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How to Plant Bamboo for Privacy

By Joyce Starr ; Updated September 21, 2017

If you're looking for a lush, tropical plant that gives the feeling of the jungle, use bamboo as your screening plant. Bamboo makes a great privacy screen and it grows quite fast. Regardless of the variety planted, it will quickly fill in and within no time, you will have a full hedge. Bamboo is quite hardy and tolerant to a wide range of soils and weather conditions. Planting bamboo is not difficult, but gardeners will need to consider its growth habits.

Choose the type of bamboo that is right for your privacy screen. The two varieties are clumping and running, with running growing much faster. Clumping types will spread only inches each year and become fuller, while running types can spread several feet annually.

Select an area to plant the bamboo screen that is in the full sun or partial sun. Bamboo requires sunlight to grow appropriately. Make sure the area receives at least four hours of sunlight each day.

Consider the bamboo species and its spreading habit before planting. When choosing a planting site, take into account that its rhizomes can spread quite rapidly and can be invasive. You may have to install an underground barrier to prevent the bamboo from spreading into unwanted areas, such as the neighbor’s yard.

Weed the planting area to free it from unwanted vegetation. Plant bamboo in areas where there is not competition from other plants.

Amend the first foot of soil with manure or compost. Do not amend any deeper if you're using a barrier. You do not want the roots growing deeper than the barrier.

Dig a hole twice as big as the bamboo’s root ball. Plant the bamboo no deeper than it was in the container. Cover the hole with soil. Place bamboo plants eight to 10 feet apart.

Select how far you want the bamboo to spread and place your barrier there. A barrier will not be required if the bamboo is planted in an area where its growth will not be bothersome.

Dig a trench 3 feet deep. Place a sheet of plastic or wood into the trench and pack the soil firmly around it. When the roots hit the barrier, they will turn and grow in the opposite direction.

Water the newly planted bamboo two to three times per week until established. Keep the soil moist. Once mature, bamboo can tolerate periodic dry or flooded conditions.

Fertilize the bamboo three times a year with a 10-10-10 fertilizer. Apply in the early spring, summer and fall.

 

Things You Will Need

  • Bamboo plants
  • Shovel
  • Compost or manure
  • Wood or plastic sheeting (optional)
  • Fertilizer

Tips

  • Bamboo is quite hardy and is rarely bothered by pests.
  • Some varieties' leaves may turn yellow in winter.

About the Author

 

For over 25 years, Joyce Starr has owned businesses dealing with landscape & design, lawn maintenance, specialty herbs and a garden center. She holds certificates in landscape design and xeriscaping. Starr shares her passion for nature in her writing, publishing articles on horticulture, outdoor recreation, travel as well as business.