The Q&A Archives: Bamboo Planted In A Flower Box?

Question: I have an ugly 6 ft wall at the side of the house with a very narrow alleyway. I would like to plant Bamboo along the wall but it would have to be in flower boxes (they could not be more than 2ft wide - but can be 8ft to 10 ft long) The area gets some sun and shade during the day. Will the Bamboo grow in a narrow box? will it be controlable? Would I have to bu 6 - 8 ft plants? What type should I buy?

Answer: Most bamboos have extensive root systems that would soon outgrow a modest container. There are a few clumping varieties that you can use in planter boxes. Length and width isn't so much an issue as is soil depth. The following bamboos would be especially happy in very deep (24"-30") soil within the planters you describe. Bamboo 'Alphonse Karr' grows 8'-10' at maturity, 'Golden Goddess' grows 6'-8' tall, Phyllostachys aurea (Golden Bamboo) is a running type bamboo, but grow 6'-10' tall and is well adapted to containers. P. nigra, or Black Bamboo, is especially attractive and well behaved, growing about 8' in height. Bamboo grows rapidly once established, so start out with small plants and you'll soon have the coverage you want.

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