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Bamboo in pots


I have some large bamboo plants that were in containers but doing badly as the pots kept falling over, they are Golden Bamboo. I was away and returned to discover my partner had planted them into the ground.

They are meant to be clumping but I am still worried they will spread and want to replant them. 

Are rectangle wooden containers OK for bamboo?

Or is there a cheaper suggestion?

I have about 16 of them, the pots were 35l and the bamboos about 9feet tall.



  • Lizzie27Lizzie27 SomersetPosts: 9,253
    I used an old metal dustbin with drainage holes drilled in the bottom to contain my bamboo. Effective but not terribly attractive. 
  • Colo_hColo_h Posts: 13
    Lizzie27 said:
    I used an old metal dustbin with drainage holes drilled in the bottom to contain my bamboo. Effective but not terribly attractive. 
    Thank you but that wasn't quite the look I was going for 😁
  • SuesynSuesyn South Somerset Posts: 544
    We have Arrow bamboo in a large wooden container made from decking boards. Last year it was trying to escape so we unscrewed one side of the panels and trimmed the roots down before replanting. My experience of bamboo is that its very hard to destroy!

    My son, who lives in Queensland, had golden bamboo planted in his large garden. It is probably 50 ft tall and 25ft round, some of the individual canes measure about 8 inches diameter but it doesn't run, the clump just gets bigger. 
  • bertrand-mabelbertrand-mabel Posts: 1,490
    @Colo_h Bamboos in pots will only get to a certain height nothing like in the ground.
    But they will still try ...and will... send runners out of the pot and then you have it in the garden where you don't want it.
    @Lizzie27 has one idea but then they will still send runners out.
    We grow many different bamboos all in the ground and we have to all the time keep looking for the ones that are taking over and curtail them.
  • PlantmindedPlantminded WirralPosts: 1,018
    If your Golden bamboo is one of the Phyllostachys species, it's not clumping and will eventually run unless well contained in the ground with a root barrier.  If untreated, wooden containers will eventually rot but you can use preservative or paint on the outside and line them with a geotextile membrane, plastic or similar to prolong their longevity.  A raised bed created from oak sleepers (hard wood, no need to use paint or preservative) would be more aesthetically pleasing.  Not a cheap option though!
  • Colo_hColo_h Posts: 13
    Thanks for the replies.

    Some of the ones I purchased are Golden Bamboos and clumping but the others are golden but I'm not sure if they run of not. I didn't realise until very recently there are different types of Golden Bamboo. 

    I have also recently ordered some beautiful black Bamboo, I love it but not enough for it to takeover the street.

    If I leave it in the ground how do I keep it in check? Is that even possible? 

    I'm worried as some are quite close to the house and others are on the border to hide the neighbours ugly raised  decking. 

  • LoxleyLoxley Posts: 4,452
    These might be a solution? They claim to have a copper impregnation that retards large roots, and promotes a fibrous root system. Not sure if Bamboos would be fazed by that or not!
  • LoxleyLoxley Posts: 4,452
    I think extremely large containers, such as galv. water tanks, might be the safest solution.
  • PlantmindedPlantminded WirralPosts: 1,018
    Black bamboo, Phyllostachys nigra, is a running bamboo unfortunately.  If grown in the ground, it will behave well for a few years and then exhibit its genetic disposition to run and eventually form a grove.  Apologies if this alarms you but if uncontrolled, running bamboos can eventually cause havoc to their unsuspecting owners and neighbours. 

    One of the specialist bamboo suppliers in the UK recommends and sells this: Bamboo Root Barrier (50cm) - Big Plant Nursery. You'll also see a list on this site of the types of bamboos sold and descriptions of whether they are clumping or non-clumping.

    I grow five different types of bamboo in my garden, both clumping and non-clumping species but have put them in locations where they will be contained either by walling or a solid sandstone seam under one of my borders! I also check and remove any new canes emerging in Spring which might be showing a determination to roam!
  • NollieNollie Girona, Catalunya, Northen Spain.Posts: 5,655
    Golden bamboo (Phyllostachys Aurea) is also a running, not a clumping type, so I would get them out the ground pronto. There is no such thing as a clumping ‘golden bamboo’  despite some unscrupulous websites miss-selling them as such.

    Some of the clumping fargesia species do have subtly coloured stems (e.g Fargesia Nitida ‘Jiuzhaigou  ‘Red Panda’ or ‘Black Pearl’) but these are specialist, expensive and slow growing. If you bought standard  ‘golden bamboo’ or ‘black bamboo’ these will undoubtedly be Phyllostachys.

    As others have said, galvanised metal containers or dustbins propped up on bricks - so no contact with the soil underneath - would be your safest bet - you could always clad these with wooden planks or otherwise disguise them for a more aesthetically pleasing finish.
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