How to plant a bamboo hedge or screen

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How to plant a bamboo hedge or screen

Clumping bamboo, its uses, growing tips, care & pruning.

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Clumping bamboo, its uses, growing tips, care & pruning.

How to grow a bamboo screen.

Slender Weavers Pool Screen

How to Grow A Bamboo Screen?

Per Plant 10 minutes

Choose the right bamboo for your needs

Sydney Bamboo Slender Weavers 200Mm Pots 8

For a bamboo screen, in most cases Slender Weavers is the best option.
Slender Weavers, also called Gracilis quickly forms a privacy screen of bamboo and is not too big for most people’s needs.
Here are some tips for getting a beautiful bamboo privacy screen as soon as possible..

Slender Weavers Growth After 1 Year Sizes At The Start Copy

Be very careful when buying bamboo, make sure it is not rootbound.
Bamboo grows by putting up taller and taller culms (shoots –> canes)

It may be tempting to look for plants which have 6 culmns well over 1.5m in a 200mm pot but he question is @why are they all the same size? Why aren;t the culms increasing in size?
Answer: It is rootbound and has run out of space.
It is now sufering from the Bonsai effect and has begun to enter into a phase os stunted growth, which is very hard to get them out of.

The bamboos we sell will all have a series of increasingly taller culms, meaning that you know that the next one is going to be biger than th e last 8usually twice the height when they are put in the ground.
Rootbound Bamboo Is Bad News

We only sell plants with a healthy root system which is able to establish in the ground.
Like this….

Healthy Root System On Slender Weavers In 200Mm Pot

Notice how few culms it has, and that they go from very small to biger and biger (the diameter at the base is proportional to the height they reach)

How tall will the next culm be?

Much taller.. especially in the ground, and then it’s on it’s way and it will reach 3-4m in 12 months/

We don’t have any photos of overgrown stock to show you but imagine a plant with 4 culms each at 1.5m.
If you buy it and ot put up cum after culm the same height…… guess how big the next culm will be?
The same height?

No, sadly not.
Because all roots come from the base of new culms (rhizomes), to allow the roots of culms that come up in the ground to get into the soil, most of the root mass needs to be cut away, which means most of the growth needs to be cut away because it will die withouth the roots it needs to support it.

How To Fix A Rootbound Plant 2


That will invole a 2-3 month s way whilst the plant gets over the shock, then begins to put on new growth..

So,, please take our advice and please notice that it does make sense.

Big plants in small pots are, generally speaking, a bad idea (bromeliads being an exception)

The ROOTS are everything and without a root system that can get down quickly into the soil, your bamboo will find it harder to establish.

If none of this were true then the 1 yer later photo wouldn’t be possible and neither would these (notice how the plants are no massive to begin with, and they are all different heights with different numbers of culms, but none of them begin with many culms the same height)
Slender Weavers Growth Rate 3

Slender Weavers Planted May 2017 2
Slender Weavers Gracilis Growing In Sydney. Very Fast

The last photos were sent from a customer who thanked us for explaining all this to him in a way that made sense because he was new to bamboo and simply couldn’t undertand how plants that size could possibly grow that fast

The other reson we don’t (and wouldn’t) sell them when they are overgrown is that they actually never hang around long enough.

Most people notice that we advuse buying less plants to give each individual plant mor space, because moe volume fr the roots = faster growth and bigger plants, and that is exactly the same reasoning behind not selling big plants in small pots.

As far as we are aware, it’s pretty difficult to get urseries to explain this, but wherever you buy bamboo, make sure the roots are not compackted and make sue you buy fom a specialist bamboo nursery who can explain the wy they grow and give you proper advice.

We have beng doing his since 2012 and the information on this site is simply what we have learnt (through making mistakes ourselves, so you don’t have to !)

Choose the right bamboo for the right reason an always remember why you are buying it because how it looks now will be irrelevant in 3 years.

That large leafed bamboo which may not come with much description, could be 20+m in 3 years , so please keep the end result in mind at all times (there is still a culm of D. asper “Hitam” growing. Planted at home, just to see what would happen. 25m tall and a monster is what happned and without an earth mover, the best I can do is to cut it back every year to 2m and propagate from it.
It belongs in the paddock, not in a suburban yard !

So make sure you know wht you are buying (and unless you are an expert, that just comes downto trust I’m afraid as there are vey few ways to identify young bamoos unless you are used to working with them.

Slender Weavers is usually the best choice in most cases, and it is pretty easy to identify in a pot.

Dark Weaver is .. darker and the other textiklis varieties and parent species are rare.

Gracilis, or Slender Weavers will grow in all areas of Sydney from the Coast, all the way up into the Blue Mountains.

