Bamboo is a beloved and beautiful plant in many parts of the world. There are various types and varieties of the bamboo plant that, if planted in your backyard, can provide you with something nice to look at and added privacy. However, some people wonder if the plant is a good choice to add to your landscaping.
While bamboo can be and is planted in backyards frequently, you should proceed with caution as it is a highly invasive species and can be difficult to maintain. If you’re prepared to commit to a lot of upkeep, there is no issue in planting the plant in your backyard, however.
Let’s dive into the pros and cons of planting bamboo in your yard and how to maintain it, so it doesn’t end up taking over all of your other plant life.
Should I plant bamboo in my backyard?
As mentioned previously, while bamboo is able to be planted in your backyard, you should do your research before taking the plunge. The plant comes with many caveats but also comes along with a few pros that just might make the extra time and care worth it.
Pros of Planting Bamboo
Bamboo is one of the most well-recognized plants in the world. It’s no wonder so many home gardeners would want to add it to their landscaping to increase visual appeal and add some extra privacy and shade as well. Because of how tall the plant can grow, you’ll be shielded from the sun and your neighbor’s eyes.
If you’re looking for something that grows quickly and is resilient, bamboo is a great choice. With nearly 1,500 different species of bamboo, there is a bamboo variety for almost every climate and growing situation.
It can withstand and recover from almost any kind of stress, including freezing and submersion. Additionally, bamboo does not typically attract pests. It can also grow about 12 inches per day, making it an almost instantly gratifying addition to your yard.
Bamboo is not only aesthetically pleasing, but it also has a beautiful sound. Nothing compares to the sound of bamboo canes clinking together in the breeze. Because of this, it tends to have a calming effect on those who are around it and can provide a soothing escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.
Another perk of planting bamboo in your yard is the habitat that may be created because of it. A variety of avian wildlife may be drawn to certain varieties of bamboo because they can easily reach heights of 30 to 40 feet. Since various birds prefer to build their nests at various heights, a tall bamboo can attract wildlife to your garden that might not otherwise frequent it.
Cons of Planting Bamboo
One of the major pros of planting bamboo just so happens to be the one major con with growing it. Bamboo is a highly invasive species that can get out of hand quickly in not properly managed.
While many who plant bamboo are looking for a quick way to grow a privacy hedge or add some serenity to their yard, once grown, it will not stop where you have planted it. Rather, if not tended too frequently, it will begin to take over the rest of your yard and garden.
In the worst-case scenarios, bamboo can jump over to your neighbor’s yards or grow into utility lines and do damage that will be costly. Bamboo is not easy to have fully removed either once it is planted. It can be difficult and costly to have it eradicated.
How do I maintain it if I plant it?
If you move forward with planting bamboo, there are some tips and tricks on how to maintain it, so both you and the plant are happy. The majority of bamboo species favor full sun, but some species, like hardy bamboo, can survive in partial shade.
Water the soil every day to keep it moist but not soggy. If you receive enough rainfall, you might not need to irrigate. Established plants can withstand dry spells or wet soil, but you might see the leaves begin to curl under water stress.
Although fertilizing growing bamboo plants is not necessary, it can help the plants advance more quickly. Apply a balanced fertilizer according to the directions on the package or conduct a soil test and enrich the soil in accordance with the recommendations from the results.
Nourish the bamboo in the early spring and again at the start of the summer. The simplest way to manage the expansion of these plants is to grow bamboo in containers. To stop the roots from escaping, set up a plastic rhizome barrier all around the planting area if you plan to plant them in the ground.
If the bamboo does grow outside of the intended growing area, act quickly to cut the shoots to the ground and dig up the root system. If these preventative measures are ineffective, think about using a chemical plant killer.
Can I get rid of it once it’s planted?
While you can get rid of it if you choose to or it is becoming unruly, and you have to remove it before it causes any damage, it can be difficult and expensive.
If you want to attempt to remove it yourself, there are a few methods you can try. You can dig up the bamboo plants and remove the root system from the soil. This needs to be done with care so you can ensure all of the root systems are properly removed.
If you want an organic method to try, pouring vinegar on the roots can be effective at times. You simply need to dig around the bamboo and pour undiluted vinegar directly on the root system, making sure to soak all of the roots thoroughly. Over time, this should kill the bamboo off.
If you would rather not attempt to remove the bamboo yourself, you can always call in the professionals to handle it, although this will usually cost you quite a bit of money.
Bamboo can make for an excellent addition to your backyard and provide you with an aesthetically pleasing and privacy-enhancing landscape. Although there are some difficulties that come along with deciding to plant it, bamboo can be maintained if looked after frequently and with care.