Planting and growing bamboo

Hello all,

I`ve just been given lots of roots from 2 types of bamboo! I know that bamboo can be invasive. Does anyone have bamboo growing in their garden or had experience of growing it? Is there anything I can do to keep it in check? I want to plant it along the edge of my property, which is pretty much exposed to the weather on top of a ridge beside the road. Or I can plant it along the edge going downhill which would be more sheltered and not so dry.

Your advice will be greatly appreciated!


When we moved in three years ago there was a large clump of the stuff that grows up to about 5cm thick. When we had a JCB to dig out a filtration bed for our bac degraisseur we had it shifted too. Some roots remained, so I had to stay on top of them whenever I found new shoots. Also, and I had no idea about this, some of the very young green side shoots that fell off took root. There is a place nearby in La Buisson de Cadouin that exhibits the stuff. I chatted with one of the people there and found out that when you are told to contain bamboo it means put it in an all round container. An open bottom is an invitation for the roots to grow under and back up. Just a drainage hole in a large flower pot is enough for the roots to spread. My bamboo is all gone now but I have a wet spot after the filtration bed where I would happily let it take over and have plenty to cut for plant stakes and so on.

I thought I'd share my current task and believe me it's hard work. I've no idea of the name of this variety - it was here when we moved in. Looks beautiful blowing around in the breeze![](upload://qPBAjaUBI6typjIR3U0u3CSw9mG.jpg)Until you notice shoots coming up through the ground up to 4m away. This is now my 'lawn'

I have stolen a nice root of a particularly tall bamboo which grows down by the river Cher. The locals cut it for bean poles, fishing rods and heaven knows what: it’s a biggie!
One of the techniques used by collectors is to grow it inside a big concrete drain…sort of like a huge pot with no base. Dig it into the ground up to the rim so you dont see it and plant the bamboo inside. I guess you could also cut the base out of a huge pot and achieve the same effect but if you want to plant a line of them you can buy a material called “root barrier” which will do the same thing.
As has been said, best not to have it in too exposed a site and they do like a bit of moisture.
We have a bamboo specialist a few miles down the road with a wonderful selection…but oh, those French prices!

I have the Arundinacea type growing down by the river at the end of my garden and it grows 9" a day when it first comes out of the ground. I think a dry site might slow it down

Let me know how you get on. I’m going to plant some behind the pool. It’s 40°C her under our covered terrace and 30°C in the pool. Wonderful. I’m lovin’ it.

I wonder if that is necessary for the clumping varieties, hopefully someone will know. How’s the heat up there? 45 here now!

Hi James
That’s spooky. I was just asking some neighbours for some of theirs. Don’t know anything about varietes but he said we wshould definitely make a barrier for the roots or even plant it into the ground in pots otherwise it spreads out over a large area.



I would like to plant some bamboo to create a barrier, what varieties should I look out for? How far apart should they be planted, do they all need a root barrier?



Good luck Liz - we have at least 5 very different varieties here and it is all lovely in the right place :slight_smile: ps Some of ours isn’t in the right place but it’s still lovely to me.

Thanks Jayne, Janis and Stephen,
I dont know the varieties of bamboo, from looking at their root systems I would say that one is of the invasive kind and the other clump forming. I was thinking about a barrier. Ive got a lot of digging to do!!

Hi Liz

Plant the bamboo (Phyllostachys) in the sheltered spot which is not so dry, bamboo hate wind which dries out the leaves, leaving them brown and withered, they also like lots of moister if they are a green variety you may notice that the leaves are turning slightly yellow, then give them lots of nitrogen like grass depending on what species you have been given some can be yellow. Get as much information from the person that are giving you the roots of the bamboo they should be able to tell you how invasive they have found this variety to the thickness of the stems, which can make a big diffence when it comes to retaining the shoots. You can put down a barrier when you dig a trench put a paving slub or metal sheet. If it’s not so invasive you can just dig around the new shoot and just chop it out. If you have any more questions please let me know, I hope this information is helpful to you Liz.

Do you know which types they are as some are very invasive whereas others are clump forming? You can minimise the invasion by digging deep down and putting a barrier in as you plant. They all like more moisture though so the bank sounds good. Hope this helps a little! Jayne :heart: