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  1. #1
    Senior Member Rank = Adult Champion RS2OOO's Avatar
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    Advice on Bamboo Plants around pond

    There is a 4.7 metre long 12" gap between my sleeper pond and the fence so I was thinking of planting bamboo in the gap.

    I've read the various horror stories about invasive bamboo chewing up pond liners so I'm thinking about buying a clumping type and half burying a row of window boxes between the pond and fence in order to contain the roots.

    Only thing is there are so many hundreds, if not thousands of types of bamboo I'm lost with what to buy.

    Looking for something that's attractive as a back-drop to the pond and will be successful in of 20cm deep window boxes (each box is 90cm long and 21cm wide) and grow neatly to a maximum of around 2 - 2.5 metres tall.

    Does anyone have any suggestions on what type of clumping bamboo would fit this scenario best?

    Any pictures would be greatly appreciated.



  2. #2
    Senior Member Rank = Rokusai Handy Kenny's Avatar
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    RS2000,

    I have quite a few different bamboo in my garden and they have been there for years. I have found that the phyllostachys varieties (e.g. nigra which is black bamboo) have roots which tend to tend to clump and are more manageable. The most manageable are the most ornate and least readily available since the fast growing ones create profit more quickly for the grower. I have red ones, yellow ones with green stripes, green ones with yellow stripes, black ones all of which are easily managed and in 20 years I haven't had to dig them up. The standard green or yellow (fishpole bamboo) can grow quickly and is less easily managed. By far the least manageable are giant bamboo or the type with wider leaves that tend to go crackers when they become established. I have some red varieties that are used as hedges in China. Check out Wikipedia.

    One option would be to plant them in big buckets to stop the roots from spreading although it may be a better idea to put sheet steel down the outside of the pond. A tip I was given when I bought mine was to plant then in half a bag of well rotted horse manure. I did and boy was I impressed with the growth in the first season. Another tip was that in the first year the thing that would kill any bamboo was too little water, they like a lot. Koi pee would be ideal!

    Kenny
    Last edited by Handy Kenny; 20-02-2019 at 03:36 AM.

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  4. #3
    Senior Member Rank = Adult Champion RS2OOO's Avatar
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    Thanks Handy Kenny.

    You've at least saved me buying a load of rectangle planters.....Using a row of buckets is a great idea as I can get an unlimited free supply of square buckets which fit nicely between the pond and fence. I will bury them 3/4 deep and put gravel in the bottom to discourage roots growing through the drain holes and into my pond liner!

    Also I guess with buckets I can put different varieties in each bucket which might be nice.

    I will go with the manure trick too.

    The only thing is, with 8 buckets I guess I'll have to buy 8 plants, and bamboo plants don't seem to come cheap, even the smallest I've found are around 20 each.

  5. #4
    Senior Member Rank = Yonsai Sim's Avatar
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    Hey RS
    I have some if you would like come and Chop some of the side your welcome too.
    I have phyllostachys yellow with a green stripe, also a smaller chimbosa (not sure how you spell it) which is small but quite nice.
    I'm between reading and Newbury so not to far from you I don't think.

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    Senior Member Rank = Adult Champion RS2OOO's Avatar
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    Thank you for the very kind offer Sim.

    Unfortunately you are a reasonable trek from me as I'm down in Kent, and getting a day off work isn't particularly easy as I cover Weekends and Week days.

    I've got a Week off to extend the pond next week so in the unlikely event I get it finished early I may send you a PM.

    That's 2 people now to mention phyllostachys which is interesting... but even that seems to have a million variations available.

    Maybe I could just buy a couple of plants and keep splitting them each year until I've got what I want.

  8. #6
    Senior Member Rank = Rokusai Handy Kenny's Avatar
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    RS2000,

    20 is cheap as chips for a quality bamboo plant of any size. Even our local Garden Centre (Dobbies) sells the bigger ones at 80 and they tend to be the usual standard varieties.

    I visited this place and bought a load when I was on holiday, getting them in the car was a task and a half!! - https://www.scottishbamboo.com/

    The bamboo I bought from them was top quality. There is a load of useful info on the site and even a section on hedging.

