Bamboo - The most versatile grass

One of the most popular ways to make a privacy wall in a hurry.

Looking for a relatively fast way to block out the view of the neighbors or the street without building a fence? There are many types of Bamboo that you can plant to do just that.

Bamboo is very invasive and not always the best option.

Before jumping into the types of bamboo, lets first look at the pros and cons as well as best places to use of some different types of privacy walls. You should think carefully before deciding to plant Bamboo in your yard due to its ability to spread quickly and grow through nearly anything.

Ivy/Climbing plants (Climbing Lattice or Chain Link Fence): Great for adding privacy to an existing see through fence.

IvyPros: Generally the fastest growing, even beating out bamboo in some cases, but takes some time to fill out into a wall you won’t be able to see through.

If you already have a Chain link fence where you want to add some privacy, Ivy and other climbing plants probably win hands down as far as cost, space taken up, etc.

Ivy and climbers also beat out Bamboo when it comes to screening off a patio area and are better around the house than bamboo due to bamboo’s tendency to have invasive roots which can potentially damage a houses foundation.

Cons: Not as thick as the other types of privacy walls.



Bamboo: Great if you don’t mind their invasive nature.

Pros: Fast Growing. Fills out very thick blocking nearly the entire view. Tall.

Cons: Invasive, Fast Spreading, hard to get rid of once its established. Not quite as thick all year long as evergreens.

Generally, Bamboo is great if you have a relatively large yard and plant it away from the house and are sure you want bamboo forever where ever you plant it.




Hedges: Great if your not in any hurry.

This includes Evergreen and Broad Leafed hedge plants.

Pros: Generally speaking, hedges are the most dense of all the privacy walls, great for people who want to forget they have neighbors. They look good year round.

Cons: These take up the most room. Hedge plants usually take a long time to get big enough to resemble hedges. Years in most cases.




Building a fence: Because it seems like it should be on the list.Privacy-Fence1

Pros: Nearly instant. Takes up less space. No watering.

Cons: Costly start up compared to buying young plants. Arguably less noise and dust reduction than a leafy wall. More work up front. Laws and permits restricting fences that don’t apply to plant walls.


Alright back to Bamboo.


Clumping  Bamboo: (Pictured in title picture)

Clumping Bamboo is one of the most popular choices of bamboo for privacy walls. The term Clumping Bamboo is actually a catch all term for several species of bamboo that grow in clumps.

The reason clumping bamboo is preferred is because it is less invasive than other species of bamboo, meaning it will usually stay in a clump instead of taking over your entire yard.

Clumping bamboo is relatively low maintenance once its established depending on the area you live in. If you live in an area with enough water you’d have a harder time getting rid of it than you will keeping it alive. Most bamboo can handle mild to moderate winters and often retain their leaves throughout the winter. A good tip is to lay down an extra layer of mulch over the root area of the plant to keep the cold from damaging the roots.


  • Perennial
  • Tropical and Sun loving but will grow in partial shade
  • Well draining soil preferred
  • 8 to 16 feet
  • Heavy water use but will not grow in waterlogged soil.
  • Can be grown inside a pot

In the ground:

BarrierIf you want to keep your Bamboo from spreading outside of an area you can opt to put a barrier in the ground around the plant.

Barriers designed to contain bamboo can usually be picked up at your local garden center. This step is optional. The fancy name is Rhizome barrier if you want to sound like you know what your talking about.

Plant Bamboo much like any other plant, dig the hole deeper than the size of the pot and put some compost or other soil builder into the hole and moisten it well before transplanting the plant into the hole.

After the plant is in the ground line around it with mulch to retain moisture and protect the roots from the elements. As with nearly any plant a yearly re mulching helps regenerate the nutrients in the soil and keeps it looking clean cut.


Bamboo indoors

In a pot:

Bamboo can be grown in containers, however due to how fast it grows it needs to be  split and re potted every so often.

Some bamboo experts will tell you to use coarse sand for the bottom half of the soil and the top half  potting mix and again a layer of mulch on top.

Bamboo can be grown indoors as well, and not just the lucky bamboo we’ve all seen.



Bamboo Trellis BambooTrellisPotential uses:

Aside from being a a great privacy barrier, having a Bamboo plant in your yard will leave you with a steady supply of bamboo sticks which can be put to use  elsewhere in the garden or around the house.

Bamboo Trellises are easy to make with a few pieces of bamboo and some string.



Toxicity to humans or pets:

Bamboo is nontoxic and the new shoots are a common fixture in Chinese cuisine.