Things to Consider Before Planting a Bamboo in the Garden

Bamboo Tree and Palm TreeWe have re-landscaped our teeny weeny garden for the nth time in the 5 years that we moved to our new house.  The culprit of our endless landscaping - our lovely, Zen-ish bamboo tree.

I loved our bamboo tree.  It looks fresh, full of life and I can see its lush leaves from my home office window.  Problem is it mutates as fast as a virus and nothing else in our garden grows except it!  We changed our blue grass 4 times over the years until we finally succumbed to putting in the hideous looking carabao grass.  And it too, the sturdiest of all grasses, died:(

Finally a few weeks ago,  we have decided to cut down our bamboo tree,  dug our soil pretty deep to ensure no bamboo roots are left and put in new soil.  We traded the bamboo for a simple palm tree and tada we have a tidy, simple garden sans the verdant bamboo tree but green nevertheless.

Here are the top 5 things, according to Mother Nature Network and my personal experience,  you should consider before putting the very trendy bamboo tree.

1.   It spreads very fast with some bamboo species growing more than 3 feet per day.  And when it grows it doesn't respect property line.  So the Zen looking bamboo will not look Zen-ish to you and your neighbor as it intrudes on their line.

2.   Bamboo can cause ecological problems.  Just as I experienced,  nothing grew in our small yard except the bamboo.  It spreads its roots and eats up all the nutrients of the soil leaving the other plants lifeless.  There is a way to contain it from spreading its roots but its far too expensive and complicated to actualize.

3.   Getting rid of bamboo can take years.  We have dug as deep as we could to ensure we got rid of all the roots but it warned to expect the shoots to keep coming back despite the digging. Oh my!

4.   The right bamboo can be hard to find.  Apparently,  there are 1,000 bamboo species and and it is very hard to distinguish slow invasive from fast invasive ones.  When we bought our bamboo,  we were assured that it won't grow much and it didn't.  It grew very, very, very much!

5.    On my end,  apart from all those mentioned above there is also the endless bamboo leaves that falls off from the tree!  The maid has to constantly sweep the garden for the fallen leaves.

In conclusion,  the bamboo may look very good specially on modern Asian houses but consider the above warnings.  If you still do decide to get it,  read up on how to contain it and make sure you get the correct variety.  Happy gardening!

Reference: Mother Nature Network



  1. I agree that bamboo can grow fast and more than three feet tall per day. I also agree that they don’t respect property lines once they start spreading. This is why I need help removing the new bamboo sprouts. They are about to cross the neighbor’s yard.

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