    Kenny

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    Extreme Koi Member Rank = Jussai bowsaw's Avatar
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    my neighbour has giant bamboo and its quite impressive, its easily at the roof line, its contained by being planted in a dustbin with the bottom cut out,

    another friend in the village lived next door to a recluse that had planted it directly into the ground, you could only see 30cm past the boundary it was that thick, the new owner spent a fair while hacking It all back
    the slow pond build thread

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  12. #8
    Senior Member Rank = Yonsai Sim's Avatar
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    Yes make sure if you get some it is contained as it's a real pain having to dig it out around it. It can be very invasive, and hard to cut out.
    I use a fork to dig out the rizones and then saw and Chop it out with an axe.
    The big bamboo at the front of my house is in a big drainage tube with a concrete slab at each end,

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    Senior Member Rank = Kyusai RoyLittle0's Avatar
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    We have the clumping variety next to our wildlife pond, we put it in a root control bag, not had any issues with it
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    http://www.koiforum.uk/pond-construction-pond-build-diaries/21720-roy-lynns-shiny-pond-day.html

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    Senior Member Rank = Adult Champion RS2OOO's Avatar
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    My dad works in food supplies and got me 8 square buckets so I'll bury them 3/4 down, make some drain holes and plant the bamboo in them.

    That means I'll need to buy 8 bamboo plants! Will buy them gradually and maybe get a few different types, but will definitely stick with the clumping varieties.

    Thanks all for the help. I'll come back and post some pics in a few months once I've got them and they start getting established.

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    Extreme Koi Member Rank = Jussai bowsaw's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RS2OOO View Post
    My dad works in food supplies and got me 8 square buckets so I'll bury them 3/4 down, make some drain holes and plant the bamboo in them.

    That means I'll need to buy 8 bamboo plants! Will buy them gradually and maybe get a few different types, but will definitely stick with the clumping varieties.

    Thanks all for the help. I'll come back and post some pics in a few months once I've got them and they start getting established.
    if you get a well established plant, you can divided it up using a spade or old bread knife
    the slow pond build thread

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    Senior Member Rank = Adult Champion RS2OOO's Avatar
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    I've bought 2 Bamboo plants so far:

    Fargesia Black Dragon which is supposedly a brand new (2018) clump forming bamboo with black stems similar to but far less invasive than Phyllostachys Nigra

    Also bought Fargesia Jiuhaigou (Red Panda Bamboo) which again is clump forming and the stems turn red which hopefully will be a nice contrast against the black dragon.

    Will be planting these in a row of 10 litre square buckets that I shall bury 3/4 down between the pond and the fence (These pics taken mid-way through my current pond build).


    IMG_20190302_170757.jpgIMG_20190302_170734.jpg

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  22. #13
    Senior Member Rank = Adult Champion RS2OOO's Avatar
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    Now have a 3rd Bamboo variety to add. Morrisons are selling large Golden Bamboo (Phyllostachys Aurea) for just 20.

    Phyllostachys Aurea is one of the more invasive ones that can send runners up to 15 feet in a season so I've read. I will double up the buckets for this one as I definitely don't want it escaping and chewing up my pond liner!

    Also have to say the Fargesia Black Dragon I mentioned above came from Charella Gardens website and I was really impressed with the amount I got for the price. It was so well established in the pot that I had to saw through it to split it and managed to make 3 nice plants out of it. It looks great too.

    The Red Panda I bought from elsewhere wasn't such a bargain. The total height turned out to be "including pot" and it was the tallest 2 litre pot I've ever seen being almost like a coke bottle in width and height, and as I took the soil out of the pot it just fell apart with barely any root system at all.

    I'll update with photos once the smaller ones have grown enough to peak above the height of my semi-raised pond.

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  24. #14
    Senior Member Rank = Yonsai Sim's Avatar
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    Hey RS
    When I had bamboo around the pond the pots were sat on 9" concrete blocks on there side, if the bamboo ever gets out of the pot it's easy to pull it out and deal with it.

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    Senior Member Rank = Adult Champion RS2OOO's Avatar
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    Thanks Sim.

    I did put bricks in the bottom of the buckets over the drain holes, but by the sounds of it the bamboo roots could move the bricks and get through the holes.

    Having read more on Phyllostachys Aurea I'm less concerned now as it seems to be less invasive than implied by the article I first read, and the runners prefer to get out of the ground asap, so as soon as they hit the side of the bucket they should turn upwards.

    I also took Handy Kenny's advice and 1/3 filled the buckets up with horse manure around the roots.

    Really looking forward to these growing as they look great (even the one that arrived with no leaves and chopped stems), and sound relaxing when the leaves rustle in the breeze. Blimey, writing that sentence made me feel like an old man.... My mates would definitely take the mickey if they saw that!

