How to Landscape with Bamboo Plants

Overview

Bamboo plants are a favorite of landscapers for their rapid growth and elegant look. They are easily shaped into hedges and can grow into lush groves in a short period of time. But, this rapid growth can be invasive if not kept under control. The first thing to consider when landscaping with bamboo plants is what type of bamboo to use. Running bamboo puts out vast underground networks of roots and is the hardest to control. Clumping bamboo is more manageable and grows at a slow pace of 2 to 3 inches per year.

Step 1

Plant bamboo along driveways and sidewalks to create a sense of privacy and an effective sound barrier. Try growing Pleioblastus Chino and Rufa bamboo which reach 10 to 12 feet in height and grow thick foliage.

Step 2

Line the banks of ponds and rivers with varieties of running bamboo such as Allgold or Tiger bamboo. Bamboo will stay confined to the banks as it will not grow in standing water. This is an effective way to enjoy the luscious growth of running bamboo without its invasive tendencies.

Step 3

Use bamboo as ground cover or lawn turf. Dwarf Fernleaf and Pygmy bamboo grow well when kept very short and can be mowed like normal grass. These plants give your lawn a unique, airy look while staying green throughout most of the year.

Step 4

Pot bamboo in large 50 gallon containers and place on a porch or patio. This will contain any variety of bamboo while still creating a peaceful outdoor landscape.

Tips and Warnings

  • Always consider the water and light requirements for each type of bamboo before planting to ensure optimal growth.

References

  • Bamboo Garden: Usage
  • Burt Associates: Growing Bamboo
Keywords: landscape with bamboo, bamboo plants, grow bamboo

About this Author

Kelsey Erin Shipman has worked as a travel writer, poet, journalist and award-winning photographer since 2004. She is a featured poet on NYC public radio, is the winner of the San Jacinto & Alethean Literary Societies' Poetry Award, and has authored three collections of poetry including "cold days," "bastante" and "short poems." She earned a B.A. in philosophy from Southwestern University.