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Fargesia murielae, umbrella bamboo, Muriel bamboo

A bamboo hedge is considered a perfect privacy screen because it grows quickly, is evergreen and, above all, durable. A bamboo does not require much care and is therefore a good alternative to other hedge types for garden owners with little time. But the bamboo hedge not only offers advantages, because there are also some disadvantages. If the bamboo is left to its own devices, so to speak, it will spread rapidly throughout the garden and to the neighbors.

bamboo hedges

If a bamboo hedge is to be planted, then the advantages and disadvantages should be weighed up in advance. Because once the bamboo has been planted, it can be difficult to remove it completely. In the following article, the advantages and disadvantages have therefore been listed and examined.

Finally, a list of bamboo varieties suitable for a hedge was drawn up, because not all bamboos are the same and the above advantages and disadvantages cannot always be applied to all varieties. At the end of the article you will find experiences from other bamboo hedge owners. So you can make up your own mind about bamboo as a hedge.


Rapid growth

Bamboo is a very fast-growing plant and can therefore become a good privacy screen from neighbors or the street within a very short time. The bamboo shows the following growth:

  • some varieties two growth phases per year
  • new bamboo culms to final height within a few weeks
  • during a single growth phase
  • Growth up to a third of the previous hedge height

notice: Unfortunately, the advantage of rapid growth also has the disadvantage of frequent pruning.


A bamboo hedge is absolutely opaque. If the hedge consists of Fargesia, the umbrella bamboo, then the plants also have green and dense foliage near the ground. If a plant from the Phyllotachys variety was chosen, the lower two meters remain visible as bamboo stalks and the side shoots with the leaves only unfold from a height of two meters. But even this version can be totally opaque if the right cut is applied.

Living protective wall

When we talk about a living protective wall, we don't just mean the lively green of the leaves and the gentle swaying of the stems in the wind. According to the experience of many hobby gardeners, a bamboo hedge can do a lot more:

  • many native songbirds use a bamboo hedge
  • they also breed in dense hedges
  • are protected from cats or other enemies
  • big plus for bird-friendly and natural gardens

tip: Bamboo hedges have the advantage that they not only offer privacy but also excellent soundproofing. They are therefore also ideal as a boundary for a cozy seat in a corner of the garden where you want to end the evening undisturbed.


Bamboo plants are evergreen and can therefore offer optimal privacy and bird protection even in winter. The green really stands out in a snowy landscape and a drab winter garden. Here, however, care should be taken to ensure that a bamboo variety adapted to the climate zone is selected for the hedge.


The bamboo hedges are usually very easy to care for. Even garden owners without the so-called "green fingers" can cope well with the care of the hedge. So the maintenance looks like this:

  • Fertilize in spring and late summer
  • select the months of March, May and August here
  • Fold in compost
  • use special fertilizer for bamboo plants from the trade
  • water sufficiently
  • especially young plants need a lot of water
  • during long dry periods
Bamboo as a hedge plant

notice: The point of casting as a disadvantage was discussed in more detail below. Because experience has shown that bamboo does not tolerate drought and always needs a lot of water. You should definitely pay attention to this when you create a bamboo hedge.


Another advantage that speaks for bamboo hedges is the longevity of the plants. Because it is said that these can live between eighty and a hundred years. Of course, this only works if the care is right. Plants indicate their end of life as follows:

  • Bamboo only blooms once in a lifetime
  • and that right before the end of his life
  • Based on experience, the flowering phase can last more than four years
  • then the plant dies

Tip: However, it doesn't matter if a single plant has reached its age and dies. All around in the hedge there are many younger plants that will quickly fill the gap again. New plants are constantly growing as a result of the rhizome formation.


Rapid spread underground

What is an advantage on the one hand, namely the density of the hedge and the rapid regrowth of new plants, is also a disadvantage on the other hand. Because the bamboo plants form underground root suckers that can spread into the garden and even neighboring gardens and form new, unwanted plants there. Therefore, when planting a new bamboo hedge, attention should be paid to the following:

  • Create a rhizome barrier
  • is available in specialist shops
  • prevents the unhindered spread of the roots
  • Dig the planting hole deep enough for this
  • otherwise roots will grow under the barrier

notice: If you do not create a rhizome barrier in the hedge area, this can have a major impact. The bamboo plants will spring up wherever they are not wanted. It will be difficult to take action against this later.

To cut

Since the bamboo plants are usually very fast-growing, the hedge also has to be cut frequently. The plants tolerate pruning well, so pruning is not a problem in this respect. Only the amount of work that occurs several times a year can be listed here as a disadvantage. When cutting, you should therefore pay attention to the following:

  • limits height growth
  • supports the density
  • Regularly cut overhanging stalks
  • Shape cutting in the spring after sprouting
  • not easy to cut like ornamental grasses
  • cut stalks will not continue to grow
  • Therefore, do not cut stalks lower than the desired hedge height
  • Pay attention to the different varieties when cutting

notice: As with all other hedges in the garden, the nature conservation law also applies to the bamboo hedge, which states that you can only cut a hedge between 01.10. and 28.02. of each year so as not to disturb breeding birds.

