Bamboo is a plant that evokes mixed feelings for many. Perhaps endearing because one immediately thinks of the panda bear whose main source of food is bamboo. But often also repellent, especially when it comes to planting bamboo in the garden.
Bamboo species are quickly associated with extremely proliferating. There are also beautiful non-invasive species that can be planted in the garden, in the open ground, without any problem. Even proliferating species can be planted in the garden, but the necessary precautions must then be taken.
Bamboo Is Known As An Aggressive Grower
For many garden owners, planting bamboo in the ornamental garden is synonymous with asking for trouble. Bring up bamboo and the first reaction is a cry of horror. Bamboo? Planting in the garden? That never! Everyone immediately thinks of the fact that many bamboo species are aggressive growers. Aggressive underground that is.
The enormous and strong vigor of the roots of some bamboo species is indeed frightening. Nothing stops these roots and before you know it, root shoots are sticking out of the ground all over your garden. And if that happens to you, it will of course also happen to your neighbors, because these powerful roots don’t care about a property boundary. So in itself, a defensive reaction is easy to understand.
But what many people don’t know, is that there are also a number of bamboo species that have normal root growth. These species can be planted in the open ground without any problems or additional measures.
Root Limiter Or Rhizome Limiter Against Proliferating Bamboo
If you still want to plant a proliferating bamboo species in the garden, you can artificially stop or limit the growth of the roots. A special root limiter or rhizome limiter is available for this purpose. This product literally does what the name implies. The root barrier is buried around the root ball at a depth of at least 50 centimeters.
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Above ground, the limiter must protrude five centimeters above ground level to prevent high roots from escaping. The ends of the limiter must be overlapped in a special way and then secured with a number of nuts and bolts. This closure also requires the necessary attention, because any hole that remains open will sooner or later be discovered by a root.
Characteristics Of The Bamboo Plant
The stems of a bamboo plant are hollow inside. They are interrupted at regular intervals by so-called nodes. The attachment point of the leaves is located on these spots or nodes. There are small bamboo species, the trunk length of which does not exceed 25 centimeters. But there are also gigantic species, which easily reach a height of 35 meters and have stems with a diameter of 30(!).
Then we are talking about the Dendrocalamus giganteus or giant bamboo. Not really a species for the private garden, that much is clear. What is striking about bamboo is the fact that it thrives well in both cold mountain areas and tropical regions. There are frighteningly fast growers among the bamboo species. The spectacular growth of one meter per day has been measured for the fastest-growing species.
Appearances Of The Bamboo
We always talk about bamboo in the vernacular, as if everything is said with it. But that is absolutely not the case. First of all, “bamboo” has many different species and within these species, there are a number of cultivars. And secondly, these different types cannot simply be compared with each other. Perhaps they are all recognizable as bamboo, but they differ greatly in appearance. There are differences in heights (low, medium to really high) and position of the shoots (upright or fanning out).
Most bamboo species flower once every three years. But there are also bamboo species that rarely flower. These species flower at extremely long intervals, sometimes as long as 150 years. That is already a strange phenomenon, but what is even more special is the fact that they all do this at the same time, spread over a large area.
An area where the bamboo species blooms again after such a long period can sometimes even cover an entire continent. Apparently, it costs the bamboo so much energy to come into flower, that the plants that have finished flowering then die en masse.
Care Of The Bamboo
If you plant a non-proliferating bamboo in the garden, you really don’t have to worry about it afterward. They are easy plants that thrive on any type of soil. And besides, they don’t care where they are. Sun, partial shade, or shade: it’s all good. Bamboo is easy to prune. This makes it also suitable as a hedge plant.
Suitable Bamboo Species For The Private Garden
Fargesia Murieliae ‘Super Jumbo’
This non-invasive bamboo is evergreen and has a beautiful upright growth habit. The final height is about three meters. This makes it also suitable as an (airy) hedge. For a hedge, three plants per linear meter should be counted.
Fargesia Murieliae ‘Simba’
This species is a fairly fast grower, which also remains green in winter. As a result, it could serve as a hedge. But with its maximum height of 175 centimeters, it may be just a little too low for that.
Fargesia Nitida is the most suitable bamboo for the garden. It is a species with a high ornamental value. The stems, which can eventually reach a height of 2.5 to 3.5 meters, are black/purple in color. This dark stem contrasts nicely with the light fresh green leaves.
The leaves are long and narrow, giving the plant an airy and transparent appearance. It lends itself well to being used as a solitary. It also comes into its own in a pot. Fargesia Nitida “Eisenach” has more widely spaced stems and wider leaves. Fargesia Nitida “Nymphenburg” has narrow and small leaves that are close together.
Pleioblastus Viridistriata – Golden Bamboo
This bamboo species owes its name to the striking yellow-striped leaves. Its striking color draws all the attention to itself. The color of the older stems diminishes considerably. To keep fresh leaves, it is, therefore, advisable to cut off the old leaf stems in the spring, so that you can start the new garden season with fresh yellow-green stems. By nature, it is a proliferating species, but in our climate, it grows in clumps that are not too large and reaches a height of about 75 centimeters. But it is advisable to keep a close eye on him!