The Q&A Archives: Bamboo

Question: I am going to be purchasing bamboo to go along my backyard fence to give us some privacy. I'm hoping the bamboo will eventually grow about as high as a two story house. I was planning on getting "Alphonse Karr" but my gardener is recommending I get "Golden Goddess". He is telling me that Golden Godess will grow more quickly and will grow taller than Alphonse Karr. The bit of information I have found tells me the opposite, that Alphonse Karr grows taller and faster. What would you recommend?

Also, this is going across a fence about 60 feet long, how many containers should I get and what size. How should the bamboo be planted?

Thank You,

Answer: 'Golden Goddess' is a clumping type bamboo, reaching 6'-10' in height, with 1/2" diameter stems. It has a graceful, arching, dense growth habit. 'Alphonse Karr' can reach 15'-35', with yellow striped green canes. Bamboo is a relatively fast-growing plant, especially when given lots of water and fed regularly with a high nitrogen lawn fertilizer. So if it's height you want, I'd go with 'Alphonse Karr'. How closely you space the plants will determine how quickly your screening hedge will fill in. If you plant 1-gallon containers 4'-5' apart, your bamboo will grow together in a dense mass in 2-3 years. Clumping bamboos can be planted without concern about the roots taking off and invading gardens. Running bamboos should have barriers placed to keep the roots from growing out of control.

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