How to Plant Bamboo as a Border


The most important decision you'll make when planting a bamboo fence is choosing the right variety. The bamboo family has many varieties. You will need a running variety of bamboo that will spread out to fill in the border as it grows. Running types of bamboo are also quite cold hardy and can be planted even in temperate zones. Once you've chosen the best type of running bamboo for the growing conditions in your yard--ideally with the help of a knowledgeable staff member at a nursery--you're ready to plant.

Step 1

Use a shovel to turn and loosen the soil along the border. Loosen the soil to a depth of 1 foot, the length of the intended border and as wide as you want your bamboo border to be, but at 3 inches wider than the containers your bamboo starts are currently in. Spread 1 inch of organic aged compost over the loosened soil border and mix it evenly into the soil with your shovel.

Step 2

Space each bamboo plant 3 to 5 feet apart and plant them as deep as they are planted in their current containers. Plant them that the stalks are growing roughly in the center of the border. Pat the soil around each bamboo plant when you are done planting to firm it.

Step 3

Water each bamboo plant with 1/2 gallon of water, if the container it was in was 5 gallons or less. Give bamboo 1 gallon of water to plants that came in containers larger than 5 gallons. Gently pour the water evenly around each bamboo's planting area. Keep the soil moist while the bamboo plants establish themselves. Check the bamboo's planting area frequently by inserting a finger into the soil. When it begins to dry out, water again with the above amounts.

Step 4

Install a rhizome barrier around the perimeter of the border to keep the running bamboo from spreading where you do not want it to grow. Bury the border so that it slants outward at a 45-degree angle and deep enough so that only 1 inch of the border is above ground.

Step 5

Spread a 2- to 3-inch layer of organic mulch evenly over the planting area inside the rhizome barrier.

Things You'll Need

  • Shovel
  • Aged compost
  • Rhizome barrier
  • Organic mulch


  • Bamboo Garden: Growing and Maintaining Bamboo
  • American Bamboo Society: Running and Clumping Bamboo
  • American Bamboo Society: Introduction

Who Can Help

  • American Bamboo Society: Bamboo Vendors
Keywords: bamboo border, plant bamboo, grow bamboo

About this Author

Emma Gin is a freelance writer who specializes in green, healthy and smart living. She is currently working on developing a weight-loss website that focuses on community and re-education. Gin is also working on a collection of short stories, because she knows what they say about idle hands.