Folks are living close together in Alameda and Oakland and we get a lot of people at Ploughshares asking for something, anything, fast -growing, to create a screen between them and their neighbor. The fastest plant is of-course Bamboo, but the ‘B’ word can be scary to anyone who has had to deal with the aggressive ‘running’ versions. At Ploughshares we carry ‘clumping’ types. These bamboos are easy to restrain and grow upwards very quickly,… not sideways via stealth runners into other peoples property. Since spaces between houses are usually whats called ‘light shade’, ‘part sun’ or even just plain ‘shady’ we have an excellent bamboo which thrives in these conditions: Napalese Blue Bamboo or Himalayacalamus porcatus.
Blue Bamboo grows to 20ft. and has moderate to low water needs. It likes shade and is not particularly caring what kind of soil it is planted in. However, if you plant with a high concentration of manure you will see fast and dynamic growth of culms. A fine white powder covers the stalks, or ‘culms’ which lends this beautiful bamboo from Japan a distinct, almost ‘sculpted’ look.
Five gallon containers of Blue Bamboo are $55.99 at Ploughshares. Fall is the time to plant big specimens, let the cool weather and rain establish your new plantings so they thrive next season!