Bamboo is a grass that can range in height from 4 to 6 feet tall and more than 120 feet tall, depending on the variety and local growing conditions. In its natural environment, bamboo grows under the protective canopy of a forest. Therefore, although there are some varieties that can tolerate full sun, most bamboo does best in partial or indirect light. Bamboo needs soil that drains well, and will do better if protected from high wind, too.
Potted bamboos are the safest way to grow bamboo. Some types of bamboo can become invasive, so growing them in pots will help keep them from taking over a section of your lawn or garden. Growing bamboo in pots will also allow you to grow bamboo that might not winter over in your area. By leaving the bamboo outside during the warmer times of year and moving it inside over the winter, you can successfully grow exotic bamboo species, like black bamboo, in cold areas where the grass would not survive the winter.
Another popular idea for growing bamboo is to create small groves in your yard. Before you begin to plant bamboo, establish whether it reproduces via clumping or runners. Bamboo that reproduces via runners is called running bamboo and can often become invasive. When planting running bamboo, be sure to use a bamboo barrier in your grove to limit the spread of the bamboo. Barriers are usually plastic and must usually be set at least 3 feet deep to be effective. When selecting the bamboo for your grove, choose a variety that is suited for your growing zone. Bamboos are available that will winter over in USDA Plant Hardiness Zone 6, however some may survive down to Zone 5.
Bamboo Privacy Screens
Bamboo privacy screens are very similar to bamboo groves. However, when planting privacy screens, plant a taller variety toward the back with a shorter, more dense variety toward the front of the boundary. Bamboo privacy screens grow very quickly, and can often become an effective privacy screen after a single season. As with groves, be sure to use bamboo barriers for potentially invasive varieties.