It’s has earnt a reputation for all the right reasons.
– a perfect bamboo plant for Sydney’s climate especially if you need privacy screening.
– very small footprint and can be planted into small areas
– extremely fast growing
– Doesn’t get taller than 6-8m
– Frost hardy (down to below -10C)
– Drought hardy
– Easy to keep at a lower height
– Easy to maintain but cutting down and/or thinning out
– Looks good all year round
– very adaptable to a wide range of conditions
– easy to cut some culms to force leaves out at a lower height
– easy tokeep looking neat and tidy if 8m an weeping tops is too big for you

It’s hard to think of any more qualities you want in a bamboo to screen the neighbours in 2 years.

Growing a bamboo screen serves many purposes.
Privacy is usually the number one reason for growing a bamboo screen but there are other benefits which are often overlooked.
– They can be used to add appeal to your landscape.
– Security
– Wind barriers
– Noise reduction
– Pollution reduction
– Blocking the veiw of whatever iis you on’t like looking at
– Stopping people looking in at you (we get a lot o people with shocking stories of neighbours, some people want bamboo with thorns, bu we don’t have any)
-Materials for making crafts and wooden products.
– Some shoots are edible
– Some of the timber is strong enough to be useful for temporary fixtures and fittings
– Some bamboo can be used for buildin houses, but that’s something best left to people who knowwhat they are doing but half the house s in some Suth American countries are made of bamboo, and they are very strong.

You may want a smaller or bigger bamboo screen for privacy or noise reduction.

With all that………. Choose the right bamboo for what you ant it to look like in 2,3,4,5 year’s time and ask plenty of questions.

If you want a privacy screen then Slender Weavers is usually the best choice

Step 2 : How to plant Slender Weavers bamboo, or any other clumping bamboo plants for screenin

Shovel, Digging, Tool-32404.Jpg

The spade has been shosen for a reason…..

Many people believe that digging over the soil is beneficial an it actually isn’t unless there is a reason.

If other plants are growing where you want to plant the bamboo, you can just plant the bamboo water it until it’s established.

It will grow very quickly and look great.
Bamboo is NOT some plant that needs specialist care like an orchid.
You do NOT need expert knowledge to grow it.
However, many of our customers want a screen quickly and want it to look amazing.
This is easy to encourage by following the guidelines below (these are guidelines.. NOT rules)
They can make a significant difference, depending on the current state of your soil.
If your soil is already in excellent then the guidelines will have less affect that if the soil is in very poor condition.
Soil Mychorrhizae

Step 3 :Dig holes and plant but don’t overdo digging the soil

Slender Weaves From 200Mm Pots 1 Sq

It’s very important to understand that plants have adapted to grow in soil.
That means soil in it’s natural condition, fee from human influence.
So, you want to aim to recreate the natural conditions and modify some of the factors that promote fast growth.
Nature will take care of the rest of it for you.
If you want a privacy screen of bamboo then you want to keep it as natural as possible.
It will look beautiful as a result.
Free-draining soils is important but if you have other plants growing nearby then the soil is likely fine.
If in doubt dig the planting holes then fill them with water. If the water is still in the hole after 6-12 hours (very rare) then you need to improve the drainage.
Contact us if you need advice
Slender Weavers Growth Rate5

Step 4: Allow the bamboo to grow

Slender Weavers Growth After 1 Year Sizes At The Start Copy

Sydney is increasing in population density and many customers buy bamboo plants to grow into a privacy screen to block out the new build next door.
Generally, the new build and bamboo tend to mature about the same time so if the bamboo plants are planted early enough, then you will have a bamboo privacy screen right in time.
Allow the bamboo to grow to the height you want. Then let the new shoots grow up and form culms (canes).
Just before they start to put out leaves, bend them down (easier and safer than a ladder) and cut them a bit below the height you want.
That culm, once cut, will never grow any taller. It will put out more leaves at the lover sections than if it were uncut.
If you want a ground to top screen with foliage all the way up the best thing to do is to cut 1/3rd of the culms to about 1/3rd of the height of the screen.
This forces them to put out more leaves lower down.
This way you get foliage for the top 2/3rd from the taller culms and foliage for the bottom 1/3rd from the cut culms.

Step 5: Water the young bamboo plants, little and often

Summer, Water, Japan-2334072.Jpg

Once bamboo plants are established they are more hardy and tolerant of cool temperatures, drought, winds and other environmental factors.
Ensuring that you can meet their water requirements is important in getting them to this stage but no more so than any other plant.

Step 6: Use Mulch with bamboo

Manure, Wheelbarrow, Wheelbarrows-2168726.Jpg

Start with some good organic material ad then cover that with hardwood chip.

