Bamboo plants cover a diverse botanical spectrum, including different species, types, sizes and colors. They’re all in the grass plant family (Poaceae), and they typically take one of two primary forms: runners and clumpers. It’s the running types that are invasive, spreading laterally across the landscape as fast as 5 feet each year as they choke other plants in their path. As a rule, clumping types are more restrained as they slowly spread into a circular pattern only an inch or so each year. Some Bamboo plants may reach heights of 120 feet, while others may only grow 12 inches tall. The tall cane-like stems are segmented and the leaves may be solid or striped, depending on variety. Depending on the species and cultivar, Bamboo plants are hardy across USDA plant hardiness zones 4-12.
After plants are established, they prosper in moist soil, but they are also drought-tolerant. Most Bamboo species are adaptable to a variety of soils and are low-maintenance plants.
Few plants can match Bamboo as a fast-growing green screen.
Bamboo gives any yard or garden a tropical look.
As a design element in the garden, Bamboo provides vertical lines that form a backdrop for softer, rounder plants in front of it.
The root system of Bamboo effectively controls erosion in those hard-to-plant spots in your yard.
Bamboo is a dramatic container plant.
You can harvest Bamboo stems at any time to make natural plant stakes.
In the landscape, Bamboo plants provide shelter for wildlife.
Bamboo plants prosper in full sun, but they also tolerate part shade or filtered sunlight.
Dig a hole only to the depth of the rootball and twice as wide.
Don’t add soil amendments, compost or fertilizer to the planting hole.
Place the rootball slightly higher than the soil level and gently spread out the roots.
Backfill the hole with the removed soil and gently firm the soil around the plant.
Water the plant deeply to eliminate the air pockets in the soil.
Water: Give newly transplanted Bamboo plants a thorough watering once or twice a week for the first six months. Watering tip: Bamboo leaves will often roll up when the soil is too dry.
Fertilizer: Wait until the second year after planting to begin fertilizing your Bamboo plant. Apply a water-soluble application of fertilizer, applied at double strength according to the application frequency on the label. Potted Bamboo may need more frequent applications.
Pruning: You won’t have to prune Bamboo very often. Simply remove all dead canes and older canes to allow for new growth.