While growing bamboo is a bit more complex than other plants, it’s very manageable and doable.
A lot of the issues involved with cultivating it can be resolved by understanding some basic facts.
Where to Plant Bamboo
Bamboo can be divided into two main types: the running and clumping kinds.
The running type puts out rhizomes before sending up shoots. The clumping type relays vertical shoots with shorter rhizomes.
Whichever you choose, make sure to plant these in full sun. If the heat in your area is excessive, pick a site with a bit of shade. The ideal pH level is 6.0 to 6.2.
Running bamboo spreads very quickly. If you’re growing bamboo of this kind, put them in 5-gallon containers.
You also need to cut the bottom so it doesn’t spread too quickly.
Watering and Fertilization
Bamboo grass needs lots of water. The more water it gets, the faster it will grow. Copious amounts are needed when it is summertime.
All bamboo types need fertilizers, especially the newly planted ones. In particular, it needs nitrogen-rich fertilizers.
As stated, it also needs a lot of sun. Note that rhizomes do not move into dry soil.
Growth and Maturity
There are different kinds of bamboo and this determines how quickly they grow. As a rule, growth is slow during the first few years.
The growth accelerates when the plants attain maturity. If the bamboo is growing too fast, limit the water and fertilizer you provide.
Leaves will fall off when growing bamboo, so regular cleaning up is needed.
The opposite also holds true. If the bamboo isn’t growing fast enough, it’s not getting enough water.
Again, newly planted bamboo requires a lot of water. With enough water, it will be able to send out culms.
Proper Care and Maintenance
Remove any standing water in the bamboo. If you don’t, its growth will be stunted. Remove all the weeds around it.
They are its main competition for nutrients. When the bamboo gets high, stake it so it doesn’t get uprooted.
Don’t worry about all those leaves falling off; they will all be replaced. If you’re growing bamboo for foliage, feed it with plenty of nitrogen fertilizer.
Mulch helps in keeping the moisture locked in. It also keeps the grass safe during the winter.
Old culms should be cut off as well as the damaged ones. Make the cuts just above the node.
Infestations and Diseases
One of the most common problems with bamboo is bamboo mites. They sip the juices from the leaves. These creatures also make webs in the leaves, which spread out.
You need to keep an eye on these before an infestation occurs. If it spreads, an insecticidal soap should be used. If the infestation doesn’t go away, a systemic miticide will be required.
Growing bamboo is no cakewalk, but you can do it if you have the patience and perseverance.
As long as it gets plenty of water and is free from disease, it should grow strong and healthy.