Bamboo trees are categorized as clumping or running. Clumping bamboo varieties are slow spreaders and maintain a root mass that gradually expands within a small area around the tree. Running bamboos are just the opposite and are quick spreaders that spread their roots underground for several meters. Some runners have a tendency to spread within a small area, depending upon the soil conditions. Whatever type of bamboo tree you plant, these hardy growers are ideal for makeshift fences and privacy barriers around the landscape.
Nuda Bamboo is one of the hardiest bamboo tree varieties. This fast-growing bamboo has showy, evergreen foliage. Nuda bamboo grows 10 to 15 feet tall and is a running bamboo variety. The new foliage on the nuda bamboo tree is a greenish-purple color that eventually turns a bright green to match the rest of the plant. Nuda bamboo is drought resistant and very hardy. Ideal along a border or used as a makeshift screen, nuda bamboo requires rich, moist and well-drained soil. It also requires full sun to partial shade. The USDA hardiness zones for planting are 5 to 11.
Golden bamboo is a fast-growing bamboo variety that is an invasive and aggressive grower. The leaves on the golden bamboo are variegated with green and gold stripes that are irregular in pattern. Golden bamboo is also a running bamboo, making it ideal as a hedgerow or planted along the back of a garden bed for a bright backdrop to the landscape. This tough bamboo variety grows 3 to 6 feet tall and wide and might need to be controlled by barriers underground to prevent it from becoming invasive. Golden bamboo requires full sun to partial shade and well-drained, fertile soil that is moist and full of nutrients. The USDA hardiness zones are 7 to 11.
Fountain bamboo is a clump-forming bamboo variety with an upright shape. Fountain bamboo is ideal for screening a backyard space. It can also be grown in containers with adequate moisture to nestle along a backyard patio or deck. Fountain bamboo has stems that are purplish-olive with dark green leaves. This slow-growing bamboo grows 10 to 15 feet tall and wide. Fountain bamboo prefers partial shade with some afternoon sun. This low-maintenance bamboo is deer tolerant and requires a medium amount of moisture to thrive. The USDA hardiness zones are 5 to 9.