Posted: 13/05/2014 at 12:33
Jan - just cut like you would a hedge to the height that you want and the canes will not grow any higher. I actually really like a pruned bamboo. You can also remove a few feet of bottom leaves to open up the canes ans expose them to the sun for darker canes.
Phyllostachys nigra does have a good name but it is a runner, a cunning one, as it sends out long (8ft) runners underground and you do not notice it until it is too late and you have a lawn full of Phyllostachys nigra shoots or you wonder where the canes have come from in a border! It is not a clumping bamboo like most Fargesia. I am amazed at how many people say 'it is well behaved' when it is a thug, not Sasa japonica thug, but a thug none the less.