Bamboo Plant Care

Caring For Your Bamboo Is As Easy As 1, 2, 3!

1. Water

Water the plant for the first couple of weeks to get its roots established

2. Fertilizer

 Bamboo will grow fast if you feed it correctly.

2a. Add a high quality high nitrogen fertilizer as directed on the bag. (We love our 13-5-11 Bamboo Special because it is a 12 month controlled release so one application feeds the plant all year.) Consider this the main building blocks of macro nutrition that bamboo turns into green growth.

2b.  Keep that Fertilizer in the root zone where the plant can use it. Add ORGANIC MATTER to the root zone every few weeks. Earthworm castings or a quality Compost work great, but I CAN'T RECOMMEND STRONGLY ENOUGH TO INSTALL YOUR PLANTS USING RECHARGE ORGANIC SOIL AMENDMENT, especially when starting bamboo to avoid transplant shock. Recharge is my secret weapon for adding organic matter to the root zone. 

 

 

3. Stand Back

Bamboo is the fastest growing plant on land and its shoots can grow over 18 inches in a single day! Don’t worry though, our clumping bamboos grow similar to any clumping palm tree (Areca Palm) and doesn’t spread out of control. There is really not much more to it than that. Bamboo is a giant clumping grass, so the same basic lawn rules apply.

 

 

Bamboo Plant Care

Bamboo is a very simple plant to grow and care for and needs little to no maintenance once established. Bamboo grows very fast if it is provided enough food and water, but without enough of either your bamboo will not perform to its potential.  Customers who water and fertilizer generously can grow their bamboo clumps to maturity in 3-4 years.

 

Feeding Bamboo

I cannot stress how important and easy it is to apply a good granular fertilizer like our 13-5-11 bamboo special. We have this custom blended for our bamboo customers who are looking for quality and simplicity all in one package. We like this formula because it is a 100% controlled release formula with a once a year application rate, so it is virtually impossible to burn or damage your plants. But the best part is you only have to think about feeding your bamboo once each spring and you’re done.

 

Watering Bamboo

With regards to watering your bamboo, the fastest growth rates are achieved when customers set up a drip line or Microjet irrigation zone on their existing sprinkler system. If this sounds complex, it is really quite simple. Even if all you have is a garden hose, setting up an effective irrigation zone for a large hedgerow of bamboo is still easy and inexpensive.  If you need any help or advice please email us and we will gladly get you pointed in the right direction.

After the bamboo gets acclimated to its new environment and roots into the ground it should only need supplemental watering during times of drought.  Your bamboo will tell you it is thirsty by cupping its leaves, if the leaves are laying down or starting to drop, your bamboo is desperately thirsty, get water on it immediately!

The greatest thing about caring for your bamboo is how forgiving it is. Even if you were to completely stress your bamboo out,  even if your bamboo looks dead, chances are it is still partially alive and chances are that with some water and food, your bamboo will come back to make a complete recovery. The strength of bamboo lies in its root (or rhizome) mass. The bamboo canes are not permanent and last around 3-5 years each. If one grows where you don’t want it, or starts to look shabby, just cut it off at the base with a saw or machete, don’t worry, a new shoot will quickly replace the old one.

 

 

    Top Tips To Remember: 

    • Bamboo is one of the strongest and fastest growing plants in the world and  is relatively easy to grow and very forgiving.
    • Bamboo stores its energy in its root or rhizome mass, It typically builds root mass & stores energy during the winter months, then shoots from spring to late summer.
    • Bamboo can be grown indoors or out in any high light, humid environment. That being said it is much easier keeping bamboo on a porch or patio than in an interior office (very different than Lucky Bamboo). Buddha Belly Ventricosa & Fernleaf are very durable & best selections for indoor use)
    • Outdoors, these bamboos will tolerate a wide range of conditions and light levels from full sun to partial shade, Minimum temperatures depend on species. Most tropical bamboos suffer damage when temps dip into the 20’sF, some are tolerant into the teens.  
    • Bamboo is a tropical grass and can become quite thirsty, depending on the amount of canes and light.
    • Indoors Bamboo will benefit from daily misting with a spray bottle to simulate tropical humidity.
    • The more water and fertilizer you give them the higher their performance, but be careful not to over-water. Coated slow release type fertilizer is preferred.
    • Proper drainage is very important when keeping bamboo in containers. Bamboo prefers a light, airy, well drained soil. Keeping the soil constantly wet will hurt your bamboo.
    • As a rule the less light the plant gets, the less amount of water it will need.
    • Potted Bamboo benefits from periodic pruning to stimulate new shoots. As the clump gets older and thicker with canes, select only the best looking, most desirable canes and shoots and remove the rest. This will slow you bamboo down a bit and keep it from outgrowing the pot too quickly.
    • Eventually bamboo will need to be either root pruned, divided into 2 plants or re-potted in a bigger pot.
    • Bamboo needs space to grow, the more space you give them the better they will look. That goes for pot size as well.
    • Bamboo Plants Online recommends one monthly application of Compost tea. We use Recharge Organic Soil Amendment because it's a powerful compost tea solution that the professionals use to keep bamboo looking lush, healthy and beautiful.

    Need More Help?

    We have been growing clumping bamboo since 2002 and have done hundreds of installs up and down the Florida coast. We are glad to offer phone and email support to help get your bamboo growing fast and strong.

    Feel free to call us at 855-476-9420 or email scott@greenthumbpalms.com with any questions about caring for your bamboo.

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