Real World Gardener Groundcover Bamboos are Plant of the Week

November 12th, 2015

REAL WORLD GARDENER Wed. 5pm 2RRR 88.5fm Sydney, streaming live at  and Across Australia on the Community Radio Network.

Real World Gardener is funded by the Community Broadcasting Foundation (CBF).

The complete CRN edition of RWG is available on , just click on 2RRR to find this week’s edition.


Groundcover Bamboo


Bamboo comes from all over the world; from South America, Africa, Asia, Australia. It may surprise you to learn that Australia's got four native species of bamboos. 
Have you had a bad experience with growing bamboo?
Perhaps there were invasive bamboo runners coming up through the fence from next door?
You might be surprised to learn that not all running bamboo is bad, but it’s good to know the difference between running and clumping bamboo.
Let’s find out about them by listening to the podcast. I'm talking with Karen Smith from and Jeremey Critchley owner of

Ground cover bamboos are a spreading variety of bamboo, almost like lawns and can be contained with a simple root barrier.

Karen mentioned Dwarf Whitestripe Pleioblastus fortune-is the prettiest of the ground covers, with crisp green and white variegated foliage.

This one grows to 40cm in height and will flush back denser and fresher when trimmed down regularly as recommended.

A tip about bamboo; when planting bamboo in the ground, whether it’s clumping or running types, it's important to know how they’ll behave.

Cultivate the entire area you want covered to a depth of  approximately 15cm.

plant-1-baby-panda.jpgOr, bring in top soil to a depth of 15cm.

Add mushroom compost through the top soil and plant at 50cm spacings apart in a gridlike fashion or closer for quicker results.

If planting in pots, use a good quality potting mix with added coir peat.

Mainly so that they survive and also so that they don't take over.

Bamboo "Baby Panda" has lime green very dense foliage and only grows to 20cm in full sun.

In a part shade position Jeremey says it can get to 30 - 40 cm.

Baby Panda bamboo is frost tolerant.

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