Bamboo can be added to any garden and due to its fast growth, it can grow quickly to add height to your borders and provide much-needed privacy. Whether you choose a clump-forming or running variety of bamboo, there are plenty of types you can easily plant in your garden yourself that grow fast within the UK climate.
If you want to learn more about how to plant bamboo, we wrote an in-depth guide with photos showing the bamboo being planted in our garden. The same bamboo that was planted is also used in the case study below.
How Fast Does Bamboo Grow?
The speed at which bamboo grows is dependent upon the variety that you choose, how it was planted and several other factors. However, as an approximation, the running variety of bamboo can grow anywhere between 80 to 140 cm each year whereas the clump-forming bamboo can grow 30 to 60 cm each year.
Compared with other types of plants, this type of growth per year shows how fast bamboo can grow and it’s the reason why it’s so popular. Therefore, if you need to create hedging/screening fast, bamboo is certainly the best method.
Bamboo Growth Case Study
After planting bamboo in our garden, we decided to track how fast it grows by taking photos every week. As you can see from the below photos, in just six weeks, it has grown extremely fast in such a short space of time.
We would approximate that in just six weeks, it has grown from 20 cm to 250 cm tall, which is incredible. This is far greater than the “average annual growth” but now that it has reached such a height, the growth will begin to slow down.
Below are six photos that are taken a week apart to show how fast bamboo grows.
Two Year Update
To keep this article up to date and detailed with regards to bamboo growth, below is a photo after two years of growth. As you can see, the bamboo has not only grown even further but it has also become far more “bushier”.
As you can see from the weekly photos of the bamboo growth, it certainly grows fast. However, it’s worth pointing out that it wasn’t just a single bamboo shoot that grew this fast because multiple did out of the 12 initial bamboo pots that were planted. The growth from week 4 to week 5 was very fast and during this period, there was a mixture of rain and sun.
At the two-year stage, the bamboo has become very established and it now provides great screening and hides the fence that’s behind it. We will update this article again in a year’s time and it should be even taller.
Maintaining The Bamboo For Fast Growth
If you have just planted your bamboo and want the best possible chance of it growing fast, below are some maintenance tasks that we recommend carrying out:
- Adequate Watering: Bamboo requires consistent and adequate watering, especially during the first year of growth. Therefore, it’s advised that you give the bamboo deep watering sessions to ensure the roots receive sufficient moisture. However, you’ll want to avoid overwatering as this can lead to root rot.
- Fertilization: Bamboo plants benefit from regular fertilization to promote healthy growth. Although not always necessary, you can apply a balanced, slow-release fertilizer in the spring or early summer to provide essential nutrients.
- Mulching: Apply a layer of organic mulch around the base of the bamboo to conserve moisture, suppress weed growth and provide nutrients as it decomposes. Mulching also helps regulate soil temperature, which is beneficial for bamboo growth.
- Pruning: Regular pruning helps maintain the health and shape of bamboo. Pruning any dead stems or leaves to thin out overcrowded areas allows the healthier culms to receive more resources and grow faster. Ideally, you’ll want to start pruning the bamboo during the early spring before new growth emerges.
As long as you’ve planted bamboo correctly, it’s an excellent plant that’s ideal for creating fast screening. The speed to which it grows is impressive to watch and track and hopefully in a few years we will have a fully grown hedge of bamboo.
The only drawback that we’ve seen from planting bamboo is that people have planted the running variety of bamboo incorrectly. Failing to install a root barrier can cause it to spread throughout your garden and become a nuisance. Therefore, if you have never planted it before, do some research on how to plant it (we have a great guide!) beforehand.
Our plan for the bamboo is to provide us with plenty of privacy at the back of our garden and at this rate, it should achieve this in just a couple of years. Once it has reached a suitable height, we will use a pole hedge cutter to maintain a level height at the top to improve its aesthetics.
If you require further information regarding bamboo growth, feel free to get in touch and we will try to provide our assistance where possible.