Running bamboo is very invasive. It grows from an underground root system called rhizome. Today, there are more than 100 species of running bamboo grown in different temperature climates. When these species are grown in their native climate, they have the potential to surpass 75 feet. They range in all shapes and sizes.
How to plant running bamboo plant
· Identify the bamboo plant
Visit your local gardening store and you will be advised which plant will grow well in your region. Ensure each plant is well managed and has built up a strong root mass. Select only the healthiest high quality plants for your landscape project.
· Learn the growth requirements
For a bamboo to grow well, specific growth conditions must be observed. Some species could be more or less tolerant to water saturated growth conditions. If you want to successfully grow the plant, you must understand the climatic needs. This will make maintenance much easier.
Most species will do well in high drainage soil. It’s recommended that you grow the plants in a partial shade, since too much sun can lead to damage of the plant. Similarly, too little sun can lead to stunted growth.
· Consider the space requirements
Running bamboos take a lot of space. Most running bamboo species are invasive in warm and humid climates.
· Soil preparation and planting
Till the soil, break the soil clods then add organic material. Secondly, dig a hole that is one inch deeper than the soil in the pot. Thirdly, wet the hole, remove the plant out of the pot then put it in the hole. Be very careful not to damage culms and the soft shoots. Fill the hole with top soil, apply mulch and water your plant. Watering should be done 3 to 5 times in a week.
Controlling running bamboo
Most running bamboo species will send out underground rhizomes in late summer. If you stop the spread of these rhizomes, you can control how the bamboo spreads. Let’s look at some of the most effective methods of controlling the spread of running bamboo;
· Dig a trench
Dig a trench that is 18 to 24 inches deep around your bamboo plantation. This ensures the bamboo does not spread to the nearby bushlands. The trench needs to left open and any rhizome that tries to cross the trench should be cut.
· Rhizome barrier
This involves installing flexible tough plastic on the ground surrounding the bamboo plant. The recommended thickness is 24 inches wide in loam fertile soil and 36 inches wide in sandy soil. The barrier should be erected several inches above the ground .Regular inspection should be done every year to ensure rhizomes have not crossed it. You should cut off rhizomes that arch over the top.
This is the easiest way of controlling running bamboo. New shoots come up during the spring season and will wait until the next season. Mowing should be done during spring and early summer.
In summary, you should not plant running bamboo during the warm climate in a small yard. In cold climates, this species of bamboo are well behaved. However, when given a lot of water in warm climate, they become a serious problem. Regular maintenance and inspection is a must to successfully grow the plant.