We live in roasty-toasty Phoenix, Arizona and are thinking of planting bamboo for a privacy screen near the back wall at the west end of our property. We tried chilean mesquites, but they keep growing into the overhead electric lines that are, unfortunately in our backyard, so we thought bamboo that didn't grow over 20 feet could be the solution. There are two story apartments behind our house, and people can see everything we have in our yard. I've had some of my more prized plants disappear (all potted plants - succulent bonsais, fat plants and others), had my koi killed, and found my dog with a big bloody knot on his head. These events are wrecking my enjoyment of my home. I suspect some of the kids from the apartments are the culprits. We raised our block wall and put glass on the top, but I think that if we're more out of sight we'll be more out of mind.
I wanted to plant clumping bamboo about a foot away from the block wall, thinking that it would tend to clump towards the sunlight - the bamboo would be planted on the east side of the block wall. Anyhow, someone told my husband that the clumping bamboo would begin to push the blocks out of the wall. Has anyone with bamboo had this experience?
Bamboo is not, as a rule, a very pushy plant... Even the running types won't push up through bricks or concrete unless there is a HUGE crack without mortar in it that they can easily push through... The new shoots and rhizomes are just too soft to drill through hard stuff like that.