Small Garden? You Can Do Bamboo

Bamboo is remarkable. There are several other plants which provide this kind of elegant screen for unsightly views while requiring very little horizontal area to flourish. The plethora of varieties, sizes, colors and growth habits ensures that there’s a bamboo which could work in just about any garden.

But, bamboo has a bad reputation in small spaces. Many home gardeners feel nervous about its ability to grow at an alarming rate. But bamboo could be safely incorporated into house gardens — much smaller spaces — if you learn the right techniques, understand that the growth pattern of the plant and choose a variety that fulfills your site requirements. Bamboo is technically a sterile grass; it seldom flowers, and it expands by sending out underground stems called rhizomes. The extent to which pine plants produce rhizomes and their distance from the main plant is the main distinction between the two types of pine: clumping and running.

With just a little forethought, bamboo may be among the lowest-maintenance, hardest-working plants in your plot. Below are some considerations and suggestions to remember when you’re planning for bamboo in your garden.

Clumping bamboo. Clumping bamboo is a non invasive grower with clumps of compact, nonspreading culms (stalks). It is ideal for smaller spaces due to its manageable mature size (most types workout at 8 to 16 feet in temperate climates) and compact growth habit. These plants tend to have slimmer culms and take on the appearance of a bamboo market. Clumping bamboo does not require containment and thrives in a wide variety of scenarios in a little backyard.

Tip: Fargesia bamboo is among the best clumping bamboo species to your little lawn and fares well in an assortment of light conditions. My favorite collection is that the low-maintenance Fargesia robusta, which grows to a maximum height of 14 feet at a temperate climate. It’s also the bamboo variety preferred by panda bears — but sadly, this is not taken advantage of in which I reside!

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Running bamboo. Running bamboohas atendency to distribute aggressively, therefore it takes more planning and oversight to integrate it into a little garden space. But that does not mean it needs to be taken out of the equation. Running bamboo’s thicker and more well-spaced culms provide more flexibility from the landscape. Negative branches may be removed to show that the often-colorful culms and permit for views via a bank of bamboo to a surrounding garden. Removing branches also proves effective when running bamboo is planted against a wall, in which the shadows of the stripped culms add drama and year-round interest.

Tip: Of the many alternatives available for running bamboo, my favorites for small households are Phyllostachys nigra (black pine) and Phyllostachys aurea (golden bamboo) because of the slow growth rate and stunning culm coloring. Golden bamboo works well against a dark backdrop, and black bamboo offers great contrast to lighter plantings from the garden.

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Growing bamboo at a container. Containing root expansion is a big concern with running bamboo plantings. Some running bamboo could flourish in a container. Because the plant is above ground and frequently surrounded by hardscape, all of the expansion is concentrated within the contained space. You’ll need to make sure that the container is well irrigated, though, or your bamboo’s leaves will go brown.

Tip: Bamboo does not succeed in drought scenarios, therefore automated irrigation methods are a great way to make sure regular watering.

Inground bamboo. Running bamboo may also be grown inground but will demand a root barrier to prevent expansion into the surrounding garden bed. Bamboo barrier (frequently referred to as rhizome barrier) is thick vinyl sheeting which sinks three or more feet into the floor surrounding the pine plants, with a couple of inches protruding above floor level. Rhizomes are redirected into the bamboo area, and also the surrounding garden is shielded from bamboo expansion. River rock placed around the base of the plants is an effective way to hide the bamboo barrier and complements the architectural culms.

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Vertical space. Running bamboo is taller than bamboo, so you ought to take into account the amount of vertical space available. The plant’s height could be controlled by cutting out culms which get overly tall at the base of the plant, leaving the surrounding briefer culms to fill the space.

Tip: Never “top” pine plants, as they’ll create unsightly pom-pom-like masses of leaves at the cut point, along with the graceful, natural type of the plant is going to be endangered.

Since bamboo is indeed flexible, taller specimens frequently lean beneath the weight of the top branches. This may lead to a problem in tight spaces. It’s possible to manage bending bamboo with a ladder system manufactured from bamboo vertical supports attached to flat rungs.

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