How close to the house can you plant bamboo?

Igo1234September 16, 2011

How close to the house can you plant bamboo?

Is it safe to plant it 2 ft. from the foundation?

I am considering Alphonse Karr bamboo or Mexican Weeping bamboo.

Thank you.

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bahia(SF Bay Area)

Neither of these has roots that will create problems for a good foundation, but both will form clumps that can extend much wider than 2 feet. The Alphonse Karr Phyllostachys is more vertical so would fit better close up to a house wall. The Mexican Weeping Bamboo is more arching at the top, and can get 8 feet across at the roots with age. You should really get familiar with the mature sizes before you plant a bamboo or tree, so you aren't sorry later.

    Bookmark   September 16, 2011 at 2:44AM
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mjsee(Zone 7b, NC)

Here's my answer for how close one should plant ANYTHING from the house:

Find out what the average mature size for the plant is. Make certain that the back side of the adult plant will be at least 24" from the wall of the house. (For maintenance/upkeep/ladder-type reasons.)

I shudder whenever I hear the word "bamboo"--but that's a personal prejudice born from my neighbors' battles with running bamboo. Thank goodness none of it flanks MY property.

    Bookmark   September 16, 2011 at 11:09AM
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DD had bamboo existing when they moved into their house. The shed was 4 ft from block wall. Constant battle to keep it cut back & still a problem after 14 yrs. Heavy clay soil & doesn't get water except when it rains. A real pain to deal with!

    Bookmark   September 16, 2011 at 12:11PM
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bahia(SF Bay Area)

Clumping bamboos such as these can work that close to a wall of the house if you are willing to prune out culms/trunks at the ground level as you require. The roots won't necessarily be an issue for the foundation, and you can create space for maintenance/painting access by pruning as you want. I've seen both planted as closely as you suggest here in local Berkeley gardens without problems for the house. It is more a matter of aesthetics IMO, and how much pruning to thin the bamboo occasionally you want to or are prepared to do. I typically limb up trunks by removing lower side branches and cut out a third of the trunks to give a more open look which also serves to better show off the trunks.and their contrasting color. I find most all of my clients prefer this look for their bamboos, compared to a dense mass of trunks and foliage to the ground. Also, remember that all bamboos constantly drop leaves, so they aren't a good choice for those who are fastidious about having spotless ground.

I like both these bamboos and use them a lot for vertical effects against walls or light screens for privacy or a vertical accent in lieu of larger growing trees, but find they take at least twice a year pruning to keep the look I like.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2011 at 1:14PM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

Don't know where you are but there's an interesting discussion on the FL gardening forum about bamboo that might be of interest to you. It has some pics, too.

    Bookmark   September 28, 2011 at 4:50PM
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