and is often used for privacy screens.
Golden Bamboo – Golden bamboo is a commonly planted variety with finely textured green leaves and attractive golden-yellow stems. Usually used as a screening plant, it grows quickly more than 20 feet if not trimmed and spreads to create a dense hedge or screen. Unfortunately, this plant becomes invasive so it’s not recommended for all gardens.
Giant Buddha’s Belly -This bamboo type features bulging “Buddha belly” culms and long, narrow green leaves, and can grow up to 50 feet.
Murray Island -This type of bamboo forms dense clumps with lighter green, textured leaves and its lush top growth also makes it ideal for privacy screens. It grows up to 13 feet in height.
Chinese Dwarf Bamboo – Compact and lush, this variety lends itself better to pot planting than other clumping species. Chinese Dwarf Bamboo is also a popular hedge choice and can grow up to nine feet tall.
Timor Black Bamboo -This clumping form of black bamboo has light green leaves and dark culms with lighter stripes. It grows upwards of 50 feet.
I hope this article inspires you to add gorgeous, functional and evergreen bamboo to your landscape!