Door of the Day


More of a gate really but I was digging the Asian vibe. I’ve also been noticing tons of bamboo around town. I wonder hard that stuff is to landscape? Seems like it could get out of control in a hurry.

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  • If you want green in your yard all year round, low maintenance and privacy, bamboo is the plant for you but be forewarned, the roots go down 4 and 5 ft and it spreads like crazy. You’d better hope your neighbors like it too because it will be in their yard in no time. The bamboo in my backyard has grown to the third story of my house (wonderful if you don’t want to put up window blinds) and some of the older stalks are as thick as a young trees. I try to trim the stuff once every four years or the entire backyard will be covered. For some reason it doesn’t like the front yard. The snow we just had bent it to the ground but it’s standing right back up there now with no damage whatsoever. There are varieties of bamboo that grow smaller and the runners can be controlled but your basic backyard variety is wild. I’ve seen smaller thinner black bamboo that’s really beautiful.

  • You can plant bamboo in sunken containers and keeps them from spreading. They were a popular choice in California and when I had a yard I read all about different planting methods for them in the Sunset gardening book. I think there may even be ones that are bread not to spread in quite the same way as well, but the containers is the most common way to prevent them from spreading.

  • are there certain varieties you can plant purposely in containers if you have no yard and want some tall, privacy framing plants on a patio? Or is that not really possible?

  • Yes, you can get bamboo for containers. There are 2 kinds of bamboo – spreading and clumping. The spreading type sends out underground roots and this is the kind you don’t want (ever!). For the clumping bamboo, I think there are a lot of different kinds and you could find one that would be happy in a pot. There are also types that will survive outside in winter, although living outside in winter in a pot will be harder than in the ground. I think you could also use a tropical bamboo and just replace it every year since it grows fast.

  • DO NOT PLANT BAMBOO unless you are farming pandas! It is SO invasive, it’s like throwing live Asian carp in the Potomac.

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