Wonderful Bamboo Is a Grass

I admire the bamboo. It is probably the most versatile and ingenious plant in the world. It is reported that the list of things for which bamboo is not used is shorter than the list of things for which it is used! However virtuous this plant is, in a domestic landscape its reputation may be less than just.

Imagine asking your neighbor for permission to plant something in your own garden? That sounds follish, doesn’t it? But speaking of bamboo, planting the wrong type involuntarily could be the start of the next Hatfield action against McCoy as long as you live there!

You may not feel the need to keep your “green screen” within limits, but with most bamboo species, you have now imposed a maintenance situation on your neighbor that you had not planned. You see, bamboo has many, many qualities, including the speed with which it grows. Although it is actually a grass, bamboo is the plant that grows on an empty stomach on Earth, apart from that! Some species can grow up to four feet in just 24 hours (which makes me think that sometimes my lawn is a variety of bamboo!)

The stems or “stubble” are fully grown in just a few months. With around 1,000 species growing worldwide, the smallest reach a mature height of about an inch, while others peak at about 120 feet!

Now rapid growth is one thing when you want to fill a space or provide some privacy, but when it quickly invades your neighbor’s property, that’s another story. And that’s where the potential problem comes in. Most of the most common bamboo species are also aggressive horizontal spreaders.

Running the bamboo – against agglutination, bamboo

Bamboo is called one of two types: running or clumping. Knowing the difference can signal the success or failure of your relationship when it comes to crashing it!

The current bamboo (momopodial or leptomorphic) must be taken at face value! They run. I’m not even sure I can run them! They are difficult, but not impossible to keep, even if their underground “runners” (technically rhizomes) run 2″ to 18″ deep below the surface. The methods of containment include rhizome barriers made of cement, metal and plastic high-density polyethylene. However, once they cross the barrier, they pose a challenge.

Non-invasive agglutinating bamboos (sympodial or pachymorphic) have short, 18″ or less large roots and generally form discrete clumps that require only a space circle of 3′ to 10′ to develop even at maturity; although their dense root structure can exert considerable pressure on foundations, walls, fences and others. They make attractive specimens and form very dense screens, albeit more slowly than their greedy cousins.

Agglutinated bamboos tend to be less cold-resistant than the usual genus, but no matter where you live, there is a species for you. It is found, of course, on all continents of the world, with the exception of Antarctica.

If you want to grow bamboo yourself, it prefers culturally rich, moist, well-drained, neutral to slightly acidic soils. It is also part of deep irrigation in soils with good drainage, but can succumb to root problems in wet conditions.

In cold climates, plant bamboo as soon as the browbeat of frost passes. In very warm climates, they plant inafter autumn or early spring, and in mild climates like the one on the west coast, bamboo can be planted at any time of the year.

Bamboo does not have to worry if you know what you are planting before you start. If containment is a problem, take appropriate precautions and proceed accordingly. Are you asking your neighbor for your permission? It’s up to you.

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