The Q&A Archives: Bamboo Types

Question: I am looking for a variety of bamboo to use as a screen in front of my house. I love black bamboo, but understand that it is not a clumping type of bamboo, and have concerns about spread. I have an acquaintance who has had it for 3-4 years and he says that there is minimal problem with spread--but I wonder if that is something that happens later in the life cycle of the plant, perhaps?

I would appreciate very much pros/cons of black bamboo, and suggestions for clumping type of bamboos that would lend themselves to a very vertical 10+ foot high screen effect.

Thank you very much!

Answer: Bamboo is just grass, but it varies in height from dwarf, one foot plants to giant timber bamboos that can grow to over 100 feet. It grows in a lot of different climates, from jungles to high on mountainsides. Bamboos are further classified by the types of roots they have. Some, called runners, spread exuberantly, and others are classified as clumpers, which slowly expands from the original planting. There are also varieties of root systems that are a mixture of these types. Generally, the tropical bamboos tend to be clumpers and the temperate bamboos tend to be runners.
Black Bamboo is Phyllostachys nigra. The famous jet-black canes develop when the plant is quite young. Cultivation is as for other bamboos, but for best color, grow in full sun. It attains a height of about 15 feet in good conditions of moist soil, and lots of food. Non-invasive, it makes a great specimen plant, or grow in an Oriental-style pot for a wonderful effect. For your purpose, black bamboo would be attractive, indeed!

« Click to go to the homepage

» Ask a question of your own

Q&A Library Searching Tips

  • When singular and plural spellings differ, as in peony and peonies, try both.
  • Search terms are not case sensitive.

Today's site banner is by plantmanager and is called "Captivating Caladiums"