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Bamboo identification and how to restrict please? ( and a fig question)

Hi all ,
I'm new to the forum ( and indeed gardening). For seven years I've lived in a London terrace with a courtyard at the back , edged with a border. This was originally I believe planted as a zen garden , with bamboo in one corner. For a long time , the bamboo behaved more or less clump-ish , but over the last couple of years seems to have sent out runners. I would like help in identifying it ( i suspect may be golden bamboo but keen to hear more informed thoughts, some canes ( the more dead looking ones tbh are golden , the younger / more alive ones look green) and whether I can eradicate by ( repeated possibly ) digging up and painting stumps with some SBK stump killer. ( Dont want to use foliar spray if poss as want to avoid killing a much loved camellia on the other side ( where sadly a few shoots of bamboo are now coming up).
Separately , for the first time I seem to have small figs on my ( ginormous) ornamental fig ( which is untrained, also planted prior to me ). We normally cut back the ( now leafless) branches in late winter, but should I leave it unpruned if there are fruits on it? 

Thank you very much 

Kindness is always the right choice.


  • AnniDAnniD Posts: 12,456
    Hello and welcome to the forum  :)
    Regarding the bamboo,  l think even the clumping types end up making bid for freedom eventually.  You can try digging out as much as possible and installing root barriers to restrain the roots.  A bit more information here
    Can't advise re the figs though, sorry. 
  • Thanks very much AnniD -- i read in some other gardening magazine (hush!) that now was the wrong time of year to try and eradicate ( by painting on weedkiller) as the bamboo would be dormant. can I assume if it has green leaves still it is very much not dormant? And am i right in thinking its golden bamboo? All help appreciated !!
    Kindness is always the right choice.
  • If you really want to get rid of it go for it. Start painting, using glyphosate, as many of the leaves as you can. It will take about 3 weeks before you see any die back but just keep painting, every 3 weeks, especially the didddy little shoots popping up amongst your other plants. 
    It does not look like a golden stemmed variety to me. It may have have been chosen for being a clump forming form. The golden stemmed ones definitely have very yellow stems although it is possible to find a wide range of depth of colour within a single variety, as in the black stemmed variety where you have to hunt down a really good colour break or you end up with a bamboo with a poor colour which will never improve.
  • AnniDAnniD Posts: 12,456
    To be honest, l am no bamboo expert so l can't confirm which one it is. I would guess that as the leaves are still green it isn't dormant yet. There is colder weather forecast for the UK over the next few days, but if it's in a very sheltered town garden it might not go dormant at all.
    Sorry l can't be of more help, hopefully there's someone on here who knows more about bamboos (and figs !).
  • Again , thank you very much for your guidance. I quite like the look of it ( or did before it started escaping its ~ 2 foot by 4 foot "clump" -- think i'll try having a stab over the next week in trying to get rid of it , perhaps starting with the canes away from the main clump. It's damp-ish heavy soil ( and is partially shaded vs in full sun)  but it's in a sufficiently urban environement that we shouldn't get frozen ground unless its a pretty hard winter. One "blessing" of covid has been is that I've become more aware of small changes in my garden -- managed to grow some dianthus and snapdragons in the front ( sunnier) in pots and still have a few flowers left on the snapdragons!
    Kindness is always the right choice.
  • On the fig, it depends how large the fig fruit are. If they are the size of a pea, they'll turn into figs next year. Anything larger won't mature so you should cut them off. 
  • Thank you strelitzia32 -- they are approx 1/4 size figs ( kind of extra large manzanilla olive size but fig shaped) so I will prune. Pretty weirdly , my olive and my fig tree both seemed to have (admittedly only a very few) fruit for the first time this year -- I'm hoping this is because of my TLC or the freak heatwave rather than some terminal disease causing them to have  a last ditch reproduction attempt!
    Kindness is always the right choice.
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 54,789
    I wouldn't waste my time with glyphosate on the bamboo. It won't touch it, and you'll spend a fortune, not to mention a huge amount of time trying to kill it.

    Stump/brushwood  killer is what you need.
    This stuff :

    Lots of places sell it
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • KiliKili Posts: 1,102
    I've had a 20 foot run of Golden Bamboo ( PHYLLOSTACHYS) in for 7 years and no hint of this clumping bamboo making a run for it yet. The most i've seen is a 1 foot spread at the end of the run and that took over 7 years to get there. I cut that off and its just back to the clump it was.

    Its about making sure you actually buy the clumping type. I think many people buy bamboo not realising that it will spread unless you buy a clumping variety.

    'The power of accurate observation .... is commonly called cynicism by those that have not got it.

    George Bernard Shaw'

  • Thank you @Fairygirl -- I have actually just bought that Vitax product you suggested. 
    @Kili -- I am actually not sure what the bamboo variety is, so hoping someone knowledgeable here can help me identify (i thought from internet searching was a phyllostachys of some sort, but not sure-- I also actually thought that phyllostachys were all running kinds but that some were more rampant than others but am very happy for someone to correct me!) I appreciate everyone that has taken the time to help a newbie!
    Kindness is always the right choice.
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