Fountain bamboo or fargesia nitida is a beautiful plant for bamboo hedging. It has all the qualities that are generally associated with bamboo, such as a fast growth rate, beautiful leaves that remain green throughout the year, a very hardy nature and of course an exotic appearance, which is the main reason most people choose to plant a bamboo hedge in their gardens in the first place. What really makes fountain bamboo ideal for hedging, however, is the fact that it does not become overgrown. Many bamboo varieties have a tendency to do so, but this particular species is easy to keep in check, though surprisingly, pruning these sturdy evergreen hedge plants is not even a necessity.
Planting and Maintaining a Fountain Bamboo Hedge
A fountain bamboo hedge will reach its maximum height of about 3 metres quite quickly, as it grows 50 to 75 centimetres a year. Since this height is not uncommon for hedges, pruning can be kept to a minimum. Fountain bamboo is very tolerant of pruning though, so if you want your hedge to be a little lower than that, it should not be much of a problem. In fact, fountain bamboo is not a very problematic plant in general. It will feel at home in any soil type and can be planted anywhere from deep shade to full sun. The species is not too fond of heat, however, so we recommend planting your fountain bamboo hedge in a partially shady to shady position.
Colourful Fountain Bamboo Hedging
The image that people associate with bamboo usually consists of thick, yellow-ish stems and fresh green leaves. Fountain bamboo, as well as the cultivar red bamboo or fargesia nitida ‘Jiuzhaigou’, which is derived from this naturally occurring species, are a little different. Its slim stems have a green to deep purple colour, while its leaves retain their greyish green colour even when the temperatures drop below zero. If you prefer the stems to have more of a crimson hue, red bamboo would better suit your wishes. A fountain bamboo hedge will therefore not only add an oriental character, but also an interesting display of colour to your garden.
Fountain Bamboo: Excellent for British Gardens
Though hailing from the Sichuan province in central China, fountain bamboo will have no problem thriving in the British climate. In fact, if it did not look so exotic, one might think this hedge plant was tailor-made for evergreen hedging in British gardens. It does not mind a little water – although waterlogging should be avoided– and it is hardy enough to withstand the cold during most British winters. And since fountain bamboo does not require a lot of trimming and does not become invasive, like most bamboo species do, it is a plant that will not give you any cause to worry.