How to mulch bamboo plants Bamboo plants love mulch so regardless of adding anything else, always aim to use some mulch.
It modulates the soil temperature, and moisture which is really beneficial for microbial activity..
We would recommend putting a thin layer now (1-2cm) while they are young and then when they are bigger you can increase the depth if you wish.
Keep the mulch topped up all around the plant.
This keeps the bamboo happy and it will put out more leaves, more quickly to form a screen.
More space, more growth, much faster growth. This is a plain fact and no, it obviously does not help our bottom line, but we will not lie to you and the 1m per Slender Weaver’s bamboo rule. We think somebody got the nearest ruler they could and just wrote down the length of the ruler to make the maths easier.
9 plants is absolutely fine for a tall Screen of Slender Wevers bamboo in Sydney, especially if you can snip the top 1m off to get more leaves. 9 x 1.3m = 11.8m, and the two end plants would be planted 0.67m in from the edges and would fill the gaps easily.
Save money, don’t squeeze them so tightly together. 1.3m is a good distance to keep them apart. You can go up to 1.5 fairly easily, beyond that it may start to push things a bit and cause you some more work with your pruning and cause gaps early on, but with a bit of work, it will all be just fin. Trust us, Why on Earth would we make something like this up.
Give us a call, send us and email and we can help you

Above all, remeber that the soil is your bet friend.

Treat it nicely and it will look after the bamboo for you (*drought years can be difficult but I have only had to water bamboo in the ground once since 2012)

If your soild looks like it could be improved, put organic matter ON TOP of the soil and let it rot down naturally.

It will only benefit the plant when it’s ready to be incorporated into the soil.

Grass, Soil, Ground-5919548.Jpg

How to change the soil to make the bamboo screen grow faster.

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Encourage the growth of microbes in the soil, particula.

We were all taught that trees have as any roots below ground as they do growth above it.

Istockphoto 1124466490 612X612 1
Except that’s only a small part of the picture.
The rools form a multualistic , symbiotic relationship with fingi in the soil called mycorrhizae.
The plants give the fungi sugars and in exchange the fungi draw up water and nutrients from, deep underground.
It benefits the fungi kkeeping the plant alive and he fungi live in all soils, all soils that haven’t been drenched in chemical fertilisers (for example).

The fungi increse the effective surface area of the roots massively, so all you neeed o do to keep the bamboo fed and watered is keep the soil in good shape by regularly rfeeding it with compoost, manure and mulch and letting it break down ON TOP.
The words and other invertebrates will decide when it’s ready to take down 🙂

With  mycorrhizae

041096082 01 Xlg

Without  mycorrhizae and with mycorrhizae


Generally do NOT add anything INTO the soil.In the natural environment, things rot on the ground, are broken down and become part of the soil.You will never find manure, compost or blood and bone mixed in with the soil in nature but you will you will find organic materials like this ON the soil.
So recreate the natural environment for your new bamboo plants (they will love you so much in 12 months time, and they have a lot of Sunny Sydney love to give back you.Manure, Compost (both must be well rotted) and Blood and Bone,work really well if you put them ON TOP of the soil.
Put mulch on top of that and water it to help it break down.
Hardwood chip mulch lasts the longest Microbial and invertebrate action will enrich your soil from the top ground (which is how it happens naturally)
41467 2010 Article Bfncomms1046 Fig3 Html

This will happen gradually over time and you can’t really force it, let nature take its course. The bamboo will grow well and will thank you for it in a year or two by growing faster and faster. Blood and Bone seems to attract some dogs so if you have dogs and don’t want your newly planted bamboo to be dug up then AVOID blood and bone.*
Do NOT dig in potting mix with the soil. Potting mix works well in pots, where as soil is a very poor medium for growing in pots. It sounds counter-intuitive but try growing (very cheap) plants in soil in pots.
Then compere them to the same plants growing in potting mix in pots and you will see the difference.
For the same reason, digging potting mix in the soil generally is not a good idea.

More detail found in our Care Guidelines

How to care for your bamboo

Tree, Growing, Gardening-1247796.Jpg

Yes, we are aware that is a tree and not bamboo but it’s surprisingly difficult finding sock photos of bamboo, the point is that it i easy and in your hands.
Please refer to thie website and in paricular the care guidelines.
In doubt?
Get in contact with us

As with all plants that grow in normal soil conditions, do not over water bamboo plants when young for extended periods.
If you soil drains well then this isn’t likely to be a problem.
The key is to understand that roots actually need oxygen from the air so waterlogged soil prevents the air from reaching the roots through the soil.
Soggy soil also promotes anaerobic microbes, which are not healthy and young plants (of all types) do not seem to enjoy growing in a swamp for very long.
The rule of thumb is little and often with water to start with.
Aim to keep the roots and the surrounding soil moist but NOT soggy
Once a week give them a deep water to encourage deeper root growth.
If you have days of torrential rain then you might want to check the drainage but we’ve never had any customers contact us about this.
1) If the bamboo leaves are curling up and they are NOT in the sun, then the plant needs water. Slowly try to re wet the soil.
Soil can be quite difficult to wet when it’s dry so a wetting agent (or an organic dish wash) added to a watering can first is a good idea if your soil is completely dry.
If the leaves are curled and they are in the sun then it could be that the plant needs water.
It also could just be that it’s not long been planted and the roots haven’t begun the process of establishment. (This is fairly normal in hot windy weather with newly planted bamboo)
If the leaves are curled and in the sun then dig down a bit into the soil and have a feel before adding water.
2) If you see anything change with the bamboo: colour change, no new growth appearing in the growing season, shoots going rotten then take photos asap, as many was you can, in detail.
Describe everything relevant, the smallest details can be important and Contact us and we will help you .
Almost without exception when customers do this it turns out that they have been over watering the plants. As soon as they stop then the problems go away

