Is running bamboo really that hard to control?


Aug 26, 2019
I was thinking about getting some bamboo plants to use as privacy and looks. Ive been reading up on it and i've seen a lot of people discouraging from getting running bamboo saying it grows so fast and is hard to control but clumping bamboo is slower growing and only grows where its established. I have a fairly long fence so id like it to grow pretty fast but if it will take over my whole yard I don't want to get running bamboo. So in your experience what has worked best for you? I live in Memphis Tennessee if that helps at all.


6 Years
Aug 3, 2013
Pineville, Louisiana
You might be able to control running bamboo but it doesn’t make as good a privacy fence as clumping bamboo. If you use clumping, I have Green Hedge, you can expect a good tall barrier in about 4 years with good soil and sunlight. This is the company I bought mine from:


6 Years
Jul 18, 2013
Kalispell MT
I don't have any bamboo but have done a lot of reading because I would like to get some. The running bamboo is controllable. Either you dig a 26 inch deep barrier of heavy plastic around the plants or you dig a trench around the plants. With the trench you need to go out with a shovel and hoe twice a year to cut off and pull out any runners that try to get out of your containment area.

I would think that the biggest consideration would be neighbors. If you are planting near a property line you need to make sure your plants don't try to invade your neighbor's yard. Not being careful could cause some bad feelings in the neighborhood.


In the Brooder
Jun 11, 2019
Same here.

Personally I would not get either. It's very hard to control and runs deep into the ground. I've seen in grow through about 4 ft of firewood. It will also choke out anything that's near it if you don't keep it contained. My neighbors have it and it's growing on to my property now. No matter how much I dig it out it keeps coming back. When it gets out of control you will need an excavator to remove it. I'm not sure which type it is but it sends out runners underground that can be like 20' long and just pop up in random spots. What about a leyland cypress or something of that nature for privacy. They grow very fast, are also evergreen (not sure if that's what you would call it for bamboo), attract hummingbird, and you can hedge them.


Feb 18, 2020
I would 100% recommend against planting bamboo and esp. running bamboo. I don't know much about the clump bamboo but my neighbor planted running bamboo before we bought this house and it is totally running amok. It should be illegal to plant at all. You have to work to control it and even then it easily runs out of control. If you like to do extra work then certainly, plant running bamboo and enjoy all the extra work and time into trying to control it, good luck!

I guess the one positive thing is that the chickens like to hunt and peck in the bamboo, which is natural for them, but the positives in my opinion do not outweigh the negatives.

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