Bamboo`s shallow roots suit containers
click image to enlarge
The first concern is to keep the root zone sweet, with good drainage*
Mulch on top allows roots to grow right up to the soil surface
300-350 mm (12″ – 14″), premium grade potting mix.
50 -100 mm (2″ – 4″) coarse, washed, river sand to suit available space. The sand will filter out fine particles above the geo-textile cloth, Get the coarsest grade cloth available, or use fine shade-cloth.
The filter-cloth encases the coarse, sand and the potting mix. Trim it off to finish up out of sight.
Use a piece of drainage cell at the base, covering the drainage hole.
Food and Water
In containers, bamboo is your prisoner – have some humanity.
Use slow release fertiliser including trace elements. In growing weather, liquid seaweed is a good tonic. more…
Spring is when the fast growing, new shoots of Running Bamboo emerge. Summer is shooting time for Clumping Bamboo. Use a slow release fertilizer suitable for grass. ‘Osmocote Plus’ is good, the ‘plus’ stands for trace elements, these help a lot. A container is an unnatural environment for bamboo. Like a gold fish in a bowl. Nowhere to go. Please provide a regular source of plant nutrient.
Spring and summer, feed a small amount each month, rather than a lot at once.
In fact never feed a lot, it burns the bamboo and leaches into the waterways where lots, from lots of people makes water bad.
One more time.
Because growth is rapid bamboo should be fed regularly over the growing season. In pots the root zone should be kept moist. Not wet!
Troughs can squeeze in along narrow passageways and for privacy on balconies.
Bamboo can happily grow in a narrow planter, minimum width around 250mm (10″), because the bamboo roots will grow throughout the length of the trough.
Ensure that the trough is watered evenly and that it is raised from the ground to ensure good drainage.
This is Temple bamboo
What bamboo in pots?
What about re-potting your bamboo
When your pot is just full of roots and it takes forever to water and its never enough, it’s probably re-potting time. You can divide the plant at this time. Just saw the root-ball with a hand saw.
The first concern is to keep the roots moist while work is underway.
1st. Soak the root-ball in water for a few hours. This will fully hydrate the bamboo.
– Saw off the bottom 10% of the root-ball. This will encourage new growth.
You can saw off some of the side roots if required to fit into the new pot.
– Ensure good drainage through the drainage holes in the new container.
– Use a premium grade potting mix. To buffer the bamboo against drying out you can include a 30 mm layer of hydrated, water crystals mixed with potting mix around 50 mm (2″), from the bottom of the pot.
Make sure you soak the crystals prior to use. Incorporate slow release fertiliser into the soil.
– Top dress with a little pelletised chicken manure and water well. Water well again after a few hours and on the following few days.
‘Katsura’, our pot for bamboo
For a large patio – At the top of a stairway – Beside a wide entrance
Shaped for bamboos’ shallow growth and for ease of maintenance. Its beauty is accidental.
Vital statistics: 820mm wide x 255mm high. 75 litre capacity.
High stability, lightweight.
Bamboo in this photo: Walking-stick.
* More on drainage
Deeper than 300 – 350 mm deep (12″ – 14″), the soil can become anaerobic in cold weather. No oxygen, smells bad!
Most professional growers understand this. It takes bright sparks like Humberto Uriolla at Atlantis, to think the problem all the way through to the solution.