How invasive is invasive?

bklyndirt(5 Ithaca)March 5, 2008


I've just moved into a new place and am gearing up for some major renovation to the teeny tiny wreck of a backyard. Our rowhouse shares an alleyway with the neighbors - about 8' wide and 30' deep. While the ground is shaded, the houses on either side are not too tall so there will be some decent mid-day light come the warmer months.

I'm envisioning a long bamboo bordered path that will lead to a quiet sitting area as well as keep us from seeing into our neighbors widows too easily.

I certainly don't mind getting an aggressive spreader. The faster the area is covered, happier I will be. The area for planting is bordered with brick walls on three sides and a barrier is easily put in on the fourth side. What I worry about is the condition of the walls. These are old houses with brick in less than optimal condition. I've repointed a good deal of the brick, but there's about a 12' length of wall that I cannot get to. I simply don't want to invite any problems into our basement by planting something that will push its way into the cracks and undermine the wall.

So how invasive is invasive? Will I have to worry about a basic Phyllostachys aurea pushing at the bricks?

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If you could get it to grow, because NYC gets below zero. How I long for the days not to live there. Think you might try to find something a bit hardier. It's a good idea though.

Here is a link that might be useful: Propagating Perennials

    Bookmark   March 5, 2008 at 10:22PM
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"How I long for the days not to live there." What exactly does this mean anyway?! Below zero--once in a blue moon--big deal. Sorry to disagree buy NYC is mild enough for any number of species of bamboo(NYC, by the way, is a solid zone 7--NOT 6). I am just north of NYC (in NJ)and have grown all variety of Phyllostachys (aureus, nigra, nidularium, viridis and vivax and other genera). They all wanted to form a monogenetic bamboo grove and do not suffer winter burn PERIOD. If yours do, you're doing something wrong. The rare zero temps simply do not kill Phyllostachys aureus (though at times I WISH IT DID)! I have been growing bamboo for over a decade. NOT that I necessarily recommend them. Yes, they ARE aggressive!! You must be prepared to rhizome prune annually unless you want them to take over the planet. I'm not sure about their impact on structures like buildings. Personally, I would keep them away from neigbors, buildings, and property lines. But they are certainly "hardy" (in every sense of the word)!

    Bookmark   March 6, 2008 at 6:59PM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

"Over a decade", of course, does not establish long-term hardiness - unless the coldest winter in 30 or 100 years occurs during that decade.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2008 at 3:44PM
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I agree, but all the species I mentioned in my posting ARE in fact perfectly hardy in a solid zone 7. All zones are established on the basis of average minimums--not once in 100 or once in a 1000 year minimums.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2008 at 4:42PM
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