Would clumping bamboo work?

mrsfox(6)October 19, 2013

I want to plant a screen of some kind in the mulched area of the picture below for privacy from the neighbors. I want 8-10 feet of height and it has to be narrow (2.5 feet). Would some kind of clumping bamboo work? I am new to gardening, so any advice would be great. Thanks!

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subtropix

Difficult to answer as you have not provided enough information. In approximately what area of the country are you located? Clumping bamboo are terrific but they tend to resent extreme climates (too hot, too cold, too dry). I have had good results with Fargesia rufa. Most Fargesia will not thrive with hot, humid summers (especially at night), but this one seems to do well. It also depends on its sun and wind exposure--they don't like daylong, blazing sun or cold arctic winds (mine gets morning sun, dappled sun, or only part day, direct sun, and some protection from wind by a fence. Also depends on your rainfall, bamboo like rain even though they can take some drought. Fargesia is also fairly expensive. The photo of the wall of bamboo (which is a mixed grove of F. rufa and Borinda angustifola) that I posted was started several years ago from three tiny pots--each around $16.00 dollars. Each season, I divided the clumps which gradually grew wider and taller. Now, they are over seven feet tall and about three feet wide. It worked for that particular spot but might have failed elsewhere. Even if bamboo does not work for you, there are lots of alternatives. Good luck!

    Bookmark   October 19, 2013 at 9:24AM
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mrsfox(6)

I am located in south central Oregon in a high-desert region (not really part of the "Pacific Northwest" as we are east of the Cascade Mountain Range). We get very little natural rainfall so everything has to be irrigated somehow unless it is meant to live in a dry environment. Coldest winter temps are about -5, hottest summer temps are about 95 degrees and we are always very dry (little humidity). This is also a Southern Exposure with full sun all day...

What other options do I have?

    Bookmark   October 20, 2013 at 1:17AM
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subtropix

I would not go with any bamboo in that situation given your climate and sun exposure. I would go with conifers of some type. Try posting on that forum for some good suggestions.

    Bookmark   October 20, 2013 at 8:13AM
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butterfly4u

Mrsfox,
Fargesia Rufa would probably do really good there.
It does very well in full sun, and takes the cold easily.
I grew it years ago when I lived in PA, it did wonderful in full sun.
I always mulched it, and watered it on a regular basis when it didn't rain.
All you need is some drip hoses under the mulch and let them water at least twice a week in the heat of the summer.
Just turn the drip hose on and leave it on for a couple hours or overnite.
It is expensive though, so be warned. You would need at least 4 or 5 for that spot.
Check a good bamboo scource for prices.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2013 at 10:26PM
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butterfly4u

Mrsfox,
Look at your neighbors trees across the street from you.
See what kind of tree that is, some kind of conifer.
It looks like it is growing nicely.
Visit a local nursery that is close to where you live and ask them for suggestions, a privately owned nursery, not a big box store.
Ask them if they sell clumping bamboo and if it does well where you are.

    Bookmark   November 2, 2013 at 10:34PM
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mrsfox(6)

Thank you all for the suggestions. The neighbor's trees are actually not conifers, though they kind of look like it in the picture. I'm not sure what they are, but they have lost their leaves now. :) I was wondering if my climate is too harsh for the bamboo, especially with the full sun they would receive. I will try to look for a conifer shrub or small tree variety. I have a 75 foot length of 6' arborvitae along the side of the house and into the back yard for privacy, but I need something narrower for this area. Thanks again for the help, I will check with my local nurseries. :)

    Bookmark   November 9, 2013 at 2:04AM
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subtropix

What about using some ornamental grasses? There are so many varieties, colors, sizes and most are tolerant of full sun, heat, cold, drought, etc.. Maybe mix it up with some native Yucca varieties.

    Bookmark   November 9, 2013 at 11:01AM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

Region where poster located too arid for bamboo. And no clumping bamboo is going to grow 10' tall but only 2' wide, and stay that narrow. No conifers are going to remain frozen within any specific dimensions, either - narrow arborvitaes or junipers will have to be sheared annually to remain only 2' wide, and below 10' - with even then a little annual increase being allowed or the shrubs are eventually going to start deteriorating, looking like stubble.

    Bookmark   November 28, 2013 at 4:15PM
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