Is this an ok idea for new plantings?

ellusionzAugust 1, 2012

I just purchased a new home a few months ago and have been slowing trying to improve the lot by new plantings. It's about a half acre of property and I was thinking about putting some bamboo along the right fence in the back yard for some privacy. I love three bamboos after doing some research (blue, angel mist and black). They would all be clumping since I'm afraid runners would cause me grief (found out from one nursery runners were illegal in Florida anyways!). So my idea was to either have them staggered running parallel to the fence or to make them look thicker have them run in a triangle type pattern.

How much spacing do they need from each other to give them room to grow? I'm in no rush for the privacy, want it to look good.

Will just buying one of each be good? Or do I need to buy more?

How much spacing should there be from the fence line?

Is it weird to put more than one near each other like that?

Thanks for all the advice y'all can give me.

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I think you may have been misinformed I've never heard of bamboo being illegal anywhere. In fact i actually bought 3 of my runners from Beautiful bamboo in florida. I'll bet that the guy had Clumping bamboo for sale. There are actually lots of bamboo nurseries in florida that sell running bamboo. Anyways it might look a little strange with 3 different clumpers in a row. Now if you had more of each and could arrange them to look good together. It would look much better. Spacing would probably need at least 5 ft apart.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2012 at 2:15AM
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kudzu9(Zone 8a - PNW)

Just to make sure we are on the same page, what are the real, botanical names of the bamboo you are considering? Nurseries are notorious for making up fanciful names for different species, and not using them consistently. I've heard Dendrocalamus minor 'Amoenus' referred to as "Angel Mist," "Ghost" and "Blue" bamboo. You refer to "Blue" bamboo as something different from "Angel Mist," and I have no idea in any case of what it really is. And Black bamboo usually refers to Phyllostachys nigra, a running bamboo, although there is at least one tropical bamboo that is also black in appearance. If you provide IDs of what you are considering, then you will get better advice.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2012 at 3:14AM
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Bambusa chungii (blue), Dendrocalamus minor 'Amoenus' (angel mist) and Bambusa lako (black). I found two nurseries that ship with lower prices than what I can find at the local ones that list their prices online (Tropical Bamboo nursery and New Shoots Bamboo nursery).
Lukas' nursery is who I spoke with, they said they have a black one (didn't know what type) and the Emperer's Blue (which comes up as chungii when I search). The guy didn't know the prices off the top of his head tho. When I have the money to buy I'll prolly stop by Lukas to get the other plants I need and see how they compare, then order online if it's not priced competitively enough.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2012 at 7:13PM
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kudzu9(Zone 8a - PNW)

Those are all nice, clumping bamboo. My only caution to you is that they get big: the B. chungii and the D. m. 'Amoenus' can get 25'-30' tall, and the B. lako can get 50' tall. They also have large diameter culms. So, while I don't have an aesthetic problem with planting diverse bamboo together in the same general area, I would counsel you to leave plenty of room so they don't start crowding into one another any time soon. Otherwise, five years from now, you will be saying: "Why did I plant these bamboo so close together?" I suggest you take a look at the link below, which has lots of pictures of mature clumps of these bamboo, so you can plan for the future.

Here is a link that might be useful: BambooWeb Pix

    Bookmark   August 3, 2012 at 12:45AM
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I have some hugely tall pine trees so I don't think 50' would be an issue. I'll double check how tall that is later :) Since Lako would be the biggest of the three, how wide would the clumping spread then? I figure I'll give it that much space plus five feet for walking room between the other bamboos.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2012 at 11:27PM
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botanicalbill(9b SWFlorida)

I did a very similar planting as you did. I just finished off my back yard, half acre, with B. chungii and Bambusa textilis gracilis. I picked these two because the chungii is tall and thick, the other two that you have might not leaf out at the bottom, chungii does. I went with gracilis because it stays short, 25 feet or so, and it comes in very thick.
Im just outside of fort myers.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2012 at 4:36PM
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botanicalbill(9b SWFlorida)

I guess Ill answer the questions you asked. On my fence line with chungii I spaced them four feet appart. I was able to get two plants out of each three gallon pot. The gracilis I planted I put 2 1/2 feet appart. The part I fenced with that I want to be blocked out by next fall, so I put them closer. I got 3 plants out of each three gallon pot of the gracilis.
Bamboo tends to look better when the same kind is planted together. I would suggest putting in a drip line and have it water your bamboo at least twice a day during the summer and fall, 5-10 min per watering. You might want to water more if you have sugar sand for soil. Once winter comes around the bamboo should be rooted in and then you will only need to water when the leafs curl.
You can get all of the dripline stuff at home depot, get a filter, pressure reduction, and the converter from pipe to the dripline. I used the adjustable 0-10 gal buttons, one at each bamboo. I also built an inline fertilizer that I put in before the filter. I will have a video soon on how to build one of them. Ill post that here too.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2012 at 4:47PM
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Thanks for all the info you guys! I'm thinking now of just doing two, running two clumps of the black lako along the fence, then centered closer to my house doing the b. chungii (would make it pop out more with the black background right?).

Other questions I just thought of...
For a half acre property will 50' high seem obnoxious? I only have neighbors on either side of me, and not on top of each other like small subdivisions with a dry lake behind.
And how risky is it having it for a privacy screen at the mature height, do the individual culms is it called?? fall down easily?

    Bookmark   August 5, 2012 at 6:21PM
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kudzu9(Zone 8a - PNW)

Fifty feet high is the maximum under ideal conditions, and would take many years to get that high for you, if ever.

As for the culms, they don't fall over. They have an individual life of about 7 years and then start to turn tan and lose leaves. I've never seen any culms "fall down" but I've had to cut out quite a few dead ones. Besides, they aren't heavy like a tree limb, so even if they blew down in a hurricane they would do little to no damage.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2012 at 8:46PM
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