Bamboo Gracilis Makes the Ideal Hedge...

Bamboo Gracilis Makes the Ideal Hedge

There are many different types of bamboo these days, with bamboo gracilis being one of the most popular. Traditionally, many gardeners stayed away from growing bamboo as it is renowned for being very invasive and taking over the garden. It is also difficult to remove when it is allowed to become like a jungle. However, the actual plant is very graceful and has many useful features, being able to withstand drought, frost and flood and having no pests or diseases.

The way to avoid problems with bamboo spreading is to buy only the clumping varieties. These have surface roots that do not penetrate deep into the ground at all. They do not spread either, so your plumbing and paths will always be safe. In fact, you can plant a hedge of clumping bamboo in a narrow garden that has pipes deep underneath and no harm will come to them.

One of the best things about such bamboo is that even though the roots are not large, the top growth can extend extremely high, giving an amazing – and legal – way to screen out nosy neighbours whose homes are above yours due to the rise of the ground or the higher building. It is not legal to build a fence high enough for the job, but it is legal to grow a high hedge.

A bamboo hedge has the additional feature of providing a cool shady area rather than reflecting the summer heat into your yard like a fence does. The look of a bamboo clump is exotic and beautiful and you can get a willowy effect by choosing the type like Bambusa Loteostriata, which has weeping culms (rods) instead of upright ones. You can also choose tall, medium or dwarf clumping bamboo, depending on your needs.

Bambusa textilis gracilis is the most popular for a hedge, with its slim, straight rods and leafy foliage. Its other name is Slender Weavers Bamboo. It clumps very tightly, making a hedge that will certainly give plenty of privacy and shade without the worry of spreading. And since it is frost resistant down to -12C it is suitable for almost anywhere in Australia.

While bamboo is drought tolerant, it certainly grows better and faster when it is cared for properly, especially when it is young and growing. The soil should be enriched with manure and the garden covered with dried grass as a mulch to help conserve moisture. If growing it in pots, choose the best potting mix available, one that is rich in nutrients for the best result.

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