The spreading types of bamboo typically grow taller and have larger canes than the clumping types. You can restrain the spreading by harvesting the shoots. (Cut the new shoots below the soil line shortly after they emerge in the spring). They are delicious sliced and sauteed in stir fry. Because bamboo have a shallow root system you can surround the bamboo with a barrier of plastic or sheet metal. the barrier must go down at least 20" in to the soil to contain the plant. Mowing is also a way to contain the spreading types of bamboo. To use them in a screen, plant them 4 to 6 feet apart. and it will quickly fill in the gaps. They also make excellent container plants. Remember your Hooked On Palms supplier can get over 100 varieties of cold hardy bamboo.
See the photo's below of a few of the spreading (running) varieties of Bamboo
Some of the varieties we would recommend
Black Bamboo (Phyllostachys nigra)
Hardy to 0 º F (USDA Zones 7 to10) in hot summer area’s it enjoys partial shade. Striking jet black canes with dark green, lush foliage. Culms appear green the first and possibly part of the second year. Canes can get up to 3 ½” in diameter and over 30’ in height.This is considered to be a spreading type of bamboo.
Giant Timber Bamboo (Phyllostachys vivax)
Hardy to Minus-10 F (USDA Zone 6 to10) Canes can reach 7” in diameter and up to 60’ tall. In ideal growing conditions. The young shoots are said not only to be edible but very tasty. The canes are accented by giant timer’s long, drooping, with bright green foliage. This is considered to be a spreading type of bamboo.
Golden Giant Timber Bamboo (Phyllostachys vivax f. aureocaulis) Hardy to Minus- 5 º F (USDA Zone 6 to10) Canes are up to 6” in diameter and up to 50” height. This is a sub-species of the Timber Bamboo. It has dark green foliage with very long golden yellow canes, with one or more green stripes. This is considered to be a spreading type of bamboo.
Red Margin Bamboo (Phyllostachys nigra ‘Rubromarginata’) Hardy to Minus- 15 º F (USDA Zones 6 to10).Very cold tolerant. Very full, lush foliage great for screening.The new edible shoots have small red margins thus the name. This is considered to be a spreading type of bamboo.
(Pleioblastus pybmaeus) Hardy to 0 º F (USDA Zones 7 to10). Only reaches one (1’) foot in height. Grows upright with blue-green leaves that change to a pale green in the fall. . It makes a good ground cover because it spreads quickly. This is considered to be a spreading type of bamboo.
Spectabilis (Phyllostachys aureosulcata ‘Spectabilis’) Hardy to – 10 º F (USDA Zone 5 through 10).It is the hardiest bamboo with yellow and green striped color pattern. Spectabilis is vigorous and rather rare. Diameter is up to 2” Height 25’ to 30’.It has yellow culms with a green groove," Some culms will have a reddish color when exposed to sun. Young culm internodes are rough to the touch and occasionally have a zigzag kink. This is considered to be a spreading type of bamboo.