Planting a Hedge of Rufa Bamboo
More often than not, gardeners want to cram a bamboo hedge into a space that is too small. But every once in a while we get a client with enough room and the right conditions for creating a perfect bamboo hedge. Read this article to learn how we did it.
In our latest bamboo installation, Outdoors By Design
design guru Leslie Coulter wanted to replace an ugly hedge of diseased Photinia. She needed a plant tall enough to provide separation from the road, but short enough to allow a view of the landscape plants in the bed beyond. The hedge would also serve as a backdrop for viewing trees and shrubs from the house, and eventually cover part of a slope down to a roadside ditch. The length of the hedge is about 100', with a good 6'-8' separating it from planting bed. It has full sun exposure during summer, and the soil is a sandy loam.
The Perfect Bamboo
This is a perfect space for the low, sprawling form of Fargesia dracocephala
'Rufa'. Topping out at about 6', this vigorous clumping bamboo will attain the perfect mature height for the screen and the backdrop our clients need. Rufa grows very well in full sun, and with a little compost mulch, and water over summer, it will be established by the end of the growing season. In two years, the screening will be significant; in 4 years, it will be a solid wall of green foliage.
We started by selecting eight fully rooted plants bursting with new spring shoots (pic right). We purchased these last fall from Boo-Shoot Gardens, LLC
and overwintered them in our unheated hoop house. I recommend using #3 size container plants because they are large enough to make a significant visual impact in just two growing seasons.
Next, the plants are spaced 12' apart on center, and the holes are dug deep enough that the top of the root ball will sit a little lower than the soil surface. You should pull the big roots away from the root ball
, and trim the matted roots on the bottom
New Rufa hedge
Next, the plants are placed, the holes are backfilled, and a little grass fertilizer
(summer formula) added to get the plants through the shooting season. We finish the bed with some compost mulch to help control weeds and conserve moisture.
Look for future updates and pics to follow the progress of this bamboo hedge
Is Bamboo For You?
Where to Plant Bamboo