Bamboo privacy screen


I live near HP facing south and received lots of sunlight. I want a cold hardy,clumping bamboo that will grow to 10 ft+ ideally with strong non slumping straight stalks for a privacy screen. If possible please send info to my email. A tall grass would work too if you know of one. Don


There are many cold-hardy varieties of bamboo. There are no bamboo plants native to Canada though so you need to be careful which (temperate) variety you choose to plant.  Many bamboo varieties are invasive, spreading very rapidly via an aggressive rhizome root system. Almost every species of Phyllostachys falls into this category and you’ll want to avoid those. Instead, consider something from the Fargesia genus, which grow in tightly formed clumps. Examples that will grow to the height you want but not invade the rest of your (or your neighbours’) gardens include Green Panda fargesia (Fargesia dracocephala ‘Rufa’) which will grow to the height you need and umbrella bamboo (Fargesia murielae). This bamboo prefers an area that is protected from the hot afternoon sun and can thrive in dappled sunlight. 

As an alternative you may want to try a colourful and drought-tolerant native grass such as Big Bluestem  (Andropogon gerardii) or Indian Grass (Sorghastrum nutans)

Evergreen shrubs are also suitable alternatives for privacy hedges. The Toronto Master Gardeners has published a Garden Guide to evergreens suitable for hedging which you may want to peruse. There are also many tall , narrow species of poplar and beech trees suitable for providing privacy. Finally, there are a variety of native shrubs that would fit that height and sun profile and support the native bird and bee population, including: 

Buttonbush (Cephalanthus occidentalis)

Gray dogwood ( Cornus racemosa )

Red dogwood ( Cornus sericea )

American hazelnut (Corylus americana)

Ninebark (Physocarpus opulifolius)

Sand cherry ( Prunus pumila )

Pussy willow (Salix discolor)

Canada elder (Sambucus canadensis)

Nannyberry (Viburnum lentago)

Best of luck with your planting!