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Bamboo taking over the world.... Okay, garden.

Hello! I made a post last week in the fruit and veg section about how to grow veg in a bed that there is bamboo planted, and I was enlightened as to what a 'thug' bamboo is, and it was suggested to dig it up as it's just going to get worse.

I have made a start at this, and what hard work it is! Those pesky rhizomes get everywhere.

I like the bamboo in the garden as it gives privacy over the top of the fence, but I would like to control it. I was wondering whether I can use some kind of planter to contain it's roots, but keep it in the bed. Does anyone have any comments on this? I was thinking of a wooden planter which would be placed up against the fence.

The plant has about 15-20 separate canes, and the height was around 4m, although I have now lobbed it down to about 3m.

When I am digging, the rhizomes are about 1-1.5m long, how long can I get away with cutting them down to, to make sure that I can fit it into a pot or trough, but making sure it stays alive?

Many thanks for your advice.



  • LorrainePLorraineP Posts: 218

    Can you suggest any that would grow quickly, please?  I was thinking of doing a similar thing by putting bamboo in a container (haven't seen last nights GW yet). I would like a plant to go against a fence in a sheltered corner in order to gain some privacy, so would need to reach about 9ft.

  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 54,353
    Verdun wrote (see)
    That prog should be enough to stop anyone growing bimbos

    Verdun-is there something you need to tell us- was that a Freudian slip!!image
    I've not had bad experience of bamboo -maybe I've just been lucky-but I agree you have to be very careful with what you buy and do a fair bit of research with them. Info on plants can be misleading. The only way to get rid of them is to dig them out. I've heard of people using paving slabs in the ground to form a barrier but if it's the 'running' type then it'll still get out- as you've discovered Loz46.image
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • Be very careful about any bamboo that grows quickly as that's the most invasive.  We learned a really tough lesson a couple of years back. We were given a pot of shortish bamboo, very pretty and the giver did say 'keep it in a pot, it's invasive'.  It dried out a lot in the pot and we had a patch in the garden that we thought it would look good in so we planted it and it did well... too well... 

    After 18 months or so we realised it was spreading fast so we fet it was too invasive and decided to dig it up...

    The root spread was about 1.5 metres in each direction, upwards and downwards, long indestructible roots.  We spend about 2 days SOLID digging, seiving and sorting - the patch we were dealing with was only about 2 metres x half a metre... we filled barrow upon barrow with roots.  Thought we'd got it all out.. but no... a month or two later up it all popped again.

    The long and short was that we've spent the best part of 2 years now, on and off, digging out roots and shoots, spraying with the most evil weedkiller we can find and we think we might now just have cracked it... unless it pops up somewhere else. 

    So... be VERY careful about planting any fast growing bamboo in the garden... think of it as like japanese knotweed...if it gets out of control it could go under your house and cause serious problems... as well as spreading to neighbours etc (I've seen that at a friend's house - a neighbour 2 doors down had bamboo - it spread next door and they did nothing, their garden is covered in it and it's crept through to my friends, he can't control it. 

    Whilst I enjoyed the programme last night, I found it quite scary that the Cornwall bamboo grower cheerfully admitted that there were problems with some of the bamboos he was growing but seemed content to 'shrug it off' - he even said about one bamboo variety - 'I fear for the future'. 


    I agree with Verdun, there are better plants to grow for screening - bamboo is pretty but it's a thug if it gets out of control and some varieties do get out of control very easily. 


  • We have a black bamboo that even after a year was taking over. I got the otherhalf to dig it up.That was a huge job!! Then i got a back plastic bin drilled holes in the bottom. Sunk the whole bin in the ground leaving couple of inches above soil level. then i put a few bricks and stones in the bottom for drainage and put the bamboo back in the bin. 3 years later the bamboo is about 15ft high and looking fab. i put a watering can of water on it every week as it does drink alot. every year i cut about 6 of the thickest canes out at ground level and new sprouts come up, keeping it looking fresh.  hope this helps.. Monty's ideaon GW of using a galvanised animal feeder was great. I am going to have a trip to my local agricultural merchant as those feeders look really stylish when planted up and looking online they are far cheaper than metal planters in garden centres.

  • jatnikapyarjatnikapyar Posts: 419

    Try using black plastic dustbins, I use them to grow trees to keep them small. They are cheaper than animal feeders, a tenner at Amazonimage

  • jatnikapyarjatnikapyar Posts: 419

    Good morning Sir Verdun, I know bamboos are thugs if left uncontrolled(like a lot of things!) but they are so graceful and useful for softening hard back grounds. I have seen them grow in the jungle in the far east, where I lived for several years, and boy; can they grow!

    I have two on the patio and it is lovely to see them move in the breeze and hear the movement when we are sipping a G&T on a warm summer evening. Also, the little wrens love sitting among them. I think they use them as a swingimage

    I could not get bamboos to grow for years and for me it is also a sign of achievement as I filled T&Ms' tills with a lot of dosh trying to grow them. I treat them like bindweed and nettle and keep a beady eye for new shoots. I hope I am as successful as I have been with the bindweed.

    Meanwhile, I shall enjoy them and the pleasure that I get watching them and the little birds.......lifes' too short I feelimageimage

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