Bamboo is a shrub-like grass that is essential to the lives of many in countries around the world, according to University of Georgia Extension. In the U.S., bamboo quickly becoming popular as a plant to use for privacy hedges around a home. This popularity growth is most likely due to the speed at which bamboo grows: some can grow a full foot each day; and the various heights to select from for mature plants: A few varieties grow at least 100 feet tall.
Selecting Bamboo Sizes
Some bamboo plants can grow 30 to 100 feet tall while others will only grow several feet high at maturity. These varieties may be too large or small for a privacy hedge, so selecting bamboo that will grow between six and 10 feet in height will give you the best results.
Bamboo For Your Climate
Types of bamboo vary in more than size, different varieties are suited to different climates. Some bamboo cultivars are tropical and cannot handle cold temperatures, while others will thrive in snowy mountain regions but cannot tolerate high heat. Once you know the mature size you'd like your bamboo hedge to be, you'll need to check with your local gardening centers, extension office or bamboo society to find out which varieties grow best in your particular region of the country.
Running or Clumping
The two types of bamboo for hedging are running and clumping. Running bamboo sends out runners to spread itself quickly to other areas of your yard or garden. This type of bamboo plant can quickly become invasive unless it is planted with a barrier to prevent the runners from spreading. Clumping bamboo is generally considered best for creating a privacy hedge, because it grows in clumps and fills in the breaks in the plantings. Though not as invasive, it is still prudent to plant clumping bamboo within a barrier just to be safe.
Since bamboo is a type of grass, it does not send very deep roots into the ground. The initial hole you dig for planting should be loosen and mixed with compost to a depth of about 12 inches. Running bamboo can be planted 15 feet apart because they may double in size and area within a year or two. Clumping bamboo only grows out about an inch in diameter each year, so these can be planted as closely as five to 10 feet apart depending upon how quickly you want your hedge established.
Once bamboo is established, some varieties are drought tolerant. For the first six months or so, they need extra water to become fully established, according to University of Georgia Extension. Give them 1 gallon of water at least twice each week depending upon how much rainfall you've had, how hot and how windy the weather has been.