Avoid drought

Bamboo does not tolerate drought. This is important to know when planning a bamboo hedge. Because, unlike other hedges in the garden, this must always be watered down. So when watering and avoiding drying out, the following should be considered:

  • Avoid waterlogging
  • Lay drainage out of stones in the area of the hedge
  • water daily during hot periods
  • in the early morning or late evening hours
  • also water on dry and overcast days
  • Gießen can only be omitted on rainy days
  • Also make sure you have enough water in winter
  • water on frost-free days

tip: If you create the hedge and dig the planting ditch, then in addition to creating the rhizome barrier around this area, you should also fill the planting ditch with stones that meet drainage requirements. Due to the rhizome barrier, the water cannot run off to the side, so the additional installation of a drainage system is essential here.

Protected location

Even if bamboo is quite robust, the plants still want a reasonably protected location. Especially icy winds in winter can cause problems for the actually hardy bamboo plant. Therefore, when choosing the location for the hedge, particular attention should be paid to the following:

  • not one on a north or east side
  • here the autumn and winter wind is often not tolerated
  • possibly erect a protective fence or wall first
  • Place hedge in front of it

Different sorts

Which type of bamboo is chosen for the hedge depends mainly on the space that is available and the location. Because some varieties prefer a bright and sunny location, others a rather shady location. Some varieties grow very tall and wide, others do not need so much space:

Fargesia rufa

  • up to two meters high
  • requires a lot of space
  • Branches overhang

Fargesia robusta Campbell

  • slim growth
  • particularly suitable for narrow spaces

Fargesia jiuzhaigou

  • for shady locations
  • develops reddish culms

Fargesia nitida

  • clumpy growing
  • suitable for shady locations
  • particularly hardy

Phyllostachys bissetii

  • dense foliage
  • very opaque
  • grows up to five meters high

Phyllostrachys aureosulcate

  • extremely hardy
  • stands out visually with its yellow culms

Experiences with bamboo hedges

notice: For reasons of better legibility, small spelling mistakes (spaces, transposed letters, etc.) in the quotations have been corrected. The exact sources are linked under the indication of the respective forum.

"My bamboo miscanthus hedge is 8 m long, 3-4 m high and one meter wide, sits completely in a rhizome barrier (ring) and is now for the third year […] There are different varieties of Phyllostachys, as far as I know the fargesia don't get that high. However, Phyllostachys absolutely needs the barrier, he's even tried to break out over the top…you should leave it 5cm above the ground. I think bamboo is a nice, dense demarcation from the neighbors - the advantage is: it's green even in winter and super easy to care for!"

Source:, user: crescendo, 09/02/2008

"Well, I would advise against it, my brother-in-law always wanted a bamboo hedge, now he has one and is absolutely not satisfied with the way it grows: high, transparent, many stems, few leaves and the worst thing: It is rampant, there are bamboos everywhere in the meadow, because he also released the bamboo (and not in buckets as I recommended to him) and the roots are spreading very strongly.”

Source:, user: Hobbiegärtner, 08/22/2006

“We also have a lot of bamboo ourselves, also as a hedge. Never plant Phyllostachys and Pseudosasa varieties without a rhizome barrier, otherwise the garden will soon become a bamboo forest. Beautiful hedge varieties are Phyllostachys bisettii, Ph. humilis (4m, -20 degrees), Pseudosasa japonica (3-4m, -18 degrees), Hibanobambusa tranquilans shiroshima (3m, -18 degrees). But you need a width of 1.2 m, otherwise it doesn't look good and it's not opaque. Fargesia grow slowly, clump-like, so I would only recommend the Fargesia robusta, which is hardy and doesn't roll up the leaves like that. Bamboo is great but needs a bit of care, especially water (even in winter) and winter protection on your feet.”

Source:, User: Unregistered, 08/24/2006

“[… ] Well, bamboo is really easy to care for! On the contrary, I light up from time to time. You can always use the sticks in the garden and everything that has a diameter of less than a centimeter is given to the horses and rabbits, it's actually just grass… 😀 As long as you do the work of laying a rhizome barrier (that was a quite a ditch, the barrier is 70 cm deep), I don't know of any disadvantages and can really recommend bamboo! I would plant it again the same way myself!”

Source:, user: crescendo, 09/03/2008

"[…] I've had a bamboo hedge for 15 years and many gardeners have imitated me because they were impressed by the sight and everything around it.
I have fargesia on one front and suckers elsewhere. Even in the cold winters, this one kept its leaves, nice and green.
The Fargesia are all wonderfully knocked out again, none are broken.
I would only buy bamboo directly from a nursery I trust. I bought the creeping Fargesia in a garden center by the wayside, it only showed after 2-3 years that it wasn't one, now it's there, without a root barrier, together with hibiscus, ferns, and a euonymus, smoke shrub and they all get along . […]"
Source:, user: NinaC, 08.10.2010

"I have had a 10 m long bamboo hedge with 'Phyllostachys bissetii' for about 10 years.


absolutely insensitive bamboo;
hedge absolutely opaque;
even windbreak;
with me so far about 5 m high.


planted blue-eyed without rhizome barrier;
two years later it was dug up 120 cm deep on all sides and corrugated eternit plates used as a root barrier with a strong overlap;
Bamboo easily overcomes root barriers at the overlaps;
Bamboo forest in neighbor's garden (so far neighbor is happy, but won't stay that way);
many a sleepless night at the thought of bamboo hedge.

If bamboo hedge, then ONLY with clump-forming bamboo. […]"

Source:, user: unmuzzled, 06/21/2008

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