The Q&A Archives: Bamboo/ Ebony

Question: I just bought some Ebony Bamboo. How do I control the spread to where I don't want them to grow? Are they supposed to be black when they are a young plant?

Answer: Black bamboo is a running bamboo so you'll want to contain the roots to keep it from overtaking your yard. You can do this by lining the planting hole with concrete or galvanized metal. I've used the rippled sheets that are manufactured for patio roofing and they work quite well. Just dig a trench and set them on their sides at the edge of the planting bed. Or, you can pour a subterrainian concrete retaining wall that is at least 24" deep to keep the bamboo contained.

At about 10 months, the culms of black bamboo will turn black. Before then, they look yellow, mottled with black.

Best wishes with your new bamboo!

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