I've been wanting to plant some bamboo in a planter box some time soon, and was wondering what conditions I should aim for. well drained versus moist soil? full light versus shade? anybody know?
Bamboo does not like to be in standing water, but it does like to be moist. I pot mine up like any plant and just make sure it's well-watered. Bamboo can typically handle a variety of light conditions, although you will get better growth from most of them with fairly sunny conditions (there are a few that prefer shade or semi-shade). What height bamboo do you have room for? How big is the planter? What is the type/design of the planter? What growing Zone are you in?
I think I'm zone 8... Mid to Northern california for what it's worth. I'm planning on building a small cinder block planter outside (thinking one block deep by six long and three wide) with some sort of water permeable lining at the bottom to allow drainage but stop the rhizome from running too far.
A water permeable liner won't stop a rhizome. You have several options: 1) dig down and make your cinder block 24" deep (you will also need to mortar them all properly, not just stack them), 2) install a product called bamboo barrier which is a specialty, heavy-duty plastic that is 30"-36" high and sells for $2-$3 a running foot; you would install this 24" deep in a trench around the bamboo perimeter, and then not need a planter enclosure); or 3) plant a clumping bamboo, which will need no containment as it doesn't spread out tentacles like a running bamboo.