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How To Grow A Bamboo Hedge

How To Grow A Bamboo Hedge

Bamboo hedging is an attractive and effective landscape option for modern gardens and properties. As a clumping grass, bamboo varieties such as Pleioblastus, Phyllostachys and Fargesia mature quickly to form dense foliage barriers ideal for privacy screening or as a bamboo hedge.

Their sturdy yet flexible canes withstand weather extremes while removing contaminants from the air. Beyond aesthetics and sustainability benefits, bamboo is relatively low maintenance once established.

This guide will outline how to successfully install and care for a bamboo hedge, referencing techniques from Red Cloud Bamboo. Key steps include site preparation, planting, fertilizing schedules and training the hedge shape—allowing homeowners to capitalise on bamboo’s rapid growth for an on-trend garden feature.

Preparing The Soil

When installing a bamboo hedge, carefully preparing the site is essential for success. 

Begin by clearing the area of any existing weeds, plants or grass using organic weed killers. Then, thoroughly cultivate the soil to a depth of 20cm along the entire proposed hedge line—this is important for avoiding future challenges as the bamboo matures.

Tools like rotary tillers can efficiently prepare larger spaces, while hand tools are suitable for smaller gardens.

Finally, flatten and level the exposed soil using a rake to provide the bamboo with optimal conditions to thrive. Incorporating compost or soil improvers during this stage helps enrich the soil.

Laying Out Your Bamboo Hedge

Accurately marking out the placement of individual bamboo canes will contribute to a healthy, attractive hedge. Use timber stakes or string lines to delineate both the outline and even internal spacing of the future hedge.

For most bamboo varieties suited to hedging, around 60cm between canes is an effective denseness for screening. Tools like tape measures can assist with maintaining the spacing pattern for a uniform appearance.

Correctly oriented planting positions now saves future efforts in training the hedge direction and form. Taking time at this stage establishes a strong foundation for balanced and thriving bamboo growth as the hedge matures over subsequent seasons.

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Planting Your Bamboo Hedge

Now the prepared site and layout is complete, it’s time to plant your bamboo canes to begin establishing the hedge.

Use a spade to dig holes along the outlined cane positions, making each hole deep and wide enough to accommodate the bamboo’s root ball without constriction. Plant the cane at a similar level it was previously growing, taking care not to set it too high or low in relation to the soil line. 

Next, form a water retaining ‘bowl’ around each base by mounding up extra soil. This effective irrigation method helps bamboo get off to a strong start. Thoroughly watering each new planting twice following this process provides optimal moisture as the roots begin to establish the new hedge.

Establishing Your Bamboo Hedge

With the clumping bamboo canes now planted according to guidelines, regular care is needed to help them become fully established into an impenetrable hedge.

Key steps include frequent watering of new plantings, ensuring the soil does not dry out completely during initial establishment. As warmer weather arrives, reducing water frequency allows the canes to develop strong, deep root systems able to support future growth.

Adding a balanced, slow-release fertiliser in early spring and late summer boosts natural development. Ongoing liquid feeds fortified with seaweed extracts provide extra nourishment between scheduled applications.

Within their first 12 months, bamboo hedging varieties commonly reach heights over 1.5m if given optimal growing conditions. Patience and maintenance now will result in a handsome, sustainable privacy screen for the home landscape.

Maintaining Bamboo Hedge Shape

Once the initial planting year is complete, the bamboo hedge will have formed a lively screen. However, some effort may still be required to encourage proper form and direction. As new cane shoots emerge in the second season, guiding their placement with light staking helps fill in any sparse patches naturally over time. 

Pruning lower sections may also be necessary to establish a tidy bottom edge. Throughout the hedge’s lifespan, occasional thinning of older canes allows additional shoots room to mature and strengthens overall structure. 

Regular fertilization and trimming away excess foliage prevents legginess inside the hedge profile.

With routine care and training, bamboo’s natural strength and rate of spread will provide Australian gardeners with an attractive, low-maintenance living fence for many productive years.

Tools And Materials for Bamboo Hedging

Soil Preparation Tools

Thoroughly preparing the soilbed is simplified with the right equipment. Rotary tillers, spades, and rakes allow thorough cultivation and incorporation of amendments before planting begins.

Planting Aids

Acquiring quality bamboo canes from a local nursery supplies the hedge material. Marking out the spacing layout benefits from wooden stakes and string lines. A tape measure ensures accurate separation is achieved between cane placements. A trowel or dibble bar streamlines hole-digging.

