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How to Plant Bamboo As a Fence

By Sharon Sweeny ; Updated September 21, 2017

Bamboo makes a fast-growing screen or fence. Many different varieties of bamboo are hardy and able to survive winter in all but the most severe climates. Because there are so many varieties of bamboo, you can use bamboo to grow a living fence of virtually any height.

Choose two to three different varieties of bamboo to plant as a fence. If one of the varieties dies off for whatever reason, you will still have healthy varieties. Choose bamboo varieties with light requirements that are most prevalent in your chosen site. For example, if the fence site is in partial shade, choose varieties of bamboo that grow well in partial shade. Bamboo can be grown in full sun to partial shade, depending on the variety.

Pound a stake at each end of the fence site and run a string between them to mark the fence line.

Provide a means to stop the underground rhizomes from spreading beyond the fence line. Bury a piece of galvanized aluminum or landscaping cloth vertically about 18 inches on either side of the string you installed in Step 2. The piece of aluminum or landscaping cloth should run from 3- to 4-inches above the surface of the ground to about 24 inches deep to prevent bamboo suckers from spreading beyond the fence line.

Dig planting holes every 2 to 4 feet along the fence line, depending on the varieties of bamboo. Make the holes about 3 feet wide and 3 feet deep. Use a post hole digger to dig down another 2 feet in the center of the 3-foot hole. Fill the deeper center hole with garden compost. Mix compost with the soil removed from the hole and back fill the hole with enough of the soil/compost mix so that the bamboo plants will be planted at the same level that they were previously growing in their nursery pots.

Set bamboo transplants into the planting holes. Back fill with soil, gently firming it with your foot as you go.

Form a ridge around the perimeter of the planting holes with your hands to catch rainwater.

Lay a soaker hose along the fence line and allow it to thoroughly water the newly planted bamboo.

Mulch the fence line with 6 to 10 inches of an organic mulch such as hay, straw, wood chips or shredded bark. This will keep the soil evenly moist and discourage the growth of weeds.


Things You Will Need

  • Wooden stakes
  • String
  • Garden spade
  • Post hole digger
  • Compost
  • Soaker hose
  • Organic mulch


  • Bamboo grown intensively as a screen or fence tends to grow shorter than the optimum height of the variety. Choose varieties with optimum heights 25 to 50 percent taller than the height you desire for your bamboo fence as they will more readily grow to your desired fence height.

About the Author


Sharon Sweeny has a college degree in general studies and worked as an administrative and legal assistant for 20 years before becoming a professional writer in 2008. She specializes in writing about home improvement, self-sufficient lifestyles and gardening.