Long gone are the days when everyone did not want to plant bamboo because it "takes over" with the clumping varieties now available and the benefits to the environment by planting bamboo both outweighing any real reservations one should have about planting Bamboo. Bamboo grows relatively fast as it is similar to a grass and in years of good summer rains they are particularly lush. Not only looking tropical and adding texture to the garden they are an easy alternative to planting trees to help reduce your family's carbon footprint.
Every garden has space for a Bamboo either in the garden or in a container, here's how to grow the best. Bamboo originates from Asia and throughout the east. Used from everything from building houses making furniture to medicinal and as a dietary supplement. One has to be amazed at the versatility of Bamboo. In the garden planted as a hedge along a border they make a great backdrop to the rest of the garden. Taller varieties can be cut along their tops but if left, make a stunning screen growing in a relatively narrow width one can get tall 3 to 4 meter stems for screening.
In large containers the taller varieties will also provide screening making them a great option on patio's or balconies where you have neighbours that can look across. The smaller varieties are perfect for that pop of lush green growth in a poolside garden or along a pathway as a natural barrier especially for small dogs etc.
How to grow Bamboo
- The best position for Bamboo is full sun to half sun. If they get too much shade they have little to no leaves on the lower part of the stems.
- Keep them well watered. Although bamboo can be quite water wise in the garden if they get more water they are lusher and grow thicker and more attractive.
- Feed them throughout the year with a high nitrogen fertiliser such as Bio Ganic or 7:1:3 to keep them bright green. Grown in containers they need to be watered frequently each week and a feeding with Nitrosol or Seagro every week or two will give you the best results.
- Bamboo is semi-evergreen and semi-hardy. In spring or through summer they can easily be rejuvenated by cutting out older stems that have lost too many leaves or are a bit sparse.
- Here are some of our favourite amongst many varieties. All commonly known as bamboo but with different names from around the world. Phyllostachus Sulphurea is a tall variety with yellow stems with green lines on them, striking in colour and ideal for screening. Indocalamus Hopei is a broad-leafed dwarf variety ideal for containers or along a pathway. Pleioblastus Aurea is also a dwarf variety growing just over a meter high and has leaves that are variegated with new growth a striking yellow. Semiarundinaria Koreana is a medium growing variety and as the stems mature they go a chocolaty brown which is particularly attractive.
Did you know the plant sold all around the world as a fung shui staple, Lucky Bamboo is not a bamboo at all and in fact a Dracaena? That being as it may we think having a real bamboo in the garden is more than just lucky its good for the environment too.