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What Are the Best Tips to Grow Bamboo?

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  • Written By: Marco Sumayao
  • Edited By: Lauren Fritsky
  • Last Modified Date: 09 November 2016
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Before attempting to grow bamboo, gardeners should first consider the climate in their area and select their plants accordingly; some types of bamboo are better-suited for certain climates than others. The type of bamboo used will also affect the amount of sun the plants should be given, as some varieties require a few hours of shade during the daytime. The soil should be well-maintained, with ideal pH levels and water drainage. Gardeners should also use a high-nitrogen fertilizer to grow bamboo to encourage fast and vibrant growth. Growing bamboo in a container garden indoors requires more meticulous management, as well as proper pot choice and re-potting.

The best climate in which to grow bamboo is a warm, temperate one, as bamboo thrives in this type of environment. Gardeners situated in cooler climates should grow bamboo from the Fargesia family, as these types are the most resilient in cold weather. Fargesias, along with Thamnocalamus bamboo, require less sunlight than other varieties and should be given shade during the hottest part of each day. If gardeners are located in areas with strong winds, they should opt to grow clumping varieties of bamboo rather than running ones; running bamboo grows tall and has comparatively shallow roots, making it more likely to be blown over during windy days. Although clumping bamboo is generally hardier than other types in windy weather, it should still be somewhat sheltered as cold winds can freeze the plant's leaves and branches, eventually killing them.

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In regard to the type of soil used, bamboo has been found to grow best in loam. Gardeners should do their best to maintain a soil pH level of six, as many botanists have found this to be the ideal condition in which to grow bamboo. Although bamboo generally enjoys a lot of water, growers should also make sure the soil in their bamboo garden remains well-drained, as over-watering can lead to plant disease and parasites.

Growing bamboo indoors for ornamental purposes can be a little more difficult. Since bamboo is a long plant — some varieties have been found to grow as high as 130 feet (roughly 40 meters) —, homeowners should choose bamboo types that grow slightly shorter than their homes' height from ceiling to floor. If necessary, owners should trim the tips of the plant on a regular basis. Individuals who want to grow bamboo indoors should also select pots that are relatively wide at the opening, as the shoots will require space to grow. This will also make re-potting the plants easier, as this needs to be done on a regular basis to keep up with the plant's size and maintain the quality of the soil.

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Ana1234
Post 3

@MrsPramm - Ask for their advice but also double-check online with a bit of research. I've been burnt by sellers who had no idea what they were doing before.

If I was going to grow bamboo I would try to get one of the culinary varieties. I quite like bamboo shoots but I've only ever had them out of cans.

MrsPramm
Post 2

@irontoenail - Yeah, there's a reason bamboo is infamous as a torture device. They supposedly used to tie people down on top of bamboo shoots which grew quickly enough to impale them over the course of a few days.

And bamboo tends to throw off runners, which will help it to sprout in other places. So in order to control it, you need to make sure that it can't do that, usually with a physical barrier like a buried barrel or something.

This is only one kind of bamboo though and often that kind isn't going to be available in your local gardening shop anyway, since they know it can all too easily escape into the neighbor's backyard. I would just ask the advice of whoever is selling it.

irontoenail
Post 1

One of the most important things to do if you are growing bamboo is make sure that you know how to control it. Some species of bamboo can quickly get out of control and might take over your garden within a matter of months or even faster.

What's worse, they can quickly overwhelm a local ecosystem if they get loose in the area and it has ideal growing conditions. So make sure you either get a type that doesn't grow like that, or take measures to ensure that nothing will escape from where you put it.

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