Where I live, bamboo is relatively expensive... From £20-50 for a medium-large pot.

I'm wondering how fast this would spread because I have an area I'd like to screen along a boundary but I'm worried this could be pricey. How far apart should I plant my pots and how quickly will it fill in the gaps?

  • 3
    There are an awful lot of bamboo varieties - some run and need a root rhizome barrier to stop them travelling miles, some form clumps, so we need to know which variety of bamboo you're thinking of using in order to answer your question please
    – Bamboo
    Jun 22, 2017 at 9:44
  • Hmm, I didn't think to check. I can say is for growing in the North of England so it must be a more hardy variant. And you don't see it run wild which makes me think clumping is more likely. I'll check
    – Mr. Boy
    Jun 22, 2017 at 9:46
  • Critical here is providing an impermeable barrier to bamboo. Bamboo is incredible stuff. You'll need at least a foot if not 2 feet of galvanized metal to install as a barrier otherwise in a few years...you'll live in a Bamboo forest such as 'Crouching Tigers...etc.' (can never remember the name of that movie where these warriors are fighting in the canopy of bamboo)...
    – stormy
    Jun 22, 2017 at 21:05

1 Answer 1


You've said you're in the north of the UK, which leaves an obvious candidate because its fully hardy - Fargesia nitida, or Chinese Fountain bamboo. It gets 2.5 to 4 metres tall, and the upper parts of the plant will droop over or cascade once it gets tall enough, which is why its got the common name of Chinese Fountain. Spread is 1 to 1.5 metres, so you can work out from that how many plants you might need for the length of planting area you have.

The only thing is, it doesn't appreciate very strong and cold northerly or easterly winds in winter, nor does it like heavy, waterlogged soil, but this is also true of the majority of bamboos. Fargesia is a clumping bamboo, so you won't find it popping up a couple of metres away, and it doesn't need a root rhizome barrier. Info here https://www.rhs.org.uk/plants/details?plantid=787

  • With something like this, is it likely i could split the contents of a pot to get multiple, smaller plants? If so, any idea of the smallest viable rhizome?
    – Mr. Boy
    Jun 22, 2017 at 12:42
  • In my experience, you can split a very large clump, but trying to split into small sections has never worked for me - they always die out over winter . Might be our weather here in the UK, not sure why that happens, so if you buy one in a very large pot, it'd be safe to split in half and immediately plant the two halves, but you would need to keep them very well watered, because you must split them now, not in late autumn, and keeping sections with damaged roots well watered is no easy task in the ground. How big's the space you want to fill?
    – Bamboo
    Jun 22, 2017 at 14:22

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