One of the most practical uses of bamboo is as a hedge or privacy wall. Aside from looking better than plastic, metal or wood fences, a natural bamboo hedge is stronger, more durable and provides much better privacy. Here in Florida we get hurricanes and even a strong tropical storm can tear apart any traditional style fence. Repairs can become costly and labor intensive. I have found that planting tropical and subtropical clumping bamboo along an existing fence line or in place of a fence altogether is a cost effective way to secure your property line and shield existing fence from high wind damage. Bamboo establishes itself quickly in the ground and is easy to prune and shape into any size hedge from 3'-60' depending on the variety and how or if you trim.
There are several very good choices for screening and hedge bamboos. We will go over them broken down by size.
Small Hedge (4'-20' overall height): Clumping Bamboo- Bambusa Multiplex is your best choice. Multiplex comes in several varieties and colors. Multiplex varieties like fern leaf,fernleaf stripestem, silverstripe or alphonse karr are highly adaptable to both partial and full sun,are fast and easy to grow and can be pruned tight, just like a hedge.
Seabreeze bamboo, bambusa malingensis- is called Seabreeze bamboo because it is said to be the most salt tolerant of the clumping bamboos. This Bamboo quickly forms a dense hedge of green culms with a white bloom. Mature culms will reach height of 30'+ if left untrimmed, but can easily be trimmed down to any height desired, depending on the application. This dense clumper is easy to keep as a tight and attractive hedge and can take a backyard from boring to tropical paradise in no time. Very fast grower, 3 gallon material will send up 10'+ shoots a few months after planting.