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Bamboo for a balcony screen, which can be kept below 150cm?

Hi, I have a balcony, with which I intend to build a minimalist Zen-garden theme.



 To the left (out of shot) is a piece of glass which is the main privacy-compromise on my balcony, so I'd like a slim, oblong planter, with a tall plant that creates a natural screen, in keeping with the zen theme.

Tall grass was my initial idea, although it does get windy here.. and I'd like it to be all-year. Bamboo seems very sturdy and in-theme, but grows very fast?

Is there a species I can get which either grows to under 150cm, or could easily be pruned and kept at that height, most or all the year round? The roof on my balcony is around 2 metres; and I'd like to keep it low enough to took over (under 150cm).

Alternatives (eg Grass?) I will also consider! Anything that can form a screen at the appropriate height and has somewhat of a zen-theme..

Many thanks


  • BamboogieBamboogie Posts: 239

    Fargesia are the best genus of bamboo for pots and hedging in my experience. Can even trim them to form a flat top/block shape.


  • BamboogieBamboogie Posts: 239

    Also consider a phormium tenax 

  • SalinoSalino Posts: 1,609

    ..agree about the Fargesia... but that's a very nice balcony you've got there.. I wonder how you protect the furniture from the elements...?

    ..if it was mine, and I could afford it and this isn't a cheap option, I would go for an artificial plant and place the pot in a container of my choice...propping it up if necessary to get the required height... one of these perhaps...  saves a lot of hassle..

  • Hey, thanks! I have a bag which the cushions go into when I'm not using them; the ratan itself is actually duable woven plastic (Ikea) so is fine all-year round.

    I'm really not a fan of artificial plants tbh. I'll look at the Fargesia though.. I can trim that easily and keep it short?

  • BamboogieBamboogie Posts: 239

    i'd go for one these, plant in john Innes compost 3. New canes produced each year with be slightly taller than before, but just trim to shape. 

  • Thanks for the suggestion. Just one, really? Will that do the job in year 1?

    Also, what's so bad about bamboo flowering?


  • SalinoSalino Posts: 1,609

    ..I think they die after flowering...but don't flower for a 100 years so don't worry about it... the problem with Fargesia's..much as I like that they are slow growing...which is a bonus in later years, but when you want something instant, you have to pay quite a bit to get a plant with immediate height...or place it in a tall container maybe... most plants will only be about  2 foot tall and in my experience take about 5 years to reach 6 foot...

    ...that's why, in some instances...I go with  pity you don't like them..but I fully understand...

  • 2-3 feet would be fine actually, they only need to be around the height of that glass!

  • SalinoSalino Posts: 1,609

    ..that's good... apart from 'nitida' that Bamboogie has highlighted... my favourite would be one of the Fargesia rufa' named 'Green Panda'.... I find it has luxuriant foliage that appeals to me..although they're all quite nice... see what you think...

  • Thanks guys, this is some great advice!

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