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I am wanting to plant bamboo as a boarder to gain some privicy from my neighbours.  My plan is to do so down the side of my patio, where I have a trench 8 inch wide and 8 inch deep........would this be deep enough for the roots of bamboo to grow?


Please help


Some bamboo are very invasive and can get to amazing heights. Have you thought of bamboo hedging you'll buy a roll of this from the local diy store or garden centre and then its instant privacy and alot cheaper!

Nope, sorry, the safe clump-forming ones (like phyllostachys) would need much more depth, and the not-safe running ones would go straight under your patio and come up through. Don't go near them. You could get more depth by building a raised bed along there, or you could plant them in ENORMOUS pots. I'm talking several FEET diameter. Raised brick/block bed is cheapest and best - more room to grow in a footprint you can keep tighter to the boundary. And you really don't need to be a master bricklayer as you can't go too wobbly with 3 or 4 courses of bricks or 2 breezeblocks. Did it myself at my last house along the side of the garage. And I'm a GIRL!

Oh, I did work out how many bricks would need to be split in half and got the builder's merchant guy to do it for me before I chucked em in the boot! I ended up with 2 planters about 4ft wide, and 2ft front to back and high. You could grow bamboo in that, especially as theres soil underneath too. Put plenty of manure in with soil based compost (like John Innes) and you're good.

Gary Hobson

Firstly, I'm wondering what hedging or fencing exists between you and your neighbour at the moment, and whether it might be simplest to beef that up.

In my opinion, your bamboo screening idea would work.

It's possible to grow very large bamboos in very small pots. Here's a young Phylostachys growing in a pot in my own garden...

That plant will grow much bigger, and would grow satisfactorily in a much smaller pot than that one. Garden centres will have tall bamboos for sale, to take away, in very small pots. The main problem about growing a bamboo in a small pot is that they can topple over.

The photo above illustrates the main problem you'll have... Most bamboos have a habit that is described as 'graceful'. That means that when it rains, the plant effectively flops. So if you plant this alongside a path you'll get wet when you walk past.

There are a few bamboos that do not flop. Suppliers describe these as 'erect' or 'bolt upright'.

So you'd need a bamboo that is clump-forming (not invasive), and evergreen, and erect, and of a suitable height for your purposes. I'm sure a specialist supplier could advise you of a suitable variety.

You might also consider plants such as Arundo donax (Spanish reed). It's very tall and very upright, and will grow in a pot, though it's not evergreen. Or some tall erect varieties of Miscanthus, which are very similar.



Thank you all!! All these replies have been very useful. Between us at the moment is a very higgle de piggle de fence. I fancied the idea of bamboo as its gives a very natural soft appearance.

Gary think I will take your suggestion and look at the pot grown ones. A few pots placed in the tech would fit well.

Gary Hobson
thisisnewtome wrote (see)
...Gary think I will take your suggestion and look at the pot grown ones...

Sorry, I didn't actually intend suggesting that you should grow bamboos in pots. I was simply making the point that bamboos will grow in pots, and they don't need a large depth of soil, and so they they should grow in your trench satisfactorily.

It is far better to grow bamboos in the soil if you can. They will have better access to water, and be more stable.

I have purchased several phyllostachus aurea and wondered would it be best to plant direct into soil and if so what dimensions do I need to dig out. Also , is there any particular feed I should be adding. I have been watering them in their small pots at present before transplanting. I t also has  occcured to me that pots may also be an option although some of these are 15 - 18 ft high. The rationale for the trees are for privacy within garden. Are there a particular size I should look for and would they be able to have longevity and still support the trees. 


Phyllostachys is not clump forming! They are slow to run but will do.

Fargesia are clump forming and are the ones to go for for a border screen.


I used to have bamboos at the back of my garden I planted them in plastic Dustbins with the bottoms cut out so they stayed in clumps, Unfortunatly they flowered and died! My next door neighbour on the other hand is having a terrible time with bamboo they've inherited from the previous owner, its so invasive its travelled right down to his patio and started to sprout between his flags. Just a word of warning when choosing a variety. You may want to looks at an alternative screening plant!


blairs is correct. Fargesia are the clump formers. I had a variety called 'Murielae' at a previous house which was in a mixed border. When I left the property, it had been in there for about 8 years and was around 4/5' high and still in a neat clump.

Thinking of planting bamboo?  DONT

all of them are invasive.......some "clump formers" are slower, that's all.

Check out a programme few months back ....gardeners world went to see bamboo specialist.  He had lost control of in particular.

Here on my light soil every bamboo I have grown has tried to take over.  I have helped friend's remove bamboo's difficult to eradicate once established.  At least she had large garden and we could attack it from all sides.  In a small garden bamboo will be a big problem

Bamboos don't really like growing in a pot.  I know Monty has just done that but, mark my words, he will admit at some stage that it was a mistake.

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