Almost Nothing Makes a Faster Screen or Hedge!
The slender canes grow rigidly upright to 15-25 feet, and with good soil and plenty of water, you’ll have a dense and impenetrable hedge or privacy screen in just a couple of years. Poor soil and low water will slow it, but only a little. It can send out underground shoots 10 to 15 feet from the your planting, and have the space filled in within two or three years!
So Attractive, with Graceful Leaves all the Way to the Ground
Gracefully cascading leaves grow all down the canes, providing coverage all the way to the ground. As they age, the green canes will take on yellow tones if exposed to full sun, prompting many people to keep the bottom leaves trimmed to show off the contrasting canes.
Zones 6 and south, the foliage stays green year round; in zone 5, you may have winter damage to the leaves and even canes, but the plants will come back handily the next year.
Very Drought Tolerant, and Takes Dry, 100 Degree Heat of Southern Summers
This is one tough plant! Once it gets going, it is undeterred by heat or drought, and will grow quite reliably even in less than ideal conditions.
Canes Come in Handy for lots of Uses
The hollow stems can be harvested to support beans and other garden vines or bound together to create a fence. They have also been many a boy’s impromptu fishing pole, which gives rise to one of its names, Fishing Pole Bamboo.
Though it grows fastest and most lushly in fertile, moist, well-drained soil with lots of sun, this fast-growing Bamboo will grow quite well in most any soil type, and after getting off to a good start with regular waterings for the first month, it requires little or no watering. Plant 4-6 feet apart for coverage in 2-4 years.
A Word About Siting:
The flip side of this being such a fast grower is that it can also be a challenge to keep it where you want it. Unless you have an unlimited amount of space it can grow, you need to provide a substantial barrier for the running roots. One method of containment is to dig an open trench 6 inches wide and 2 feet deep around the area you want this plant to grow; if you leave it open, it will air-prune most of the rhizomes, and you can easily cut any that extend out into the trench. Some prefer to fill their 2 foot trench with rocks and concrete to contain the roots, especially if they have a narrow area by a fence or a corner of the yard to fill. This might seem like overkill, but it almost totally prevents having to cut back runners that show up in unwanted locations!