How do you know you are buying Slender Weavers?

When To Cut Sheaths 1 Scaled

Firstly, Slender Weavers is, in most cases, by far the best choice for a bamboo screen for most people’s needs.
So if you need Slender Weavers you need to make sure that’s what you are buying.
We propagate our own stock and are 100% certain of the species / variety / cultivar.
Many bamboos look remarkably similar when young and there are only two
methods to determine for sure which species / variety / cultivar they are.
The methods are genetic testing or to wait 2-3 years for it to grow in the ground
and have it identified.
So we can’t prove to you that our Slender Weavers are definitely what we say they are but I think if you’ve read this page it’s clear we know what we’re talking about.
We started out buying a lot of bamboo from whole sale nurseries to plant and use as mother stock to propagate from.
One nursery sold us several $1000s of plants as Slender Weavers (Bambusa textilis var. Gracilis)
We bought them to grow up and use as mother plants to propagate from.
They turned out not to be Slender Weavers at all.
When buying you should ask
the seller a few questions
Q1 -Did they propagated them themselves, do they have photos of their mother plants.
If the answer is No then they are trusting someone else’s word
Q2 – How do they know they are Slender Weavers.?
If the answer is “that’s what we bought” then again, they are trusting someone else’s word
Q3) – How can they tell the difference between Slender Weavers (Gracilis) and Dark Weavers Fusca)
If this question rattles them then our advice is to assess carefully.
If they cannot give you an immediate and well articulated answer which defines the distinguishing features of
i) Slender Weavers (Gracilis)
– lack of hair on the culm sheaths,
– tightly clumping,
– more white/blue powder on new culms
– will grow to provide a good size bamboo privacy screen from
ii) Dark Weavers (Fusca)
– hairs on the culm sheaths from season 2 onward.
– more loosely clumping
– less white/blue powder on new culms
— distinctive pattern in the drying out of the culm sheaths where the top part usually dries out quickly and the rest takes longer as opposed to Slender Weavers where they seem to dry out fairly evenly and more quickly
– often a slight bend in the culm at the base, which is only noticeable if you gig down into the soil
– Rapidly accelerated growth in season 3 compared to Slender Weavers when Dark Weavers starts putting up 12+m culms and take up more 3 times the space compared to Slender Weavers
– Will grow to provide a huge and difficult to manage bamboo privacy screen, far too big for what you need if you really want Slender Weavers due to space restrictions.
Then you at least know they don’t know the difference and / or aren’t aware that there is another variety of the same species which is identical in appearance when young.
If they can give you some indication that they understand the difference and also show signs that the difference is significant (one will grow to 6-8m and stay nice and tight, the other will grow to 12m and take up a lot of space) then again, assess carefully
Q4) Can they point to anything on the Slender Weavers they have in 200mm pots which shows they are Slender Weavers and not Dark Weavers?
If the answer is yes and they highlight some characteristic of the plant they’re showing you then they have noticed something that we, nor anyone else established in this industry have ever been able to see.
When we do produce Dark Weavers, we double tag them. Then grow them in a completely separate part of the nursery to eliminate the chance of any mix ups.
That’s how well we can tell the difference: we can’t. We propagate from established mother plants and from that point on they are separated.
Make sure you are confident in what you are buying.
The market has increased in recent years and with that has come a few questions about legitimate and ethical business conduct.
Again, feel free to contact us for advice, even if you do not intent to purchase from us.
Our aim is to preserve the reputation of the many honest nurseries and sellers out there
We want to keep this market healthy.
Gracilis Screen

Estimated Cost: 70 AUD


  • Clumping Bamboo


  • Spade.
  • Wheelbarrow

Materials: Fertiliser Mulch


The HORROR of rootbound plants

. Watch this to the end and ask yourself if you still want the biggest possible plant in a 200mm pot (or any pot… the biggest plants you can find in a certain sized pot WILL be rootbound and unfortunately, the market is oriented in exactly that direction. Make sure you look at the roots by taking the plant out of the pot. Ask the nursery first but they should not have a problem in letting you see the most important part of a plant

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