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Need help selecting a bamboo species

Posted by MrPrometheus 10 (My Page) on
Fri, Apr 5, 13 at 0:25

Hi Everyone. I came across this site when researching bamboo on google. I have a dilemma and could use some assistance from the experts.

I am about to start on a landscaping project and one of my objectives is to add some privacy to the backyard from the neighbors behind the house and up the hillside. See attached picture. At the same time i am a little concerned about the leaf droppage from the bamboo. I'm ok with some leaf drops, but the last thing i want is hundreds of leaves dropping into the pool at any one time. We do have a pool guy that comes by once a week and i also do some intermediate cleaning in between visits so minor leaf drop is fine and a tradeoff for the privacy it will give me is worth it.

I am planning to build an elevated planter box on the far end of the yard where the 2 spherical shaped bushes currently reside. The box will probably be about 3-4 feet high and about 30 feet long by about 3 feet wide. I want to plant some bamboo species in here. After some rough estimations using a 20 foot long pool pole, i have estimated that i will need a species to grow at least 25 feet high. I really like dark green bamboo species. I'm leaning towards Oldhamii or Textilis, but would like to hear other's opinions. Are these way taller than what i need? Is there anyone in Socal that has successfully grown oldhamii or textilis? If so, how tall has it gotten?

Is one species more prone to leaf drops than others? I read that the textilis does have a tendency to lean when fully grown too. This does concern me since the pool will be about 10-15 feet away. Will i need to do anything special to the raised planter box if i put bamboo in there? Does it matter if its a clumper or runner? Will it break the planter box when it fills up? Any other suggestions for species? If it matters, i'm in southern california, Zone 10. Temperature here is very stable as i am only a few miles from the ocean.

Also, some people say that bamboo only drop leaves when they are growing. So if the planter box eventually fills up and the bamboo has fully matured and reached maximum height, what happens? Will fully grown bamboo still drop leaves? Or do they only drop when they are growing? I could always knock down the new culms and get to them before they start growing.

Lastly, can someone recommend a local nursery in Socal to buy boos from?

Sorry for all the questions. :)

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Need help selecting a bamboo species

I suggest you skim through these previous posts involving bamboo and pools. It should answer most of your questions.

Here is a link that might be useful: Bamboo and pools

RE: Need help selecting a bamboo species

If you have running bamboo in a container, you will want some way to control it. I would recommend a two-tier system, with one 1-foot-deep box sitting on top of the dirt in a second, larger box. Clean out the dirt in the bottom trench and fill with large pine bark chips or even sand. A couple of times each year, check for errant rhizomes. This way, errant rhizomes will go deeper than the top planter and you can catch them before they start push the edges of your larger planter.

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