Best way to grow running bamboo plants (plastic root barriers)

Bamboo root barriers are vital for containing invasive bamboo plants. This article presents 5 bamboo root barriers for stopping invasive bamboo plants so that you can choose what is best for you.
pickaxe for digging bamboo rhizomes Bamboo work is hard work without bamboo barriers.

Solid plastic bamboo root barriers

A solid plastic bamboo root barrier or narrow trench can stop the bamboo from spreading if you did not create a root barrier before planting the bamboo plants. 

Building a bamboo root barrier is probably the most common intervention if you have not put any root barrier in the first place when planting your bamboo. 

But what are the options for root barriers? 

Many DIY shops and online garden shops sell various root barriers. The best thing to do is to choose solid plastic sheets of bamboo root barriers. 

These barriers are flexible and bendable, tough and can last over 20 years. To lay the bamboo root barriers, firstly, dig a narrow trench 30cm to 50cm along or around the bamboo. 

This is the ideal depth because bamboo rhizomes are in fact horizontal stems and do not grow deep into the dirt like other plants with taproots do. 

Secondly, lay the tough plastic root barriers neatly into the trench with 10 cm to 15 cm layer above the ground level. 

The external layer will stop rhizomes from growing over the barrier as leaves and dirt build up over time. 

How to care for bamboo plants Top right picture shows a layer of bamboo barrier above the ground.

The bamboo root barriers can cost anything from £30 to £250 depending on how thick and strong the plastic barrier is. 
An alternative to the reinforced plastic root barriers is patio slabs. 

We use the patio slabs, they proved to be good barriers too. 

You may have to cover the gaps between the slabs properly as you lay them down because the rhizomes will still make their way through any tiny gaps in the slabs.

Where to buy root barriers for bamboo in the UK?

We would recommend using the tough plastic bamboo root barrier when planting the running bamboo plants. 

Also, it is a good practice to use root barriers when planting the Giant Timber Bamboo Plants and Phyllostachys varieties.

Here is a list of renowned UK retailers where you can get the recommended root barriers and bamboo care and maintenance accessories from.

Why it is important to put in bamboo root barrier before growing bamboo?

Maintaining bamboo plants is surely hard work. The intricate overlay of the rhizome and root network makes it difficult to dig, pull and remove the bamboos. 

You’ll have to do it bit by bit until you remove the whole lot or use a machine or additional help. 

It is vital to put in place a root barrier before planting bamboo in the garden, especially if you are growing the running bamboo near the boundary, driveways or close to the house. 

All in all, bamboo root barriers are vital for containing the invasive running bamboo and large clumping bamboos. 

The 5 formidable ways of building the bamboo root barriers will help you to contain the bamboo from spreading in the garden. 

Always put in the root barrier before planting your bamboo. 

Leave a comment and let us know about your personal experiences and what you think about bamboo and bamboo root/rhizome barriers.

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