A Bamboo plant provides an exotic look to your landscape. Classified as a ‘grass’ bamboo is wonderfully easy to grow and requires extraordinarily little care to thrive. It can easily replace trees in your yard by offering shade and cover for birds or other wildlife. Best of all, you can even harvest bamboo plant for future craft because once mature, a grove of bamboo produces shoots every year. Its root system provides optimum erosion control.
Controlling Bamboo Spread
Bamboo often has a bad reputation because many people worry that it will spread rapidly and become difficult to control. This is not always the case. You will encounter two forms of bamboo: clumping and running.
Running bamboo will rapidly spread but clumping bamboo grows in a confined clump that increases its diameter every year. If you are concerned about bamboo taking over your yard, then stick with clumping varieties but if you want to create a living fence then you might want to try cultivating running bamboo. Also, you can grow bamboo in containers so you can frequently move the plants to meet your landscaping vision.
Spacing a Bamboo Plant
You’ll want to plant small clumps of bamboo about two to three feet apart but if you are planting larger varieties then you’ll need to space them six to eight feet apart. Always water the bamboo thoroughly after planting. Also, you might want to apply a layer of mulch to help the soil retain moisture between watering.
Tips in Growing and Maintaining Bamboo
• Choose the correct type of bamboo: either clumping or running.
• Pick a planting location with full to partial sun.
• Prepare the soil using ample organic material to nourish the bamboo
• Water the bamboo frequently after planting until it develops a firm root system.
• Prune only when needed to remove old, damaged, or dead canes.
• Divide clumps in the spring if you wish to replant the bamboo in another location or give to friends.
How to Choose the Right Bamboo Plant?
Bamboo plant grows on five continents in a variety of conditions. You’ll encounter 1718 identified species that are categorized in 128 different genera. Around 100 species are widely available commercially. Many are coveted by gardeners because of their unique beauty
When choosing bamboo types for your bamboo garden, you should always consider space. Depending on the types, some bamboo plants will reach heights of 20 to 30 feet and others will stand only five feet tall.
Another factor to consider is cold hardiness. Some forms of bamboo only grow in tropical regions and others flourish in cold weather. You will want to pick a variety that will fit your USDA zone.
Best Location to Grow and Plant Bamboo
When planning to grow and plant Bamboo, a healthy bamboo plant needs to know how much sun is shining, how windy it is, and how soil is. Many species of Bamboo need shade, but others can take up to 8 hours of sunlight. Some people prefer morning and evening sun, while others like sunshine in the middle of the day.
Plant bamboo when the weather is warm for best results. Bamboo only actively grows when the temperature is warm. Typically, you can plant your bamboo garden at the same time you would plant coleus, zinnia, or portulaca in the soil.
Pick a site that provides full or partial sun for your bamboo garden. Bamboo thrives in moist soil. The plant does not like swampy conditions, but it will grow well beside ponds, creeks, or rivers. In fact, its diverse root system makes it an ideal plant choice for such locations to prevent soil erosion.
Watering Bamboo Plant
You’ll need to water bamboo at least twice a week. All bamboo varieties have shallow roots and need regular water to thrive. If you live in an area with lots of rain, then you might be able to avoid watering the bamboo frequently. Once your bamboo garden becomes established then you can water only once a week and apply about one inch of water.
How and When to Fertilize a Bamboo Plant?
Bamboo thrives with ample fertilizer, especially nitrogen. Pick an all-purpose plant food to meet the growing plant’s needs. Follow the directions on the label for application instructions.
Growing Bamboo in Pots & Containers
Small types of bamboo can flourish in containers. You’ll need a pot that measures at least 18 inches in diameter. Place the bamboo in potting soil so that the crown is not buried. Water the bamboo well. Remember that bamboo grown in containers require more water than bamboo growing directly in the ground.
Sometimes when you first plant bamboo in a container the plant will start to drop leaves but once you put the pot in full sun then the plant will usually recover rapidly. Also, remember that during the winter container grown bamboo is more at the mercy of cold weather then the plants grown in the soil that has some root insulation. You’ll want to place your container of bamboo in a sheltered location and perhaps wrap the pot to insulate the roots.
Pruning and Thinning Bamboo Plant
You can prune bamboo to limit its height and encourage it to develop into a thick and robust stand. Once you prune a shoot of bamboo, it will stop growing. You can also thin the bamboo clump by removing the canes at ground level. If you must thin your bamboo garden, then only remove one-quarter of growth every year and always remove the oldest growth first.
Dividing Bamboo Plant
Bamboo is a robust grower so you can divide the clumps in the spring to transplant into other locations of the garden. Also, many people grow bamboo for retail sale, or they give their neighbors or friends bamboo from the garden as a gift. You’ll want to divide the bamboo clumps in the spring by digging up the clump and chopping off pieces.
Does Growing and Planting Bamboo Help Climate Change?
Bamboo planting and harvesting will help to reduce the exhaustion of the tree cover and forests of Malawi. Giant wood bamboos will secure carbon, which will help mitigate climate change as well. It is one of many trees and plants that can help people to restore the environment.
A bamboo garden absorbs twice the carbon dioxide as trees and will produce 30 percent more oxygen. You can feel good knowing that you are doing your part to help reduce harmful carbon emissions in the world and control climate change.
Without a doubt, a bamboo garden is a mesmerizing sight to behold. Also, when the wind blows the canes make their own form of music that is very soothing. The Guinness Book of World Records lists bamboo as the fastest growing plant in the world. One species is said to grow up to 35 inches per day which is about one and a half inches per hour.