Bamboo is a naturally resilient, easy-to-maintain plant (part of the grass family) that is as functional as it is beautiful. Most of our customers choose bamboo to create a privacy screen, though they also make for good, unique accent plants in yards and gardens. Ninth Ward Nursery carries a variety of blue, green, yellow and black bamboos, ranging from a maximum height of 6' to 60'.
Will bamboo take over my yard?
Not necessarily. A common misconception about bamboo, which has given it an unfortunate reputation, is that its growth is impossible to control.
Bamboos exhibit two kinds of root growth patterns — pachymorph (aka "clumping") and leptomorph (aka "running"). As their common names imply, one is invasive and the other is not.
Clumping bamboos' root systems spread a short distance, a matter of inches to a few feet, from its center. This makes planting for privacy screens easy, since we can plant bamboos in a row knowing how "filled out" they'll appear when mature. Ninth Ward Nursery sells almost exclusively clumping bamboos.
How do I control bamboo?
If you’re interested in clumping bamboo, it’s very easy. Typically clients can mow around the area in which they’d like the bamboo to stay, or simply cut back the unwanted new shoots as they emerge.
Running bamboo requires more attention. Runners spread via roots (called rhizomes) that spread from the base of the plant, spending much of the year growing underground before sending up new shoots. These rhizomes can spread aggressively, but they are easily controlled.
The two methods we recommend for controlling running bamboos are by using aboveground planters, secure enough to prevent root spread, or by using polyethylene rhizome barrier we carry. Rhizome barrier is sold in 2' wide rolls that can be cut to any desired length. Installation requires trenching around the area in which bamboo is being planted, dropping in and securing the ends of the barrier. All bamboos have shallow root systems, with most growth remaining within approximately one foot of the ground surface. With rhizome barrier, you're guaranteed to keep your bamboo in check. Contact us with any questions or for a free consultation at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 504-296-8398.