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Can I plant any bamboo about 1 foot away from ny side wall?

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Question from Anita Sunder Rajan

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My husband is very keen to plant bamboos a foot away from our patio. He has already prepared a 4'x1' pit for this. I am not convinced bamboo is the right choice to plant so near the house but he is convinced bamboo can be contained if it is a clump forming one and we have the right barriers.

Please help!!!

Thank you

Anita

  • Views: 1070
  • Replies: 8
  • Posted: Wed. 8th August 2012 14:04

Re: Can I plant any bamboo about 1 foot away from ny side wall?

Reply from Judi Samuels Garden Design

Hi Anita, I think you are right to be caution, the Bamboo is a naturally spreading plant, putting on new growth shoots underneath the ground until it can find a space to come up through the soil. This can occur some feet away from its initial planting position. You could containerise its roots underground by using a felt grow bag, similar to the type used for containing figs in the ground. Otherwise, try Fargesia murielae 'Harewood' (slower growing and less spread) as an alternative, still in the Bamboo family, but slower growing. Let me know what you decide.. Best wishes, Judi.. :-)

  • Posted: Thu. 9th August 2012 06:33

Re: Re: Can I plant any bamboo about 1 foot away from ny side wall?

Reply from Anita Sunder Rajan

Thanks Judi. I will check out Fargesia murielae but will try convince my partener to consider ornamental grass instead.

  • Posted: Thu. 9th August 2012 08:18

Re: Can I plant any bamboo about 1 foot away from ny side wall?

Reply from Sue Arnold

Don't do it! We live in a 16th century cottage where the previous owner had planted bamboo about 4 ft away from the front wall. The roots spread under the paving and into the house wall. Bamboo sprouted from between the flints of the cottage wall about 15 inches above the ground. We had to rebuild a section of wall to get it out. And this was after we thought we had got rid of it, having dug it out, sifted the soil for any root fragments, put a membrane down and gravel on top in an attempt to kill it. Eventually we dug down 3ft and took away all the soil, used heavy duty weed- killer twice on the sub soil, and after a year put in fresh soil. Touch wood we haven't seen it since.

  • Posted: Thu. 9th August 2012 07:43

Re: Re: Can I plant any bamboo about 1 foot away from ny side wall?

Reply from Anita Sunder Rajan

Thanks Sue. I will show your post to my partner and try convince him to plant ornamental grass instead.

  • Posted: Thu. 9th August 2012 08:20

Re: Can I plant any bamboo about 1 foot away from ny side wall?

Reply from twets

Hi there
I have about 40 species of bamboo and manage them carefully. If you wish to plant bamboo that is a running (leptomorph type such as phyllostachys) then you MUST plant a rhizome barrier that is at least 60cm deep, sticks out of the ground at least 5cm and is at least 0.6cm thick. Bamboo roots are pretty lazy and if they have to dig deep, they cant be bothered and try to "leap" over, hence the need for your rhizome barrier sticking out so you can see the runners. Also, you need to shepherd your bamboo, ie, in spring and autumn you need to check for any bamboo that is running and cut it out immediately to discourage the directions it can grow in.
Clump forming bamboos (such as fargesia), don't necessarily need rhizome barriers, but you need to keep an eye on them over time as they clump outwards. So you must cull the inside older shoots over time to allow the plant to regenerate from the inside.
Sue's comment is absolutely valid for any running bamboo that has not been contained and, sadly, many people just plant and leave rather than shepherd their bamboo herd. However, as long as you are aware that bamboo does require annual maintenance and supervision you should enjoy it worry free.
PS I also have tons of ornamental grasses, and although they are beautiful, I have to confess to being a bamboo-freak!

  • Posted: Sun. 12th August 2012 15:14

Re: Re: Can I plant any bamboo about 1 foot away from ny side wall?

Reply from Anita Sunder Rajan

Thank you Twets. Do you have any recommendation you can make. I think I'd like to plant a clump forming bamboo... Would a stainless steel barrier of the dimensions you mention make it safe to plant close to the house? Grateful for any advise you can give....

  • Posted: Mon. 24th September 2012 22:09

Re: Re: Re: Can I plant any bamboo about 1 foot away from ny side wall?

Reply from twets

Hi there Anita
I think if you research many of the fargesias you will find one that suits your needs (some are a little sensitive to wind and others don't like direct sun on them all day long) but there are a number on this site that could work (or the RHS site also has recommendations). It also depends where you live; the colder the climate the slower the growth... etc etc.
I wouldn't waste money on a stainless steel barrier but instead by the usual black plastic (min 6mm width min 60cm depth) in the ground. And, in fairness, fargesia don't require the rhizome barrier: their shoots are not so strong as leptomorphs and they tend to stay in one place. Hope this helps.
Antoinette

  • Posted: Wed. 26th September 2012 11:17

Re: Re: Re: Re: Can I plant any bamboo about 1 foot away from ny side wall?

Reply from Anita Sunder Rajan

Thank you Antoinette. I will check it out.

  • Posted: Wed. 26th September 2012 11:46