People love bamboo and the connection with nature that it gives. Most likely it’s genetic.
Planted as an attraction, bamboo looks great all year round.
Used as a privacy screen bamboo hides the neighbours.
Bamboo in pots and larger planters
In containers bamboo can’t be ignored.
Food, water and good drainage will keep bamboo healthy and looking good.
Bamboo is a tough plant. It can stay alive for quite a while without much food. However, the leaves will be yellow, not green.
Don’t rely on rain to water bamboo in pots. Except perhaps, for heavy rain. Heavy and persistent rain may be too much water. This brings us to drainage.
Over-watering can be accommodated so long as the drainage is good. Sitting in water will cause the roots to rot. This can be diagnosed by drooping leaves dying at the tips and edges. Leaves somehow look oily and the soil will smell bad. Poke a chopstick into the soil then smell it. Good soil smells sweet (personal opinion). In containers, make sure there is gap under the pot.
Poor drainage is especially bad for Running Bamboo. Clumping Bamboo is more tolerant. Anyway,raise the pot from the ground or raise it in the saucer with a layer or 2 of pebbles. You may also even need to replace the soil with an open mix.
Choose a species to suit your spot. Most bamboo prefers a sunny position. Some species do well in light shade. Deep shade is not good for bamboo.
Thinning bamboo in the ground
Thinning Running Bamboo
Planted in the ground taller species of running bamboo can be trained to become open groves. New shoots called daughters, form some distance from each mother culm. They rely on the mother as well as surrounding culms for sustenance.
Should you wish to maintain a grove for walking in. Remove culms older than 3 – 4 years as well as smaller culms. These are less helpful to the grove and can be culled. Leave say, one metre between culms. Cut close to the ground so as not to be tripping over.
Thinning Clumping Bamboo
Clumps are to walk around and to stand back and view, rather that to walk through.
New shoots emerge around the outside edges close to the mother culm.
The middle of the clump is the original plant, that’s where it was planted. As the clump becomes established, new culms will get progressively bigger.
So, from time to time say, every few years and when the clump gets big you’ll need to thin it out.
The centre of the clump is where to cut out the oldest culms. Some outside culms may need to be removed to access the middle. A reciprocating saw is a good tool for this job.
Mr Bamboo installs and then maintains bamboo – from small up to tall – for 30 years now.