Planting a bamboo privacy screen is easy, but it’s not always the simplest of projects. You’re going to need some good containers and you may even have to make them yourself. And once everything grows in nicely, you’ll want your plants to look their best – so how do you keep from damaging or deforming delicate new growth? Here are instructions for building a bamboo screen that will fit right into any garden setting.
This project can be done with two different kinds of screens – hedges (which grow like normal trees) as well as panels (which are flat). We’ve chosen the panel method here because it’s easier to work with, but both methods produce equally effective results. What we’re after is something that won’t damage our newly planted bamboo when we move it around later on, which means making sure the container has nice wide handles that allow us to pick up our hedge without accidentally pulling out the roots.
The other thing we don’t want is anything too bulky or heavy that might cause injury if someone bumps against it while they’re mowing the lawn nearby.
For this reason, most people prefer using small wooden boxes or plastic storage bins instead of larger metal ones. They also tend to cost less than metal versions. But since these materials aren’t exactly built to withstand much wear-and-tear over time.
I decided to try constructing my own protective box made from a sturdy piece of plywood. It took me about an hour and included several steps such as cutting slits along one side of the board and attaching a stake at its base.
Once all was said and done, though, I ended up with a very functional little structure that I could easily lift by myself. If you’d rather skip the construction step, there are plenty of readymade options available online. Just search “bamboo privacy screen” or “hedge screen” plus whatever country you live in, and you should find what you need pretty quickly.
So let’s get started!
Choosing a Good Container for Bamboo
There are many sizes and shapes of bamboo privacy screens available, but the general idea is usually the same: cut off branches until you reach the desired height and then trim away the tops where the screen meets the ground. Then place the remaining stalks horizontally inside a large container and tie each stalk together at either end with string or wire ties. Use only strong strings or wires that won’t break under pressure, however, or else your plant may fall apart during transit.
This is particularly important for the taller varieties of bamboo used for screening purposes, as those can stretch quite far across a standard-sized container before reaching the edges. When choosing a size, remember that bamboo spreads rapidly through underground rhizomes and therefore takes longer to mature compared to traditional houseplants.
Also, consider whether or not you plan to reuse the container again next year. Most importantly, take note of the overall dimensions…the actual width and length measurements of the container itself should match the circumference and height of your intended screen. These numbers will help determine what kind of material(s) you use to construct the frame of the screen.
For example, if your bamboo privacy screen needs to stand 6 feet tall, you would measure roughly 6 feet across (from corner to opposite corner), multiply that number by 2, then subtract 1 inch from each side to give you the total diameter of the sides needed.
In this case, we would divide 7 inches by 5 = 1.4, round down to 1 foot, and buy ourselves a 24 inch x 18 inch square wood fence post. That way, we can simply drill holes every 12 inches throughout the entire perimeter of the container and attach individual stakes at the corners to form a rectangular framework.
With smaller screens, you can just use lengths of pipe or rebar instead of fences posts. Either way, the key point is to choose a container that matches the overall size of the finished product. Now that we know how big the screen needs to be, we can start thinking about ways to hold it upright within the confines of the container. Read ahead to learn more.
Putting Your Potted Bambu Hedge Or Screen Together
When putting your potted bamboo together, first decide whether you want to build a single row of vertical poles spanning the full length of the container, or whether you want to space multiple rows spaced evenly apart along the interior walls. Of course, you could combine the two approaches if necessary. Whatever design you settle on, make certain to leave room at least 3 feet between each pole/row and the wall so there’s enough room to walk freely underneath the screen. Next, mark the positions of the horizontal support rods onto the surface of the floor of the container.
Make sure they’re positioned directly beneath the top edge of the container so they extend down below the bottom of the screen. Attach short pieces of rope to the ends of each rod and loop them tightly over the edges of the container. Tie another long rope loosely around the ropes above the level of the floor to provide additional strength. Finally, hang weights from the loops of rope above the area where the horizontal supports sit. Place the container upside down on top of the weights and secure it in position with bricks or rocks. Fill the gaps left behind by the weight holders with gravel or sand.
Now comes the fun part, planting your bamboo! First, dig a hole slightly wider than the depth of the root ball of your bamboo. Remove the soil carefully, leaving the crown of the bamboo intact. Gently remove the dirt surrounding the root ball, keeping the soil removed from the center of the root system. Be careful not to disturb the tiny hairs called phloem located near the tips of the shoots. Firmly pack the root ball gently back into the loose soil, taking care not to compact the earth. Insert the tip of the taproot into the soil and wrap it firmly around with burlap strips — this ensures proper anchoring.
Continue wrapping the taproot with burlap until the whole root ball is completely covered. Dig approximately 4 to 6 inches deep and fill the trench with stones, broken brick, or pebbles. Water thoroughly and wait patiently for your bamboo to begin growing. Don’t worry if leaves appear on the outside of the screen.
As long as no sunlight reaches the foliage, the young stems shouldn’t develop chlorophyll pigments. Eventually, watch closely as greenish buds sprout on the outermost layers of leaf nodes. Those buds turn into fully developed seedlings in three months’ time. Congratulations! You now have a healthy bamboo privacy screen!