How to Grow Bamboo Plants

Bamboo Plants

Growing a Bamboo Garden in Your Yard

Looking to create an exotic look in your backyard? Growing Bamboo will create the setting. And, it’s extremely easy. Its popularity has increased steadily, ever since Giant Pandas were brought to zoos in the U.S. in the early 1970s. Native to China, Bamboo is the favorite food of Panda Bears. Fast-growing and prolific, bamboo can grow 20 feet in a season! However, it is important to note that the plants are very invasive. Once you’ve established your bamboo garden, all you need is a panda bear to control its growth and spread.

There are several hundred varieties of bamboo. They can be divided into two groups: clumping and running varieties. The running types are considered invasive, as they readily spread their roots far and wide. Just ask the folks at the Washington, D.C. zoo. The growing area for runners should be contained in some manner.

Bamboo is popularly grown indoors and out. Bamboo is also great in containers on patios or decks. We recommend you use a large container.

Did You Know? There are over 300 varieties of bamboo.

Bamboo is a lucky symbol, bringing you good fortune. This is a major cause of its popularity. It is most notably a symbol to be lucky in love.

Bamboo Plant Propagation

Bamboo can be grown from Rhizomes. They multiply and spread rapidly. They are easy to transplant. Dig up rhizomes, divide them, and replant them in the desired area.

Not sure what variety to plant? Just ask a Panda Bear. It’s their favorite food.

Panda Bear

How to Grow a Bamboo Garden

The basic varieties are categorized as clumping or running, which describes the growth and spread of the plants. If you want to plant them in contained groups, choose the clumping type.  This is the best for containers. If you want them for a hedgerow, or to fill a large area, use the running types.

Tip: When selecting and buying bamboo, ask questions about its characteristics. With several hundred varieties, height, appearance, and growing characteristics can make a big difference in the setting you will grow them in. 

Prepare the area you want to grow your bamboo in. Dig up and loosen the soil, removing weeds. Dig a hole and fill it with lots of rich, loose soil. Do not use fertilizer or manure when planting, as this can burn the roots. Plant rhizomes 1-2 inches deep. If you have a plant, it should be planted about level with where it is in the container, perhaps an inch or so deeper. Mulch around the plants, and keep the soil moist. Once the plants are established, allow the soil to dry a little between watering.

Tip: Bamboo will tell you when it’s thirsty. The leaves will begin to roll up.

Bamboo plants will grow well in full sun to partial shade. They are shade tolerant and will look good in shade gardens. They prefer rich, well-draining soil. The roots do not like wet soil.

Add a general-purpose fertilizer once a month to promote fast, lush growth.

Bamboo Poles

Controlling Invasive Growth

Running varieties of Bamboo is invasive. Your bamboo garden will be full before you know it. You will likely want to contain them. Stream beds or ponds make a natural barrier. A wide sidewalk will also contain them. Border edging should be 24-30″ inches deep to stop the runners. 

Insects, Pests and Plant Disease

If insect or disease problems occur, treat early with organic or chemical insect repellents and fungicide.

Giant Panda Bears love bamboo. Fortunately, pandas are not on the roam in your area.

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