How To Contain A Bamboo Planting In Your Yard

Bamboo provides the ideal plant for creating privacy screens and living fences. Many homeowners have concerns about bamboo spreading and becoming invasive. Fortunately, those worries are easy to put to rest by planting the right type of bamboo using the proper methods to keep it contained.

Root Type

Bamboo roots form rhizomes, which are thick woody root stems that spread out from the main plant. There are two primary types of rhizomes when it comes to bamboo. The first is running rhizomes, which spread out laterally in all directions while sending up buds from the top of the rhizomes that will grow into new bamboo canes. 

Clumping rhizomes are the second type, and they are much more ideal in locations where unwanted spread of the plants is a concern. Instead of spreading laterally and budding from the top, these rhizomes curve upward and the rhizome tip buds out into new canes. This results in a very slow spread of the plant that is easy to contain to the desired area in the landscaping.

Site Considerations

The qualities of the planting location can also impact how quickly bamboo spread. Bamboo will often continue to thrive even if it receives less sunlight than the ideal or in slightly drier conditions than those recommended. 

For example, bamboo that prefers full sun and very rich, moist soil may spread quickly in these ideal conditions. Plant it in an area with less full sun and slightly less rich soil, and it will grow much slower and be a better-behaved plant. Just make sure the variety you choose can handle the lowest expected temperatures in your area, as the plants don't adapt well to extreme cold. 

Barrier Options

If you're still concerned that the bamboo will spread throughout the yard, then barriers are an option. The simplest barrier is to plant bamboo in pots, which can be set around the yard or even sunk into the yard. The bamboo won't spread beyond the pot.

For those that still prefer direct planting, root barriers can be a good option. Planting between two paved areas, such as between the sidewalk and the road, provides a natural root barrier to prevent the spread of clumping varieties. You can also have root barriers installed vertically in the ground around the bamboo planting to keep the roots contained. 

Contact a bamboo nursery for help finding the perfect variety for the space you have available.