Most people normally believe that bamboo only has one kind or all types are the same. In fact, there are more than one distinct species of bamboo.
Amongst its species, running bamboo and clumping bamboo are the two most common ones. What are their differences? Which one is easier to plant? Which one should you choose between, running bamboo vs clumping bamboo? Here we’ll provide you detailed information about the two types of bamboo! Let’s dive in!
How Many Types Of Bamboo Are There?
Running bamboo and clumping bamboo are the two main kinds of bamboo. Let’s read on to have an overview of them!
Clumping bamboo grows in clumps, precisely as its name indicates. You can rest assured while planting this type of bamboo in your yard to produce a bamboo stand and won’t need to worry about its spread.
When the running bamboo reaches adulthood, it will spread uncontrollably. Rhizomes root system helps running bamboo spread by generating new shoots. Before sprouting, these rhizomes can spread more than 100 feet (30 meters).
As a result, the fresh bamboo patch may suddenly grow into new ones in your neighbor’s. That’s why you shouldn’t choose to plant this type of bamboo unless you know how to prevent its spread.
A tip to prevent its spread is by creating a containment effect by enclosing the bamboo with metal sheets (buried at least 2 feet below ground level) or concrete or root barriers purchased from a store, reaching a minimum of 4 inches (10 cm) above ground level.
The bamboo’s roots are shallow, which would prevent any runners from taking off and spreading. To control the growth of rhizomes, you should regularly check the plant. Plant your bamboo in a big above-ground container that does not sit on the soil if you want a more reliable method.
Have you ever gone to a forest and wondered how all the bamboo there spread so dramatically?
Obviously, all of us are familiar with this ‘uncontrollable’ sort of bamboo that spreads to the neighbors’ yards. This type of bamboo is only suitable for planting on vast estates or in containers.
Running bamboo has a rhizome that grows up to six meters long in unpredictable directions. Bamboo culms are formed when new bamboo shoots sprout through the surface at various intervals along the length of the rhizome (poles).
Its rhizomes continue to extend up to 6 meters in either direction, forming the flowing bamboo grove. You can visualize rhizomes as an underground network that has no spatial boundaries.
3. Will Running Bamboo Provide The Best Bamboo Screening?
Running bamboo makes beautiful groves and forests or may be used in pots as a screening plant for privacy. This tree is also highly popular in cities where many garden beds have been concreted over by buildings and highways, preventing them from taking root.
Also, running bamboo is helpful in narrow concerns where you need more height! If you are worried about its spreading, make use of the root barrier!
Anyone desiring bamboo that remains in their own garden should learn more about clumping bamboo.
Clustered Bamboo forms a bushy barrier by growing in thick areas or “clumps.” Depending on the bamboo variant, a clump can range from three to ten feet in diameter. Bamboo clumps together, so you’ll need additional plants to construct a barrier fence for them.
Meanwhile, running bamboo and clumping bamboo both grow in the same way. Their short, separate rhizomes create individual culms (bamboo poles), which form a ‘clump.’
They have extremely shallow growth tips and can only generate one culm per rhizome instead of running bamboo that spreads in every direction. Clumping bamboo can not physically run and will remain in the clump where the initial bamboo was planted, rather than dispersing to other locations.
Bamboo clumps come in a wide variety of sizes, shapes, colors, and thicknesses. Examples of this would include clumps of one-meter diameter that are ideal for tight screening compared to bigger or looser species with a 4m diameter footprint. Thus, it is vital that you carefully consider every aspect before choosing a variant to plant.
3. Will Clumping Bamboo Provide The Best Bamboo Screening?
Because they are narrow at the base and weep at the top, this bamboo type doesn’t work well as a screening material with their large gaps between each other.
Where Can They Grow?
According to the above characteristics of the two types of bamboo, where are the suitable locations to grow them? Let’s read on for details on their suitable growing area!
Normally, running bamboo grows in climatic zones. Some running varieties are suitable for different zones, from the frigid climate zone 5 to the sweltering heat of the tropics.
The locations where clumping bamboo can develop are relatively limited. Even though there are cold, hardy, and tropical clumping bamboo, only a few climatic zones are suitable for cold-resistant clumping ones (such as mountain bamboo).
It takes them several years to reach their mature height of 8 to 12 feet. As heat and humidity make it difficult for clumping bamboo to survive throughout the summer months, you may grow them in cooler areas if you want a slow-growing bamboo reach between 8 and 12 feet tall.
After reading this post, which one would you choose to grow between running bamboo vs clumping bamboo? As mentioned above, you should pick the suitable plant based on their characteristics, growing area, suitable climate, and your planting purpose.
Both clumping and running bamboo can help protect the environment and prevent soil erosion in your garden. Nonetheless, running bamboo can provide better bamboo screening compared with the other.