Bamboo - hot, clay soil, droughty summers ??
Can I grow bamboo in my conditions?
I live in mid-south Louisiana, zone 8, on a low hill in the middle of an old cow pasture, now heavily grown with bahia grass. I had the soil analyzed; it came back "fine sandy loam", optimum for perennials and veggies, low for annuals & shrubs, needs lots of nitrogen. In the middle of summer, call it cement. From about 6-12" down, it's red clay.
I need plants that don't require a lot of water, although I'm willing to water them for the first few years, while they settle in. The area is open (full sun), hot, humid, and very windy.
CAN I grow bamboo here? In the heat? Clay? Drought? Wind? I want a grove of the thicker caned varieties, like the black bamboo or Phyllostachys nigra 'Henon' (I've been looking at the Lewis Bamboo site) - the sort you can walk through. I'm also interested in a few privacy screens.
What do you think? What varieties would you recommend for heat & drought & wind & clay?