How to Grow Bamboo for Privacy Fence

Overview

Bamboo can make a beautiful privacy fence that will not interfere with the movement of pets or wildlife. There are many different kinds of bamboo. The best one for your purposes will depend on your climate, available sunlight and the desired height of the fence. You can create a beautiful privacy fence by mixing bamboo heights. Grow taller bamboo in the back and shorter, denser bamboo in the front and between the taller bamboo. Some varieties of taller bamboo are more resistant to sun damage and can provide good shade for the smaller, more delicate plants.

Step 1

Select a type of bamboo that both will winter over in your climate and is a suitable height for your privacy fence. Bamboo suitable for privacy fences can range from 10 feet high to 75 feet high, depending on your needs. Many varieties of bamboo are cold hardy, down to -15 degrees Fahrenheit.

Step 2

Plan your bamboo planting. To make a good privacy fence, you should create a planting at least three feet wide. For some varieties, you may need to create a four foot wide planting. Check with your bamboo nursery for the requirements for the bamboo types you are considering.

Step 3

Select an area that is protected from direct afternoon sun. Bamboo grows as a grass under a larger canopy in nature and can be susceptible to burning in the hot afternoon sum.

Step 4

Dig your trenches. Many varieties of bamboo propagate via runners and can become invasive. Dig your trenches at least three feet deep to allow for a plastic barrier.

Step 5

Line your trench with a minimum of 40 mil plastic sheeting. This should prevent the rhizomes from escaping and invading other areas of your yard or land.

Step 6

Pack several inches soil very tightly over the lining. Hard soil will discourage the rhizomes from growing toward the barrier and potentially penetrating the barrier.

Step 7

Add at least 1 foot hard-packed soil to the bottom of your trench. This layer of hard-packed soil will discourage the rhizomes from growing down through the bottom of the barrier.

Step 8

Fill your three foot trench until they are around 8 inches deep. Adjust this planting depth to suit the variety of bamboo you are planting.

Step 9

Lay your rhizomes in the trench spaced as recommended for your variety. If you are unsure, check with a nursery.

Step 10

Cover the rhizomes with soil and add 2 inches of mulch. Do not pack this soil too much. If your soil is very heavy, break up clumps. Keep your bamboos mulched. Bamboo looses leaves over time. Leave those leaves on the ground as mulch. Over time, they will return some of the nutrients that the planting leaches out of the soil.

Tips and Warnings

  • Make sure your varieties of bamboo are suitable for your climate.

Things You'll Need

  • Shovel
  • 40 mil plastic sheeting
  • Bamboo rhizomes
  • Mulch

References

  • American Bamboo Society: Planting and Caring for Bamboo
  • Street Directory: Planting Bamboo the Right Way
  • Bamboonursery.com: Maintenance tips for growing happy, healthy bamboo

Who Can Help

  • JMBamboo.com: Bamboo for Fences and Privacy Screens
  • Lewis Bamboo: Bamboo Basics
Keywords: bamboo planting, bamboo privacy fence, bambo screen

About this Author

Christopher Earle is a freelance writer based in Denver, Colo. He has been writing since 1987 and has written for NPR, The Associated Press, the Boeing Company, Ford New Holland, Microsoft, Active Voice, RAHCO International and Umax Data Systems. He studied creative writing at Mankato State University in Minnesota.