Bamboo for Gardens

Bamboos are becoming increasingly popular as garden plants. A correct choice and combination of species is essential for producing the desired visual impact and ornamental effect. It is important to bear in mind that the culms, the rhizome and the leaves together determine the growth habit of the bamboo and its possible applications for gardens and landscaping in general. 

 In Northwestern European climate the maximum height of the tallest woody bamboos is 10 meters (as tall as 20 m in Southern Europe), while the herbaceous ones do not usually grow taller than 80 cm. The variation in stature, combined with variations in growth habit and esthetic qualities determine the application of bamboos as an ornamental. Bamboos can be used as specimen plant, as hedges and screens, as ground cover, for low mounds, or as a pot plant for the terrace. Bamboos can be combined splendidly with numerous other plants, including annuals, perennials, shrubs and trees. The evergreen foliage of bamboo provides an ideal background to colorful flowers. By itself, bamboo is a relaxing site-- an oasis in the garden.

 Temperate bamboos can be classified into three main groups for ornamental purposes:

Fargesia group: medium to tall bamboos with pachymorph rhizomes. The group encompasses the following genera: Fargesia, Thamnocalamus, Drepanostachyum and Yushania

Phyllostachys group: mostly taller bamboos with leptomorph rhizomes covering the genera of Phyllostachys, Brachystachyum, Semiarundinaria, Sinobambusa, Chimonobambusa (and Qiongzhuea), Shibataea.

Sasa group: smaller to tall bamboos with leptomorph rhizomes, covering the genera Sasa, Sasaella, Pseudosasa, Pleioblastus, Indocalamus, Bashania and xPhyllosasa (Synonym xHibanobambusa) 


BAMBOOS FOR SPECIFIC PURPOSES

Hardy bamboos ideal for Western Europe:

  • Fargesia Rufa
  • Fargesia murieliae
  • Fargesia nitida
  • Phyllostachys bissetii
  • Phyllostachys aureosulcata en vormen
  • Phyllostachys humilis
  • Phyllostachys propinqua
  • Phyllostachys vivax
  • Phyllostachys vivax “Aureocaulis”
  • Pleioblastus pygmaeus
  • Pleioblastus variegatus
  • Sasa palmata “Nebulosa”
  • Semiarundinaria fastuosa
  • Shibataea kumasaca


Bamboos for use a ground cover

  • Indocalamus latifolius
  • Pleioblastus distichus
  • Pleioblastus pygmaeus
  • Pleioblastus variegatus
  • Sasa veitchii
  • Sasaella glabra “Albostriata”
  • Shibataea kumasaca            


Bamboos for damp and humid areas (but in ponds!) 

  • Phyllostachys purpurata “Solidstrem”
  • Pseudosasa japonica
  • Sasa palmata “Nebulosa” 
  • Shibataea kumasaca


Bamboos for dry areas

  • Pseudosasa japonica
  • Sasa palmata “Nebulosa”
  • Sasa veitchii
  • Sasaella glabra “Albostriata”


Bamboos for shady areas

  • Indocalamus latifolius
  • Fargesia nitida
  • Fargesia Rufa
  • Pleioblastus simonii
  • Pseudosasa japonica
  • Sasa soorten


Bamboo for evergreen hedges (sorted from short to tall varieties)  

  • Pleioblastus chino “Elegantissimus”
  • Shibataea kumasaca
  • Indocalamus latifolius
  • Fargesia (de meest voorkomende soorden)
  • Pleioblastus simonii
  • Phyllostachys aurea en vormen
  • Pseudosasa japonica
  • Phyllostachys aureosulcata en vormen
  • Phyllostachys bissetii


Careful Planning

When using bamboo in the garden, careful planning combined with minimal maintenance guarantees long term satisfaction. Planning involves the choice of the bamboo species as well as the mode of planting. Minimal care involves one or two rounds of maintenance per year to improve the ornamental value of the bamboo and make sure it does not grow too vigorously.

Bamboos are grasses, and like most grasses they tend to expand and spread. Clumping bamboos pose no problems of spreading. However special care must be taken when planting bamboos with leptomorph or spreading rhizomes. These bamboos develop underground by spreading their rhizomes and new shoots can develop meters away from the motherplant. Pleioblastus species and other aggressive 'runners' have rhizomes that can grow deeper than 0.5 m, which allows those types to grow even under small ponds. 


Using Rhizome Barriers

When planting running bamboos such as Phyllostachys either enough space has to be allocated  or rhizome barriers have to be placed along the perimeter of the planted area.  We offer rhizome barriers made of High Density Polyethylene (HDPE) which are impenetrable for rhizomes.

The rhizome barrier should be placed at least 55 cm deep into the ground, leaving about five centimeters above soil level. This way rhizomes trying to escape over the barriers can be removed efficiently.

It is necessary to check the perimeter of the barrier once or twice a year and to cut any off rhizomes that attempt to grow over the barrier.

Radical Measures

Radical measures, such as the use of herbicides, are sometimes needed to remove invasive bamboos that start to cause problems.  

Products which contain glyphosate such as Roundup Ultra® are effective for destroying and eliminating all the plants in a specified area.  

Fusilade®, a herbicide effective against grasses, can be used without killing other plants. Repeated use of Fusilade®, results in complete elimination of bamboo. 

                    Copyright © Oprins Plant NV. All rights reserved.