Bamboo plants are one of the easiest plants to grow. Sometimes they're too easy to grow, because their advanced growth rate may cause their roots to overpower roots of other plants in your garden.
When you choose a bamboo, it should be planted in an area that gets five hours or more of direct sunlight a day. They also need protection from weeds, as well as fertilization and ample water. When they are young, a little shade will help them grow, and some bamboo plants do well with moderate to light shade later in life, as well.
Most bamboos really spread their rhizomes underground swiftly, so you will want to remember this when you are planting. Root pruning should be done every year, or they will take over much of your garden's root space. You can also use polyethylene to create an underground barrier that your bamboos can't cross.
To form a screen, bamboo plants should be spaced from three to five feet apart. If you have a fast grower and you won't be pruning roots, leave even more room between plants. Most bamboos will reach their adult height in about five to seven years. Clumping bamboo usually add one or two feet of height each year, and the running varieties may grow out from three to five feet per year. They also tend to spread outward at about the same rate of growth.
Bamboos are most happy in loamy soil that is moderately acidic. If you have heavy soil, add organic materials. If you mulch in a heavy manner, the earthworms can do the job of spreading the mulch around for you. You merely spread about two inches of mulch in the area where the bamboo will be planted, because they do better in soil similar to what is found in a forest.
You can plant bamboo plants any time of year if you have a mild climate. In areas that see colder winters, plant them outdoors early in the fall, so they can become strong enough to weather their first winter. The later in the Fall season you plant, the more mulch you should use, because this will give your bamboos more protection from the cold.
Unless you want your whole garden or yard in bamboo, you will have to control the root growth in some manner. You may prune roots yearly, or provide a barrier of polyethylene 60 mil thick by thirty inches deep. Otherwise you'll have bamboo roots everywhere. Make sure you sink your barrier deep enough if you plant one, because the rhizomes may sink themselves lower when they run into the barrier at the top level of their growth. They are very persistent. Check and remove any rhizomes that make it over, under or around your barrier, at least once a year.
Bamboo plants are very easy to grow - just make sure it doesn't over-run the rest of your garden, so that all the other plants will have room for their roots.