Selecting the Best Bamboo Varieties for Privacy Fences

You may have heard that using bamboo plants for privacy is a great way to solve your landscaping and privacy problems in a way that seems different and appealing. Bamboo plants have many unique qualities that make them an excellent choice for privacy fences and landscaping.

These are the five most important things you should know before you use bamboo plants for privacy:

Looking to add some instant privacy to your outdoor space? Bamboo is one of the best options for creating a living privacy fence or screen. With the right bamboo variety, you can transform an open yard into a secluded oasis in just a few seasons.

But with hundreds of bamboo species to choose from, it can be tricky to select the ideal plants for your privacy needs In this comprehensive guide, we’ll cover the key factors to consider when choosing bamboo for fences and the best bamboo varieties to create the ultimate privacy barrier

Why Bamboo Makes an Excellent Privacy Fence

There are several reasons bamboo is so popular for privacy screens:

  • Fast growth – Bamboo is one of the fastest growing plants, shooting up by several feet per year. It quickly forms a tall, dense wall of foliage.

  • Evergreen foliage – Unlike deciduous trees and shrubs that lose leaves bamboo stays green year-round for uninterrupted privacy.

  • Dense stems – The closely spaced, upright stems of bamboo create an opaque barrier.

  • Versatile sizes – Bamboos range from 3 feet to over 50 feet tall, so you can find a size suited to your needs

  • Low maintenance – Bamboo is adaptable, tough, and doesn’t require much care once established.

  • Aesthetic appeal – With exotic, natural beauty, bamboo makes an attractive backdrop.

Key Considerations When Selecting Bamboo

To choose the best bamboo for your privacy fence or screen, keep these factors in mind:

Growth Habit

Bamboos are either clumping or running varieties. Clumping bamboo expands slowly in a compact form, making it easy to contain. Running bamboo is more aggressive, spreading widely via underground stems called rhizomes. Running bamboo requires containment to prevent unwanted spread.

For privacy fences, clumping bamboo is usually the better choice, as it stays tidier and doesn’t invade other areas of the yard. Popular clumping bamboos include Alphonse Karr, Fargesia, and Oldhamii.

Mature Height

Consider how tall you want your bamboo privacy fence to be. Taller varieties like Moso and Alphonse Karr can reach 40-50 feet, while compact kinds like Golden Goddess grow just 10-15 feet high. Choose a bamboo that meets your height preferences.


Opt for bamboos like Oldhamii, Alphonse Karr, and Gracilis that have very dense, upright stems. This creates an opaque, living wall. Bamboos with looser or arching stems won’t block views as effectively.

Cold Hardiness

Choose a bamboo suited to your climate. Cold hardy varieties like Oldhamii and Fargesia thrive down to 0°F, while tropical clumping bamboos only tolerate temps above 15°F. Check each plant’s temperature tolerance.

Sunlight Tolerance

Some bamboos thrive in full sun, while others prefer part shade. Factor in sunlight levels in your intended planting site when selecting bamboo.

The Best Bamboo Plants for Privacy Fences

Here are some of the top bamboo varieties for creating backyard privacy screens:

Oldhamii Bamboo

This dense, upright clumping bamboo grows 35-45 feet tall and is hardy to -10°F. The tight stems provide superb privacy. Oldhamii thrives in sun or part shade.

Alphonse Karr Bamboo

Another excellent choice, this fast growing clumping bamboo reaches 40 feet tall with lush, bushy foliage. It handles full sun well and is cold hardy to 0°F.

Gracilis Bamboo

Also called Slender Weaver, this tidy clumping bamboo grows 20-30 feet tall in narrow clumps perfect for tight spaces. It’s hardy to 0°F and does well in sun or shade.

Fargesia Bamboo

Fargesia species like Jiuzhaigou are very cold tolerant, handling temperatures down to -15°F. They spread slowly in tight clumps and reach 15-20 feet tall.

Chusquea Culeou Bamboo

A durable clumping bamboo that tolerates wind, salt spray, and temperatures down to 5°F. It forms a medium-density hedge up to 15 feet tall in shady areas.

Bambusa Oldhamii Bamboo

While technically a running bamboo, Oldhamii is slower spreading and can be contained. It forms an ultra-dense 40 foot tall hedge for secluded privacy. Hardy to 10°F.

