How do I grow bamboo?

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I'd heard that it grows like crazy - tall and wide!! I have an area between a fence and the creek I'd like to put it and really just let it go nuts...has anyone grown it? Tips? Where to buy for cheap?

  6 answers
  • Gloria Gall Rooney Gloria Gall Rooney on Apr 05, 2019

    You better love bamboo! The northern hardy bamboo is usually a "runner" type, unlike most tropicals which are "clumpers". And run it will. It will fill in and escape to your neighbors. Do you ever want to see your creek again? Even the "dwarf" kinds get quite tall and the regular can get very tall. Forget about walking through it once it takes off. It can be controlled, but it takes some work.


    Still want it? Check with local nurseries and talk to them. They might be able to get it if they don't have it on hand. Plus they will know the best variety for your area. Ebay is another good place or find someone growing it and get a cuttings. Each cane will sprout at each section. Just make sure you get one that will grow in your area. Check the USDA chart to see what zone you are in.


    When I lived in Florida, I had many different kinds even black ones. I live in North Georgia now and have seen several stands of runner types very dense where only a mouse could get through. It's beautiful but unruly. Good Luck


  • Dee Dee on Apr 05, 2019

    Bamboo is extremely invasive. Bamboo should be spaced 3 to 5 feet apart to form a dense screen. The faster spreading types can be planted farther apart, if you are willing to wait a little longer for the screen to fill out. OR, if you want an immediate screen, some types can be planted very close together as long as they have some space to spread in width. Consult with us about details. We are here to make sure you have all your questions answered and can make an educated decision. Most bamboo will not suffer from being planted nearly back to back, but their growth rate may be slowed. If you wish to make a full size bamboo groove with less emphasis on dense screening, planting at wider intervals is recommended (5- 10 feet apart, or even 20 feet in some cases) Starting from a small size, most bamboo will reach mature height within five or six years. As a very general rule, Clumping bamboo gain about 1-2 feet of height per year and the Running types gain about 3-5 feet per year, and spread outward at the same rate. Height and spread rate is variable depending on the species and climate.

  • Fiddledd224 Fiddledd224 on Apr 05, 2019

    Plant them into the ground in gardening pots (and leave them there) so the roots don't spread. You should do this with any plant whose root system becomes invasive.

  • Oliva Oliva on Apr 06, 2019

    Check with your local code office before planting bamboo. Many areas now prohibit planting any invasive plant.

    Other areas are now dictating how far from street line water and sewer systems any shrub or tree may be installed.

    Better to check now than be fined, later.

  • Bob in Florida. Bob in Florida. on Apr 06, 2019

    It grows like wildfire. Everyone I know that planted it regrets it and eventually kills it with Roundup. Look up Jerusalem artichokes. They turn into 6' tall sunflower bushes 6' wide.. They don't take over like bamboo. Beautiful. Underground tubers are tasty, healthy and abundant. Leave in the ground if ya want. One season turns one pound into 20! Use like potatoes or raw in salad, low glycemic number and ok for diabetics.

  • Think twice! It will take over quickly and very hard to get rid of and contain. Spreads by runners underground. You will rue the day you planted it. BUT there are "clumping" bamboo varieties such as Heavenly Bamboo. Those are fun for year round color. Has berries in winter for the birds. Do your research and my vote is to use a clumping variety that will grow in your zone.