How to Plant Bamboo in a Preformed Pool Liner


Bamboo can make an attractive and useful addition to the household landscape, producing shoots for eating and culms (stems) for garden stakes, decorating, and craft uses. Some varieties of bamboo grow in clumps, while others are "runners," which may swiftly take over your yard, even the entire neighborhood, unless they are planted within a secure rhizome barrier. A preformed pond liner can make an attractive bamboo containment system if properly installed and monitored.

Step 1

Drill eight to 10 1/4-inch holes in the bottom of the preformed pool liner for drainage, using the electric drill and 1/4-inch drill bit, unless the liner already has a drain integral to its design. If the liner has a lower drain area, drill all the holes in that location; otherwise, spread the holes across the middle of the preformed pond liner.

Step 2

Set preformed pool liner in the area desired for planting. Outline it by cutting a line into the underlying soil around it with a flat-bladed shovel. Remove the pool liner and dig out the marked area to a depth equal to the depth of the pool liner.

Step 3

Place a 3-inch-deep layer of sand in the bottom of the hole to protect the pool liner from punctures. Alternatively, place a 2-inch-deep layer of walnut or butternut wood chips on the bottom of the hole to discourage growth by any rhizomes which may escape, and top with a 1-inch layer of sand.

Step 4

Cut a layer of weed cloth to fit the hole using utility shears. Place the weed cloth in the hole.

Step 5

Place the preformed pool liner in the hole on top of the weed cloth. The pool liner should stick up 2 to 3 inches above the level grade of the surrounding ground.

Step 6

Cut another layer of weed cloth the size and shape of the bottom of the pool liner, using utility shears. Lay this piece of weed cloth in the bottom of the pool liner.

Step 7

Mix topsoil dug from the hole (or substitute purchased topsoil if dug soil is not of horticultural quality) with peat moss in about equal volumes. Fill the preformed pool liner with this mixture, over the weed cloth, using the flat-bladed shovel but taking care not to cut the pool liner with the shovel.

Step 8

Water the soil mixture thoroughly and allow it to settle. Add more top soil and peat moss mixture if necessary after settling to bring surface of mixture to 4 inches from the top of the pool liner.

Step 9

Plant bamboo according to nursery or supplier instructions as appropriate the bamboo you have obtained. Make sure that no portion of the bamboo roots remains outside the pool liner. Water the newly planted bamboo.

Step 10

Remove any remaining topsoil from around the pond liner, ensuring that the top edge of the liner remains clear 2 to 3 inches above the level of the soil. Monitor this lip of the pool liner with monthly inspections. Cut away any rhizomes which are growing over the lip of the pool liner with pruners, and replant inside the pool liner or discard--but do not compost.

Things You'll Need

  • Preformed pool liner
  • Bamboo
  • Sand
  • Walnut or butternut wood chips (optional)
  • Landscaping weed cloth
  • Utility shears
  • Electric drill
  • Drill bit, 1/4 inch
  • Top soil
  • Peat moss
  • Flat bladed shovel
  • Water
  • Pruners


  • American Bamboo Society: Controlling Bamboo
  • Arkansas Cooperative Extension: Timber Bamboo
  • Clemson University Extension Service: Bamboo Control

Who Can Help

  • Washington State Extension: Bamboo Research
Keywords: controlling bamboo, rhizome barrier, bamboo barrier

About this Author

Cindy Hill has practiced law since 1987 and maintained a career in freelance writing since 1978. Hill has won numerous fiction and poetry awards and has published widely in the field of law and politics. She is an adjunct instructor of ethics and communications.