Maintenance Supplies

Successful hedge establishment requires ongoing care. A watering can hydrates young plantings. Pruning shears shape emerging growth. All-purpose insecticidal soap aids insect control. Lightweight fertilizers promote continuous growth throughout the seasons. Mulch retains soil moisture around plant bases.


“Discover the incredible world of bamboo and unlock its limitless potential. Join us at Red Cloud Bamboo, your trusted partner in all things bamboo. Contact us today at 0418 552 170 to explore the possibilities. Or check out our blog for more information about bamboo.  Let’s embrace the resilience and beauty of bamboo together!”

Bamboo Basics Running vs Clumping Bamboo

Bamboo Basics: Running vs Clumping Bamboo

Bamboo is one of the most widely cultivated and useful grass species in the world. There are two main types of bamboo – clumping bamboo and running bamboo. These differ primarily in their growth habit and potential invasiveness. This article will explain the key differences between clumping and running bamboo, including their definitions, planting types, uses and advantages and disadvantages of each.  

Clumping Bamboo or Non-invasive

Clumping bamboo is so named because, as the experts at Bamboo Down Under describe in detail, it sends out new canes from an underground root system called rhizomes in a very controlled manner. The secret to clumping bamboo’s non-invasive behavior lies in these short rhizomes that grow outwardly from the central clump only by a few centimeters each year. This results in a neatly clustered habit that remains completely contained even with maturity.

Some common clumping varieties suitable for Australian gardens include, Bambusa Textilis Gracilis, Bambusa multiplex (Lemon Bamboo), Bambusa vulgaris (Timber Bamboo) and Hibano Bambusa Tranquillans (Tufted Timber Bamboo), all forming clumps typically less than 2 metres in diameter according to the nursery’s growing experience.

The local specialists further note that while clumping bamboo can initially shoot up rapidly on establishment, forming thickets of 1-5 metres tall depending on species and conditions, its growth soon levels out.

Unlike invasive running types, clumping bamboo maintains the same compact footprint long-term without causing ground disturbance beyond the original planting zone. This is due to the rhizomes traveling only shallow depths, typically within the upper 30cms of soil. The finely textured root systems also do not damage underground structures like pipes.

Requiring just basic maintenance like occasional division or staking in wind-prone areas, clumping bamboo offers a low-fuss, contained landscape solution suitable even for small gardens and containers as confirmed by Bamboo Down Under’s experts. Its evergreen foliage and steel-like stems add an elegant privacy and year-round interest when used for hedging or as a specimen plant.

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Running Bamboo or Spreading

Running bamboo is so named for its ability to aggressively spread through vast underground networks as extensively documented by Bamboo Down Under’s experts. Unlike the localized rhizomes of clumping varieties, running bamboo sends out rope-thick stems called rhizomes laterally over distances up to 6 metres or more each year. 

As the reference nursery elucidates, these creeping rhizome systems form an unpredictable subterranean “mesh” with new culm shoots emerging at irregular intervals along the entire length.

If given the room to roam freely without checks, running bamboo would effectively naturalize any surrounding area by outcompeting other foliage through sheer density. The local specialists thus stress the requirement for robust root barriers when using running bamboo near property boundaries.

Some quicker-spreading varieties favored for screening like Phyllostachys vivax necessitate particularly diligent annual division to partition the rhizome “webs” and extract new canes for transplanting elsewhere according to Bamboo Down Under’s first-hand studies.

However, on larger rural blocks where space is no constraint as the reference site underscores, running bamboo can thrive magnificently as vigorous windbreaks or rapid privacy hedging. The nursery has witnessed species such as the stately Phyllostachys Nigra form towering black-hued groves within only a few seasons.

With the right containment methods including trenching and physical barriers as prescribed, running bamboo brings extensive screening benefits albeit requiring committed maintenance to rein its ambitious routes.


In summary, the key difference between clumping and running bamboo is their growth habit and potential invasiveness.

Clumping bamboo remains contained to a clump while running bamboo can aggressively spread several metres each year if not properly managed. Clumping bamboo is generally lower maintenance and better suited to ornamental landscaping in gardens, pots and use in bamboo hedges.

Running bamboo requires more oversight to contain but provides fast screening where space allows. Understanding a species’ growth habit is vital to choosing the right bamboo for any given space or purpose such as a bamboo hedge.


“Discover the incredible world of bamboo and unlock its limitless potential. Join us at Red Cloud Bamboo, your trusted partner in all things bamboo. Contact us today at 0418 552 170 to explore the possibilities. Or check out our blog for more information about bamboo. Let’s embrace the resilience and beauty of bamboo together!”

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