The Q&A Archives: Bamboo

Question: My neighbor looks directly into my courtyard and I want to plant bamboo to form a wall, however, I have been told some bamboo is very messy and I have a spa in the courtyard as well. What type of bamboo or other plant would you recommend given my situation. I need something that grows atleast 15 feet tall.

Thanks for your help.


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 a privacy screen.

In terms of mess, some of the leaves will fall, but otherwise, bamboos are not considered messy plants.

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