Experts are calling for the popular garden plant bamboo to be sold with a warning in the UK after its shoots have been found damaging walls and buildings.
The invasive bamboo plant, which is a popular option for city-dwellers, can spread from the garden to the house by breaking through foundations. It might provide a natural screening from nosy neighbours, but its rhizomes are capable of spreading up to a whopping 30ft (ten metres) if left unattended.
According to Nic Seal, founder of Environet, bamboo sales have soared during the pandemic, with enquiries from customers doubling in the past 12 months. “The fact is that most bamboos are invasive, and I expect they would be a good deal less popular if gardeners were given the facts at the point of sale,” he said in the press release.
We’re regularly dealing with entire gardens that are a mass of bamboo rhizome, where homeowners have desperately tried to keep on top of the problem by cutting back or mowing new shoots as they emerge.
Nic explains that nurseries should warn shoppers, adding: “It’s time for garden centres and plant nurseries to take some responsibility for the escalating problem being faced by gardeners up and down the country who have bought bamboo in good faith with no warning of the risks.”The evergreen perennial flowering plants are famed for their exotic feel, but they can end up being an expensive mistake. One South West London resident, Kate Saunders, said the bamboo shoots were growing uncontrollably in her garden.
I’d advise anyone considering planting bamboo to think twice and only plant it in pots or containers above-ground and be prepared to do a lot of maintenance to control it.
Kate says, explaining she regrets buying it.
While you can still have bamboo in your home, Environet is urging people to choose a clumping variety such as Bambusa or Chusquea. As well as this, they also explained that you should plant the roots in a strong pot (avoiding placing it directly in the ground) and make sure you prune it every year to keep it in check.
If you are struggling to control bamboo shoots, always call the experts.
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