Evergreen – Sun / Part Shade
Ht. 2’-30’ Spread unlimited
HABIT: Giant varieties and low growing groundcovers. Most bamboos spread like grasses but clumping forms are available. New sprouts come up once per year in the spring. Native to Asia.
CULTURE: Best in partial shade, any soil, no special needs. Bamboo dies after flowering which usually happens every 50-60 years. It comes back slowly from the secondary rhizome system.
USES: Evergreen background, container plant.
PROBLEMS: Spreads and invades other plants. Some varieties will freeze in winter.
NOTES: Spreading can be stopped by kicking over the shoots just as they emerge in the spring. To control bamboo, cut down or knock over the fast growing shoots in the spring. Then use a sharpshooter or axe to sever the shallowly growing rhizomes. It is not necessary dig the rhizomes out. The plant will die out in the areas treated.
QUESTION: Is there any plant native to Texas that grows fast and provides the privacy that bamboo does? I would be willing to control the spreading of bamboo, but I'm afraid my neighbors would not. N.M., Dallas
ANSWER: Eastern red cedar comes closest to filling your needs. It is evergreen, fairly fast-growing and relatively maintenance-free.
QUESTION: We installed a deck over an area where bamboo had been growing, and now bamboo shoots are coming up through the deck slats. Can we kill the bamboo or transplant it? M.G., Flower Mound
ANSWER: To kill bamboo, the runners must be chopped up. This will be difficult to do with the deck in the way. Removing the top of the deck and digging out the bamboo for transplanting might be the best option if you want to move it. It’s very invasive, so be careful where you plant it.
Question: I'm looking for a tall visual barrier and bamboo always is mentioned and the fear of it taking over the entire planet. Some have said it can be controlled by planting large containers, any other ideas on how bamboo can be used without loosing control? G.S., Dallas
Answer: Deep concrete walls or large pots above ground are the only two for sure methods. There are some clumping forms of bamboo that would also be worth looking into.