The Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 lists nearly 40 non-native invasive plants. They must not be planted in gardens or caused to grow in the wild.
Other laws briefly stated in this post cover tall hedges and property damages.
The Anti-social Behaviour Act, 2003, covers tall hedges but it does not cover garden plant invasion.
The Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act, 2014 enables local authorities and police to issue community protection notices where plants cause damage to neighbours’ gardens and properties.
The protection notice can be issued when it is shown beyond doubt that the individual in question has persistently acted in a way that has a detrimental effect on the quality of life of those around them.
Is bamboo legal to grow in the UK?
Currently, no specific legislation covers the sale and planting of bamboo plants in the UK.
Uses: Excellent for hedging, screening or large pots and containers. Do not do well in windy sites.
Winterhardiness: Hardy to – 15 degrees Celsius.
Height: 6 – 8m.
Spread: Running bamboo, allow space to spread or contain in large pots.
Culm colour: Striking Golden yellow, green stripes on rims.
Yellow Cane Bamboo vs. Golden Chinese Timber Bamboo
The key features that set these two Phyllostachys apart are the thickness of the culms and minute colour variations, including the shape, size and height.
Predominantly, the Yellow Cane Bamboo had sturdy, thick and compacted internodes with larger green stripes, whereas the Golden Chinese Timber Bamboo has elongated internodes, slender green stripes and is generally taller.
These are the common shortfalls of growing bamboos in pots and containers, but they are the best solutions for growing the running bamboos for privacy screens, garden hedging and for small outdoor spaces.
You can still grow bamboo in pots and containers and enjoy them. So, ensure the soil remains well-aerated, moist and well-drained. This will keep the bamboo happy, and they’ll thrive for many years.
Here are practical tips based on our experiences over the years and provide practical solutions to many problems bamboo growers face when planting bamboo in contained spaces.
5 Ways to Create Bamboo Root Barriers
Bamboo root barriers are vital for containing invasive bamboo plants.
We present 5 methods for stopping invasive bamboo plants so that you can choose what is best for you.
A. Although most varieties of running and clumping bamboos like sunlight, they can also grow in shades.
Some varieties of clump-forming bamboos are best for partial and full-shaded areas.
When planting a variety of clump-forming plants to grow in the share, ensure that the soil is well-drained.
9. Q. How much water does bamboo need?
A. Old bamboo plants have natural water storage capacity through their hollow canes/culms and rhizomes (roots). Their deep roots and long canes will be able to store water and become drought resistant.
A. New bamboo will need water to grow until the roots and culms are well established. Water generously, but not too much water to avoid waterlogging. Lack of water or too much water can kill them.
10. When is the right time for pruning bamboo plants?
A. Summer checks: In the Summer, the plants would have grown to full height, and the rhizomes have reached far and wide or packed in clumps.
Prune the culms and rhizomes, but not an ideal time to grow or re-pot the bamboos they may not survive the cold in Winter.
A. Spring checks: In the early Spring, the new shoots are an indication of how far the plants have grown and how healthy they are. This gives you an ideal opportunity to prune, re-pot or dig out the intruding rhizomes and canes.
The running bamboo can be a concern because of the potential impacts on the other structures.
Here at gardenbambooplants.com, we advocate for planning before planting.
This means taking two actions.
Firstly, survey the nearby site. The initial survey does not have to take longer than 10 minutes. Yet, it is important to control the bamboo from the start.
So, find out
what is near the potential bamboo site;
what are the likely impacts on the built environment; and
whether it’s necessary to grow running bamboo there.
Secondly, use a root barrier. Regardless of where you are going to grow the running bamboo plants, a root barrier is vital to spreading.
Take precautions when growing running bamboo
The steps above will stop the running bamboo plants from invading the built areas or neighbours' gardens.
Survey the garden site and use root barriers before planting.
Do not grow the running bamboo close to the paths and buildings.
As a rule of thumb, grow the running bamboo at least 5 metres away from any built area.
Another option is to grow the running bamboos in large heavy-duty pots. The pots will act as barriers so that there is no need to spend extra money on root barriers.
Also, you can move the pots and place them wherever you want.
The disadvantage is that you may have to re-pot the plants every 5 or 10 years.
Not bad because it’s less work than digging up the running bamboo rhizomes in the garden.
Where to buy running bamboo in the UK?
Your nearest garden centres will have supplies of running bamboo plants.
Ask for the features and growth requirements, and what you expect of the plant.
Get their professional opinion on what to do to stop the bamboo from invading other built areas.
Many labels on the running bamboo plants do not have a warning on them.
So make sure to find out how far the running bamboo is likely to spread.
Based on the popularity and gardeners' preferences, here are the top 5 running bamboo plants you can grow in the garden. (Get more information via the links)
1) Phyllostachys Aurea (Fishpole bamboo) – Tall, slim and tough bamboos, ideal for garden sticks. If you want a good supply of bamboo sticks to use in the garden, this is the best bamboo.
2) Phyllostachys Bissettii (Green Bamboo): tall culms and long, dark green leaves, dense evergreen foliage. A fantastic bamboo for the border hedge or privacy screen.
3) Phyllostachy Areosulcata 'Spectabilis' (Golden Groove Bamboo) – spectacular culms, ideal for the driveway, or tall hedge and privacy screens. It’s also great as an individual plant, plant it where you can see the colours (yellow and green stripes) all year round.
4) Phyllostachys vivax aureocaulis (Golden Chinese Timber Bamboo) – similar to Phyllostachys aureosulcata 'Spectabilis', but bigger and taller. This timber bamboo has yellow and stunning green stripes. Best for thick privacy screens.
5) Bamboo Phyllostachys Sulphurea Viridis (Ougon-kou Chiku Bamboo) - is a stunning ornamental plant due to its appearance. At 4m average height, this bamboo is a great addition to woodland forests, large gardens and dense garden hedges. It is edible bamboo. Very invasive.
FEATURED: Phyllostachys rubromarginata, (also called the Reddish Bamboo or Red Margin Bamboo) has a rather reddish colour of the new shoots. This running bamboo is tall and upright. It tends to spread very quickly, ideal for tall hedges and quick natural privacy screens.
What to do when bamboo invades other spaces?
It will cost you a lot of money, time and effort to bring them under control later. If your garden bamboo invades other sections or the neighbour’s side, you’ll have to act fast.
An effective way to remove running bamboo rhizomes is to dig them up completely. Uprooting bamboo plants is hard work because the rhizomes are tough.
But the underground parts do not grow deep, they are often found on the top 30 – 50 cm layer of the soil. To remove the bamboo rhizomes, dig around the plants to get an idea about how far they’ve grown.
Then, use a pickaxe and crew bar to remove small sections until all is done.
Alternatively, dig around the plants and put in root barriers.
Take a look at how we managed to bring our running bamboo plants under control in this YouTube video.
Alternatively, grow bamboo in heavy-duty pots. The bamboo plants will start to spread in the first year of planting. In fact, the rhizomes are underground stems.
The new (running) shoots growing above the ground indicate that new rhizomes are also growing underground.
The growth is prominent after 5 years. That means that bamboo can stay inactive underground until the condition is right for them to put out new shoots.
So, the running bamboo plants will spread after you’ve planted them or remain inactive until the condition is right.
Either way, always use a bamboo barrierwhen growing the running bamboo.
Building a bamboo root barrier
Check out the video and see how we build the running bamboo root barrier.
How far do bamboo plants spread? There are different types of bamboo plants, some are running bamboo plants and others are clumping bamboo plants. Always build a root barrier when growing the running bamboo plants.