How to Grow Bamboo for Privacy Fence

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Bamboo is bushy enough to offer a valuable privacy shield.
Bamboo is bushy enough to offer a valuable privacy shield. (Image: bamboo image by cyndi Claessens from <a href='http://www.fotolia.com'>Fotolia.com</a>)

When you live in a house that has close neighbors, privacy can be a big issue. One easy and decorative way to handle this is to grow a natural privacy shield, using a bushy plant against a fence. Bamboo is an ideal choice, with its thriving growth and bushy, vining foliage. Make sure you're in the right region for bamboo, buy some rhizomes and get started.

Things You'll Need

  • Compost
  • Measuring tape
  • Shovel
  • Water
  • Fertilizer

Plant bamboo in spring, in areas that get 60- to 80-degree weather. This timing gives the plants time to grow and establish before the heat of summer. Choose the right location for bamboo; put these plants in spots where they'll get full sunshine and complete drainage. If you're planting bamboo against a fence, plan to put the bamboo at least 5 feet from the base of the fence, as the plant grows and expands quickly.

Prepare your planting site. Mix half compost and half quick-draining soil, and turn the mixture into the top 2 feet of the planting site, to give bamboo good nutrition and drainage. Plant multiple bamboo plants in a line to build your privacy fence, but give each plant 5 to 10 feet of growing space. Prepare as many planting sites as you need for your fence.

Plant bamboo rhizomes (bulbs) in 1 to 2 inches of soil. Pack the soil tightly around the rhizomes to avoid any air pockets, which will keep the rhizomes from sprouting. Give the rhizomes 2 inches of water and look for sprouting in a week or so.

Water bamboo weekly with 2 inches of water, but accommodate for natural rainfall, as bamboo doesn't like to be too wet. Fertilize the plants once a month with 10-10-10 fertilizer added to a watering. Always follow manufacturer directions in regard to fertilizer application and safety.

Tips & Warnings

  • Bamboo can grow up to 20 feet in a successful growing season. Propagate new bamboo plants by dividing the rhizomes. Divide rhizomes after bamboo is at least two years old.

References

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