I planted some hardy running bamboo, I guess we will see if it was a mistake


When we moved into our house 12 years ago, the previous owner had planted a bunch of bamboo on the property line between our house and the neighbors. It was great for privacy. Don't remember the variety, but it got huge and I was never able to keep it in check. I swear some days it would grow a foot or more. If you maintain it, it can be nice, but ours started spreading all over the place so I wound up digging it all out.


Yes that may be how this turns out as well. I would like a small screen and also I would like to use some canes for stakes and other things. I have this planted in the middle of my yard so I hope to control it.


I don't know how your climate will affect this but our last neighbor's (in CA) running bamboo was an everlasting battle. Are there hardy clumping options?


I don't think clumping will live here in zone six. I am not sure exactly what type of Bamboo this is, it is from a friend that lives next door to the house that originally planted it. The story is that he was in the military and brought it back with him from overseas. The original planting has only spread about forty feet. I don't know, it may be a mistake , I was torn.


I grow seven varieties of "Timber" bamboo. They are all running types. I love the look of bamboo. We live in a rural area, and no neighbors border our property. Where I don't want it, I just mow it down when it starts coming up in the spring. I'd be a little more concerned if I lived in a neighborhood. You have to control it in your yard and your neighbors. It can really spread a long way from where you originally planted it. Besides mowing, there are other ways to control the spread.


kind of weird shoots for bamboo, looks like arundo donax


For clumpers in zone 6, maybe look into Fargesia rufa or robusta.


I planted a single bamboo cane at my former property in 1998. It was at the end of a 900 ft long yard. I saw it maybe three years ago and it had covered about 1500 sqft, some of them in the neighbor yard. This in MI, with the canes dying back about 2/3 of winters. Over time the bamboo went from about 5 ft to about 15 ft.


Yes, a few will I have one. It made it through the cold winters a few years ago. Although it is growing at my cottage. It's very competitive for plants there with wet ground, low light, and massive oak and maple roots everywhere. So it is still very small. I thought it might do OK, because they are low light cultivars that cannot take full sun.
I got this one, but check around this site for even hardier clumping types.'Scabrida'.html


Kinda pricey but this one looks awesome, a clumping type, Black Cherry!


Taking a closer look, yeah, I don't think that's even bamboo. Looks nothing like any that I have.


I have A Donax variegata in the ground, growth is always impressive, but spread has been minimal so far (going into its 4th year). I also have Phyllostachys Nigra in the ground (going into its 6th year). It struggles in a shady position and I do have it somewhat contained, but it's survived year after year without winter protection and has not been a problem with spreading.

I also have a few in containers, the most likely to die or aggressively spread in my yard.


If you can tolerate a surrounding trench, that is commonly used to prune off advancing bamboo runners.


In MI, I had psyllostachys nuda. As said in previous post, it has thrived, although much more slowly tan in warmer locations, all that winter die-back takes its toll.The shoots are excellent.


In my zone 5 iowa climate, they would die to the ground most years, but they would still spread at a good rate, rhizomes could go as much as 10' in a year even here. But the deep freeze of 2013-2014 killed most of them. Nuda is one of the hardiest ones, still a few remnants of that species and some others.


I am pretty bamboo illiterate. I actually planted two kinds of bamboo this spring. The first I went and dug myself at an old house. The owner bought the house with some land and did not know much about the bamboo other than the guy that planted it said he used it for fishing poles. It was early spring and the canes were all dead and not really like bamboo to me. It looked like the images of arundo donax I googled. This I thought was supposed to be evergreen bamboo but I did not personally dig it. Makes me wounder what I have...


We have had this phyllostachys spectabilis " green groove" for the past 8 years. It has been an excellent screen between my backyard and my neighbor's. It is supposed to be hardy to zone 5. We are in zone 6 a.

These past three winters were very harsh and cold. Starting from the winter of 2014, there have been more dieback. This spring, almost all died to the ground. We have seen new shoot starting to come up, fortunately. The screen may not be as full as previous years but it is not completely dead.

This is running bamboo. It can tolerate sun more than clumping bamboo. Howver, clumping bamboo is more cold tolerant. We don't have enough shade area for clumping variety.


Pic taken a few minutes ago.

You can see the new shoots and green groove.


Our new shoots of Harbin Inversa Bamboo in Seattle.