How to contain Bamboo

Discussion in 'Poaceae' started by zinzara, May 24, 2007.

  1. zinzara

    zinzara Member

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    Location:
    Port Coquitlam, BC
    Hi. I admit ignorance when it comes to Bamboo, though I am an avid gardener.

    I'm wanting to introduce some Bamboo into my garden which already has a good mix of Japanese inspired plant material. I'd like to use the Bamboo in a small area that is (maximum) 3' x 3', Id like it to create a bit of a screen there to a maximum of about 8' high. The reason I have no experience with Bamboo is that people have scared me away from it with the "invasive" line.

    So, 2 questions, what type of Bamboo should I look for? and, how do I contain it? Does it actually need to be in a container, or is there some form of barrier I can use?

    Thanks a bunch.
     
  2. LPN

    LPN Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Location:
    Courtenay, Vancouver Island
    Any of the Phyllostachys species are runners and will in time need root pruning or a barrier. You could plant Yushania (much less invasive) which only migrates in a tighter fashion or Fargesia which always stays in a clump. Check the American Bamboo Society for more info. http://www.americanbamboo.org/

    Cheers, LPN.
     
  3. Funkey Chicken

    Funkey Chicken Member

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    Location:
    Portland, OR
    There is barricade material available. The stuff we used is similar to the plastic plant pots are made of, though much thicker. Ours is about 30" deep, and was bought by the foot. The ends are overlapped and then fastened together with stainless steel hardware. I highly recommend finding young and enthusiastic labor to dig the holes!

    [​IMG]

    You can see the plastic and if you look between the barricade and the micro sprinkler you can see the stainless steel strap. Normally you wouldn't leave so much of the barricade exposed, but mine is doing double duty by keeping my babies' tears out. They're in hiding right now because it's been dry, but normally they fill right to the top.

    [​IMG]
     
  4. Weekend Gardener

    Weekend Gardener Active Member 10 Years

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    Location:
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    Since you are in Port Coquitlam, Ray Mattei is the person you want to talk to - he is in Tsawwassen. If you prearrange your visit, he may be able to show you his collection of bamboos plus a collection of other exotic plants. But do this before September.

    Of the clumpers, my favourite is the Chusquea culeou, especially the variety 'Cana'. If you are not interest in bamboos of timber proportions, then a clumper like Chusquea culeou may be what you need - you do not need to worry about it spreading.
     
  5. brealzz

    brealzz Member

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    Funky Chicken,

    Where did you buy your barricade material and what was it called? I'm planning on planting a 10' by 3' strip of black bamboo and want to make sure it is contained. I'm looking for the cheapest option. Thanks.
     
  6. Funkey Chicken

    Funkey Chicken Member

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    brealzz,

    The stuff you see in the picture is simply called Bamboo Barrier, and is manufactured by Deep Root. I purchased mine locally in Portland, OR from a grower, but you can also find it online at places like this: http://www.berkeysupply.com/bamboo-barriers.html It's not exactly cheap, ($1.48-$2.69 per linear foot) but it has proven highly effective for us. You might want to look around a bit as well since you may even be able to find better prices. We went a little nuts and used the 30" thick stuff and it may just have been overkill.

    I highly recommend it if you're interested in severely containing your bamboo, but do be aware that you may need additional irrigation/feeding since the roots will be effectively isolated from water and nutrients around them.

    Hope it helps,

    Funk out
     
  7. kaspian

    kaspian Active Member 10 Years

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    Location:
    Maine coast, USA, zone 5
    In this situation, as other posters have suggested, a clumping bamboo -- i.e. one that does NOT spread by rhizomes -- would be ideal, and no special containment would be necessary.

    I've had great success with Fargesia varieties here in Maine, but if you can grow a Chusquea in your climate, as Weekend Gardener suggests, then I'd definitely try that.
     
  8. brealzz

    brealzz Member

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    Location:
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    Thanks for the info Funky. I'm getting free black bamboo from my dad. I'll look around for the bamboo barrier locally to see if I can find it cheaper. Thanks.
     
  9. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Location:
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    Note that outside stems of black bamboo may bend to nearly horizontal when weighed down by fog or rain, locate accordingly.
     
  10. Weekend Gardener

    Weekend Gardener Active Member 10 Years

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    Location:
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    Since you are in Port Coquitlam, you are only 20 minutes from NorthWest Landscape and Stone supply. Their address is 5883 Byrne Rd. Burnaby. The root barrier they sell is made from HDPE (high density polyethylene - 40 mil/0.080" thick), which should do the job.
     

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