While common in most Asian homes that have enough land surrounding it, bamboo garden are not something that you usually hear about in the American home.
However, if you know anything about bamboo, you will know that the plant is very versatile and you can use the wood for many different purposes. For example, you can use the mature wood as a cool flooring material to keep you cool in the summer. In Southeast Asia where temperature is constantly over 30 degrees Celsius, bamboo provides cool shelter and even cooler floors. On matters of health, the shoots are a good source of dietary fiber, potassium and phytochemicals, all of which contribute to good health.
It is primarily for these reasons that people are thinking about growing a garden made up entirely of bamboo plants. And of course, there’s the matter of adding a zen touch to the home.
But a bamboo garden is no walk in the park, and you will find many articles there that discourage homeowners from growing it. The number one reason is that the bamboo can spread to your neighbor’s yard. If you want to a quick-growing fence around your property, you have a good choice in bamboo. However, you should know that there are certain species that grow three feet per day, which could quickly turn your neighborhood into a war zone. Always, and we can’t emphasize this enough, do research on the best bamboo species to use in your garden before planting the first shoot.
Still, another reason against bamboo is that certain species are invasive plants that can destroy the native plants. If you are conscious about biodiversity, you will want to do research on the different varieties of the bamboo plant so you only use the one that does not interfere with the natural ecosystem of your property.
If you plan on having a bamboo garden, you should know that it is a long-term relationship that can take years to completely break if you decide you want to break up. When you remove bamboo, you have to remove the roots and rhizomes completely, but even that is not enough. You need to constantly mow your land for two years, and use herbicides, to totally remove any sign of bamboo.
There are over 1,000 species of bamboo plants, and just like anything else, they are not created equal. Some species tend to be more invasive than others because they are the spreading kind. If you don’t want to have problems with your neighbors, make sure to use the clumping species. While they also spread outwards, they do so at a slower pace and thus are easier to manage.
If you want bamboo but do not want any of the hassle associated with managing a full garden, you can always stick to bamboo in a pot, or bamboos in different pots. They can make a great zen addition to your property while maintaining your peace of mind.