Golden Goddess Bamboo

A beautiful compact option, this clumping bamboo grows just 10-15 feet tall with elegant yellow stems. Perfect for low privacy hedges in sun or shade and hardy to 0°F.

Caring for Bamboo Privacy Screens

Proper care and containment will keep your bamboo privacy fence thriving for years:

  • Water 1-2 times per week until established, then as needed. Bamboo prefers moist soil.

  • Apply fertilizer in early spring to fuel growth. Use a balanced organic formula.

  • Prune old stems annually to encourage new shoots. Cut back to just above ground.

  • Install rhizome barriers around running bamboo to contain spread. Use thick plastic or metal.

  • Monitor for pests like spider mites and diseases. Take action promptly if issues occur.

With the right bamboo variety selected for your climate and planting site, you’ll be enjoying the benefits of a living privacy fence in no time. Say goodbye to noisy neighbors and eyesore views! Let us know if you have any other questions about using bamboo for privacy.

Invasive & Non-Invasive Bamboo

Bamboo can be classified into 2 groups: invasive and non-invasive. Invasive bamboo is also known as ‘running bamboo’ and tends to spread rapidly. Invasive bamboo is rarely used for privacy due to the fact that it is very hard to contain. Shoots can grow up to several feet away from the parent plant, and it’s very hard to stop their growth. Non-invasive bamboo, also called ‘clumping bamboo’, grows in tightly formed clumps that are up to 5’ in diameter. Clumping bamboo is most often used to make privacy fences and screens because it is easy to care for and can be shaped to any size or shape.

Bamboo is one of the fastest growing plants in the world, which is why it is the #1 choice for creating a natural green screen or privacy fence. It is possible to buy bamboo that is already 10 to 30 feet tall, but that can get pricey fast. However, when you purchase bamboo starter plants, you can grow your own privacy fence within 3-5 years.

Local Ordinances & Policies

Most places have a lot of rules and laws about building a privacy fence that cost money and require permits. But there aren’t many places where it’s against the law to use bamboo plants as privacy fences. This means that you can avoid the need for permits and simply grow an effective privacy fence.



What kind of bamboo is best for privacy?

Seabreeze Bamboo This is considered the best option for privacy screens because it is non-invasive. An excellent example of clumping bamboo for privacy screens is Seabreeze Bamboo. This bamboo variety can create beautiful privacy screens.

Is bamboo good for a privacy fence?

Bamboo is a great plant for visual privacy screens or evergreen hedges because it has a relatively small footprint, it’s tall, it’s alive and it grows fast, produces oxygen and sequesters carbon, and to top it off, it’s beautiful.

Which bamboo is best for screening?

Fargesia bamboos are invaluable for screens as they are clumping and non-invasive in their habit – our favourites include Fargesia Robusta, Fargesia Scabrida, Fargesia Nitida and Fargesia Dracocephala.

Is clumping bamboo good for privacy?

Clumping bamboo can provide excellent privacy with good growing conditions.

Which bamboo is best for a privacy fence?

Seabreeze bamboois a medium-large sized bamboo, and is by far the most popular bamboo for privacy fences and screens. The reason Seabreeze makes such an effective privacy screen is because of the numerous lateral branches, which creates one of the best screens for privacy.

How do I choose a bamboo privacy fence or screen?

The size of the area where you intend to put your privacy fence or screen is a major factor in deciding the type of bamboo that you need. Bamboo is available in many shapes and sizes, with a height that ranges anywhere from 15 feet to over 40 feet tall and clump sizes between 3-4 to 6+ feet in diameter.

Which bamboo is best for a privacy screen?

Clumping bamboo is low maintenance and grows in tight clusters, ideal for creating a privacy screen Running bamboo spreads quickly and requires containment, but offers a dense and tall privacy barrier. Giant timber bamboo is the most impressive in terms of height and thickness, making it perfect for larger yards or commercial spaces.

How tall should a bamboo fence be?

However, if you’re looking to create an entire bamboo privacy fence around your backyard, then you may only want to bamboo that grows between 15 and 25 feet in height. By defining a purpose for your bamboo plants for privacy, you can narrow your options and help choose the ultimate bamboo for your needs. Screening, Hedges, Fences Or Landscaping

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