Do you want to enhance the ambiance in your garden? If so, then choose a bamboo plant. Bamboo plants are beautiful and are a real asset for your garden. In addition, the bamboo leaves sway in the wind, creating a soothing sound. And the good thing about bamboo plants is that they need little maintenance, are winter hardy, and their leaves stay green for a long time.
Running and clumping bamboo
Bamboo can be divided into two groups: running bamboo and clumping bamboo. Every bamboo plant produces shoots – also called rhizomes – underground. In the clumping varieties of Fargesia bamboos, growth remains concentrated to one clump.
The shoots of the running varieties – Phyllostachys bamboos – end up at a greater distance from the original mother plant, above ground. If you are interested in a running variety, it is advisable to keep the bamboo in check. Otherwise, you’ll soon find it growing underneath your paving slabs, in the rest of your garden, and in neighbouring gardens. And you don’t want that to happen at all. Our advice is to cut off any unwanted shoots during the growing season. It is also useful to know that bamboo plants grow more prolifically as temperatures rise. Remember to take this into account as much as possible.
Types of bamboo
We sell many varieties of bamboo, both clumping and running. Below is a list of some of the varieties that we sell.
Fargesia Jiuzhaigou – ‘red bamboo’ is another name given to this Fargesia. The stems change colour from green to yellow-orange in the sun and eventually turn into a beautiful deep red. The plant can grow to as high as 2 to 3 metres.
Fargesia Murieliae Jumbo – with its delicate fresh green leaves, this bamboo is sure to delight you. This Fargesia hedge plant has a calming effect in your garden. The name Jumbo suggests that the bamboo may grow extremely tall but nothing could be further from the truth. It has a maximum height of 3 metres.
Fargesia Murieliae Simba – perhaps the most graceful bamboo variety due to its full, compact, and bushy growth and its bright green stems and hanging leaves. The Simba is the smallest variety and grows to a maximum height of 2 metres.
Fargesia Nitida – the narrow, grey-green leaves of this Fargesia immediately catch your eye. The older this bushy plant gets, the more the stems turn a bluish purple colour. It really is a beauty! The Fargesia Nitida can grow up to 3 metres in height.
Phyllostachys Aurea – with its golden yellow stems, this bamboo makes an attractive feature in your garden. Its golden stems are a wonderful contrast to its yellow-green leaves. This bamboo can grow to around 5 to 6 metres tall.
Phyllostachys Bisettii – this bamboo grows thick blue-green stems that later turn into a grey-green colour. The leaves are small and light green. The plant can grow as high as 5 to 8 metres. It is strong and will do very well in your garden.
Phyllostachys Nigra – it is often said that this is the most beautiful variety of bamboo. This is because of its shiny black stems. This magnificent bamboo has fine delicate leaves attached to long ornamental stems that arch slightly. The black bamboo can grow up to 5 metres in height.
Where does bamboo originate from?
The clumping bamboo plants come from the mountains of China. They have fairly thin stalks and fine leaves. The Phyllostachys – the running variety – originally comes from a large area that extends from the Himalayas to Japan.
Why choose a bamboo plant or complete bamboo hedge?
- Bamboo brings a lovely calm ambiance to your garden.
- The plant alone is stunning to look at.
- It general grows quickly and soon creates an effective privacy screen.
- The plant only requires minimum maintenance.
- If you want to prune it, however, it is very easy to do.
- Most bamboo plants are winter hardy.
- The plant is strong and will last a long time.
When is the best time to plant bamboo?
Most bamboo plants can be planted in the ground once the frost period has ended around the end of February/beginning of March. The planting period runs until late in the autumn. If you cannot plant it until the last month of autumn, it is important to protect the plant roots with a layer of straw or leaves. It is sensible to apply this layer around the roots when there is frost during the first few years anyway.
How should I plant a bamboo hedge?
- Remove weeds from the soil in which you will be planting the bamboo.
- Dig a wide, deep trench. Tip: stretch a piece of string between two sticks before digging to ensure that the hedge will be straight.
- Loosen the soil in the trench with a shovel.
- Mix the loose soil in the trench with garden compost.
- Place the bamboo in the pots next to the trench exactly where you want them. Once you are satisfied with the spacing, remove the pots and submerge the root balls of the bamboo plants in water and then place them in the trench.
- Make sure that the top of the root ball is level with the ground.
- Fill the trench with soil and pack it down firmly.
- Water the bamboo abundantly for the initial period and repeat regularly, especially if there is not much rainfall. This will ensure that the roots take hold in the soil. It is important that the roots do not dry out.
- PLEASE NOTE: If you have planted a running variety of bamboo, you should also install a root barrier at the same time. To do so, dig a trench and place the root barrier vertically in the ground. It should extend 5 cm above ground and 55 cm below ground level. This barrier will help to keep the Phyllostachys in check.
Make sure that you soak the soil in one go when giving the plant water as this is better than wetting it a little every day.
The non-invasive bamboo plant grows quite broadly and is therefore only suitable for creating wide hedges. Do not buy this type if you want a low or narrow hedge. It would be better to buy a different type of hedge plant instead.
The bamboo varieties that we sell can be planted in any type of soil. In principle, they should do well anywhere. Do bear in mind, though, that the plant is sensitive to wind so you cannot place it just anywhere. The best place is somewhere protected from north and east winds.
The bamboo hedge likes to be planted in well-drained, humus-rich soil. It does not like soil that is too dry but it should not be too wet either. Remember to take this into account. If you check this regularly, you can adjust the level of humidity.
- The bamboo likes to stand in full sun or in partial shade.
- Set out one plant per linear metre or three plants per two linear metres. If you want a dense hedge quickly, then plant two bamboo plants per linear metre.
Advice & Care
- It is best to prune a clumping bamboo in May or June and a running variety in August or September.
- Bamboos that have been planted in humus-rich soil will thrive the best. If there is no humus in the soil, prepare the soil with garden compost before planting. You can fertilize the plant with organic fertilizers.
- Give the plant plenty of water. This is particularly important for young bamboo plants. It is best to submerge the root ball in water before placing it in the ground. If there is little to no rainfall in the period after planting, you should water the plants regularly.
Common problems with bamboo
The bamboo plant has the advantage that it is a strong plant. Thanks to its healthy condition, it has little to no trouble with fungal diseases, other diseases, or pests.
Advantages and disadvantages of bamboo
- You do not have to prune the plant.
- However, it is easy to prune it if you want to.
- It is not fussy about the type of soil it stands in.
- The bamboo prefers standing in the sun or in partial shade.
- The plant hardly ever suffers from disease or infestations.
- The bamboo is very strong and will therefore last a lifetime.
- The Fargesia varieties do not grow rampantly.
- You need to protect the bamboo from north and east winds.
- It hates having wet feet. Make sure that you do not give it too much water.
- Bamboo is not suitable for low or narrow hedges because of its size and its rapid growth.
- The Phyllostachys varieties grow prolifically. You will need to protect the rest of the garden, your patio, and neighbouring gardens by installing a root barrier.
As mentioned, the bamboo is a fantastic plant. It goes well with other plants, shrubs, and flowers. Bamboo plants exude a sense of calm. They are ideal if you want to relax in your garden. If you don’t want any fuss, it might be sensible to choose a Fargesia, a non-invasive clumping type of bamboo. If you would prefer a running variety of bamboo and don’t mind having to take extra precautions, then the Phyllostachys is a very attraction option. It’s up to you. Once you have made up your mind, you can order your bamboo plants today. If you still have any doubts or questions, please do not hesitate to ask us. We can speak to you in your own language.