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    Senior Member Rank = Adult Champion RS2OOO's Avatar
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    Not the best of photos and not helped by the fact a gust of wind hit the bamboo just as I took the photo.

    Got some waiting to do before it establishes and covers the whole length of the pond, but this should give you the idea of what I'm aiming towards. Unfortunately you can't see the smaller ones particularly well in the pictures, and a couple haven't reached the top of the pond yet.

    IMG_20190328_140430.jpgIMG_20190328_140454 (2).jpg


    Will post another pic in a few months to see how they've progressed.
    Last edited by RS2OOO; 28-03-2019 at 09:30 PM.

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  30. #17
    Senior Member Rank = Jussai Ajm's Avatar
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    Looking good mate . Will look beautiful when they fill out

    Sent from my SM-N950F using Tapatalk
    Johnathan

  31. #18
    Extreme Koi Member Rank = Jussai bowsaw's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RS2OOO View Post
    Thanks Sim.

    I did put bricks in the bottom of the buckets over the drain holes, but by the sounds of it the bamboo roots could move the bricks and get through the holes.

    Having read more on Phyllostachys Aurea I'm less concerned now as it seems to be less invasive than implied by the article I first read, and the runners prefer to get out of the ground asap, so as soon as they hit the side of the bucket they should turn upwards.

    I also took Handy Kenny's advice and 1/3 filled the buckets up with horse manure around the roots.

    Really looking forward to these growing as they look great (even the one that arrived with no leaves and chopped stems), and sound relaxing when the leaves rustle in the breeze. Blimey, writing that sentence made me feel like an old man.... My mates would definitely take the mickey if they saw that!
    needs to be fully rotted manure or you will burn the roots and kill them
    the slow pond build thread

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  33. #19
    Senior Member Rank = Adult Champion RS2OOO's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bowsaw View Post
    needs to be fully rotted manure or you will burn the roots and kill them
    It was mate.

    Sent from my Pixel 2 using Tapatalk

  34. #20
    I have great experience with following bamboo varieties - in two groups - those which need definitely root barrier and those which do not need it - all perfectly surviving down to minus 25 dC (actually tested down to minus 29dC - when the beast from the east hit us hard couple years ago)

    Bamboos which need roots barrier / protection - best being min. 2mm HDPE foil min 60 cm deep dug into the soil and well bolted together around their designated growing section:
    1. Phylostachys Atrovaginata - beautiful, short nodes, really thick from bottom up, grows up to 6 - 8 m, not overly aggressive, as one of the very few Phylostachys varieties can deal also with wet soil - has air channels in roots preventing mold.
    2. Bashania Qingchengshanensis - vigorous growth, perfect for green fence - easy to trim, good in narrow spaces as well - but this one must have root protection around it - grows vigorously - up to 4-6 m height - quickly fills up the gaps
    3. Indocalamus Latifolius (var Hopei) - this one has one of the largest leafs - beautiful - grows up to 3 - 4 m, great also for green fence - prefers semi shade - not doing well in direct full sun. Needs good root protection as well - very good for narrow spaces as well.
    4. Semiarundinarria Yashadake - quite good one too - up to 2 - 2.5m height - somewhat slower growing / filling up - also good for green fence.
    5. Phylostachys Rubromarginata - need good roots protection, somewhat less dense leafs make it see through type - grows up to 8 m, does not like too wet soil - but like all bamboos need a lot of water - but also allowed to dry out a bit - not to have roots in constantly wet soil.

    One of the best densely growing bamboos - which do not need root barrier - I came across and I am very happy with it is Fargensia Rufa - grows up to 2 m - with good watering grows nicely dense - can be seen at our pond pictures - it grows around the natural pond zone. Best about this one it is, that contrary to other Fargensias this one creates leafs the very same year it grows new branches - other Fargensia varieties grow new branches in year one, but leafs on them only in year two - so you look at branches w/o leafs for whole first year. The other Fargensia we have it is Nitida - our original great one grown nicely for over 20 years, but has flowered and died out as all others around the world - so we have new seedlings since 7 years, nice - but Rufa is much better Fargensia based on my experience.

    Fargensia Rufa - grows around the pond, Bashania in the left upper corner - just for refference.

    .20180601_080029.jpeg

    Just food for thought I guess...
    You get what you pay for - or better - what you make yourself.

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