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Bamboo Care Instructions
Please water your plants as soon as you get them home.
Container: Bamboo will grow well in a container. Water frequently and make sure there is good drainage. Do not allow the roots to sit in water. Do not allow the root ball to dry out. When you water, do so slowly until the water is running out of the bottom of the container.
Ground: If you wish to plant your bamboo in the ground, it is better to water deeply less often, rather than frequent shallow watering. The top of the soil should be kept moist, not soggy and not dry. If you are using irrigation, we recommend multiple spray emitters over drip systems. The first year, most bamboo plants are likely to require more water while the roots get established. It is especially important to monitor water needs after transplanting.
In General: Water needs will vary depending on the size of the plant, weather, soil and other factors. If the leaves are curling lengthwise, they are probably too dry. Water immediately and heavily. When the plant has sufficient water the leaves will uncurl within a few hours. If the leaves are drooping downward the plant may be overwatered or the roots may be sitting in hidden swampy conditions. As with any plant, a well established bamboo requires much less water than a newly planted one.
Dig a hole twice as wide, but no deeper than the root ball. If the ground is dry, fill the hole about half full of water before planting. When you remove the plant from the container, do not divide the root ball or break apart the roots. Place the plant in the hole and back fill around the plant with a mixture of 50% native soil and 50% compost. Plant the plant at the same level in the soil as it is in the container. Do not plant too low so that you are covering the canes with soil and do not plant too high so that root ball is exposed.
If you have gophers, we recommend protecting young plants using gopher cages.
Generally, bamboo is very tolerant of different soils, but if you have heavy clay soil, you can encourage faster growth by creating a raised mound of good soil before digging the planting hole.
Always protect your bamboo from wild Pandas !!
Container: Use a balanced, slow release fertilizer such as Apex or Osmocote, 14-14-14 or 16-16-16, every four to six months, year round:
1 gallon planter – 1 Tablespoon
5 gallon planter – 2 Tablespoon
15 gallon planter – ¼ Cup
25 gallon planter – ½ Cup
3′ x 3′ planter – 1 Cup
Ground: March to September use a high-nitrogen, slow-release fertilizer to keep foliage green and encourage growth. Use about one cup per 8’ x 8’ area monthly. October to February use a slow-release fertilizer with lower nitrogen (N) and higher phosphorus (P) and potassium (K) to develop the roots and shoots. Apply two cups per 8’ x 8’ area, every 6 weeks. After desired height & density is reached, maintain with the high-nitrogen fertilizer during the growing season.
In General: Aged horse manure, the fertilizer traditionally used on bamboo in Asia, is also highly recommended. Other aged manures can be used instead, but avoid nitrogen-high ones, like chicken and steer manure. If you are using manure, other chemical fertilizers are not recommended. Spreading about 4″ of manure in late fall will allow time for nitrogen conversion before the growing season and will supply the nutrients necessary the rest of the year. A second application can be made in early spring, but is not usually necessary.
Pruning and Thinning
As bamboo grows, it will create new canes. Canes will live for three or more years depending on the species. From time to time, as young canes mature, the older canes will die back. Dead canes can be removed by cutting them off at ground level. It is good to remove old dead canes to make room for fresh, new ones.
Many species of bamboo are edible. Check with us if you wish to know if you have an edible species. Once your plant is well established, harvest a few of the new canes for eating just after they burst the soil, when they are most tender.
Sometimes it is desirable to prune the lower branches of foliage from the canes to expose the beauty of the canes. If you wish to do this, chose a particular height two or three feet up from the ground and prune all the branches to roughly the same height.
Leaf drop is a normal process. The leaves create a layer of duff on the soil surface that helps retain moisture and returns the nutrients to the soil, making them available to the plant again. Nature’s recycling plan! Some of us prefer a cleaner look and remove all the leaves from the under the plants, which is fine, but not necessary.
It is possible to prune bamboo like a hedge. However, only certain species will respond by bushing out with additional growth on the remaining canes. Check with our bamboo expert if you wish to know if yours is one of those species.
Terms and Conditions
All plants are healthy at the time of sale. We do not offer refunds on plants that die from over watering, under-watering, poor drainage, are kept indoors or other conditions beyond our control. We do not sell plants if we are aware the species is entering the flowering stage. However, we cannot predict flowering and do not guarantee they will not flower.
Bamboo; A sustainable, containable and beneficial resource.