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  1. #1
    Senior Member Rank = Hassai 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 = Hassai 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
    Member Rank = Nisai 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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  7. #5
    Senior Member Rank = Hassai 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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  10. #7
    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
    Member Rank = Nisai 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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  14. #9
    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
    4600 Gallon Concrete Block and Fiberglass
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    http://www.koiforum.uk/pond-construction-pond-build-diaries/21720-roy-lynns-shiny-pond-day.html

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  16. #10
    Senior Member Rank = Hassai 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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  18. #11
    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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  20. #12
    Senior Member Rank = Hassai 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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