Growing a live bamboo fence is a great way to add privacy to your yard in an ecologically responsible way. Not only does bamboo grow quickly, but it absorbs carbon dioxide faster than most other plants. However, once bamboo is established it can be difficult to control, so make sure you are ready and willing to maintain the fence, and also check with neighbours if you are going to create your fence along property lines.
Choose either running or clumping bamboo. Running bamboo will spread more quickly, but it also sends out rhizomes underground, which can travel up to 30 feet before surfacing---well into a neighbour's yard. Clumping bamboo will not grow into a fence as quickly, but will stay mostly in one place. Phyllostachys vivax is a common running species for fences.
Prepare the soil. Make sure you are planting bamboo in soil that is well drained. Ground that slopes a bit is ideal.
Choose the right location. Bamboo plants need partial sun, but not full sun, if you live in a tropical location. Bamboo also needs to be sheltered from strong winds, as they will simply bend over in response to a brisk wind.
Plant your plants between 1 and 6 feet apart, depending on the species of bamboo. Ask at your local garden centre which type of bamboo works well in your growing zone for creating a live fence.
Water your bamboo at least once a week during dry spells. Mow down any shoots that appear outside of where you want your fence to grow.
Bamboo fences work best for creating a private corner of your yard rather than trying to surround an area.
Tips and warnings
- Bamboo fences work best for creating a private corner of your yard rather than trying to surround an area.