Width Of Mexican Weeping Bamboo - Knowledgebase Question

Santa Monica, CA
Avatar for emhoffs
Question by emhoffs
October 21, 2002
A renowned plant expert recently told me that my Otatea (Mexican weeping bamboo) would become a 20 foot clump in 10 years, that it would be woody and difficult to remove - in other words, an invasive nightmare. Is this true?

Answer from NGA
October 21, 2002
Otatea acuminata aztecorum (Mexican Weeping Bamboo) reaches about 20' in height in its native habitat but will only reach 12'-15' in your southern California garden. It is a clumping rather than a running bamboo. As such, the clump will continue to expand as the plant matures. The root system will be concentrated in the top 12" of soil. Otatea does not have a reputation for being an invasive nightmare, but if you're concerned about keeping the plant under control, I'd suggest planting in a large container and burying the container in the ground. This way you can unpot and divide the plant, and keep the clump small.

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