Bamboo is not a new landscape plant, it has been popular in warmer climates for quite some time. The discovery of additional species that can withstand freezing temperatures, including Phyllostachys Aurea, has led to a recent boom in its popularity as a hedgerow plant or just an eye catching addition to any landscape.
Bamboo is very easy to grow. In fact their ease of growth leads to their biggest downside, their tendency to be invasive. This plant requires a fair amount of grooming to keep it from popping up everywhere. The neighbors will not be happy if they have to spend their weekends keeping bamboo from taking over their lawns or gardens. Some types are harder to control than others but all can get quickly out of control if left to their own devices. Here are some popular choices.
Golden Bamboo, or Phyllostachys Aurea, has stems that turn a golden yellow if they get enough sunlight. Although they can grow well in partial shade they will really thrive in direct sun. They are evergreen and can reach a height of 5 meters. They spread very easily through underground runners which makes it hard to predict where they will pop up next. They are not the best choice for a hedgerow unless the neighbors enjoy them as well.
Phyllostachys Aureosulcata Aureocaulis is another tall species, reaching a height of around 6 meters. The most notable thing about this species is the fact that if exposed to enough sunlight the stalks will turn a vibrant red. Even in partial shade the yellow stalks and bright green leaves are attractive, especially in the winter months when everything else is brown and leafless.
The best feature of the hardy bamboo Phyllostachys Aureosulcata Spectabilis is the bright green grooved stripes running down each stem. Varying in thickness and number from stem to stem these stripes add variety and beauty. In addition the stems grow in a zigzag way. All in all a bold and attractive looking plant.
Black bamboo or Phyllostachys Nigra is another striking addition to any landscape or garden. They are one of the shorter types, topping out at only about 3 meters, but what they lack in height they more than make up for with their shiny black stems. These are are attractive enough by themselves but also created a perfect backdrop for the bright green, feathery leaves. They also have the advantage of not spreading as easily as some of the others.
Phyllostachys Bissetii may be the best all around choice for creating a privacy hedge. It is tall, about 6 meters, and grows quickly. In addition they have a very dense growth habit with stems popping up only inches from each other. They can create a thick, impenetrable hedge in a very short period of time.
Phyllostachys Aurea is just one of the many options available to those in search of bamboo to plant on their property. All of the types that are hardy enough to survive temperatures below freezing are also evergreen which means they will give a splash of green during the drab months of winter. They can be invasive however so great attention must be paid to where they are placed and their grooming to avoid having them take over the neighborhood.