Growing & Care of Bamboo


Gardeners love bamboo plants for their graceful and airy appearance, says the University of Maryland. Depending on the species, mature bamboo can grow as short as 1 foot to as tall as 60 feet. Whatever the type of bamboo you choose to accent your landscape, give it the correct care to keep it healthy and maintain a lush, dense grove of bamboo canes.

Step 1

Choose and prepare the planting site. Bamboo thrive in full sun and well-drained dirt. Test soil with a pH testing kit. For ideal growth, maintain a pH level of 6.5, according to the University of Maryland. The pH can be adjusted with lime or sulfates. Ask your regional cooperative extension office (see the Resources section below to find one) about what pH amendments are commonly used in your area.

Step 2

Plant the bamboo seedlings. Bury the plant so that its crown--the point where the bamboo cane meets its roots--is level with the soil surface. If you're planting more than one seedling, separate them by 15 feet, according to the University of Georgia.

Step 3

Keep the bamboo plant's roots from spreading, with a root barrier. Both clumping and runner bamboo varieties can turn invasive and spread to areas of your landscape where don't want them, according to the University of Arizona. Bury metal edging or 60-millimeter-thick polypropylene around the roots so that it extends approximately 30 inches below the soil surface and 2 inches above it.

Step 4

Shake the bamboo every couple of weeks to dislodge dead leaves, suggests the University of Maryland. Throughout the year, cut dead bamboo canes down to the ground to maintain the bamboo clump's aesthetic appeal.

Step 5

Water your bamboo once a week, according to the University of Georgia, with enough water to moisten the dirt to a depth of 1 foot. To help preserve the moist conditions that bamboo plants love, the university recommends piling 3 inches of mulch around the bamboo canes.

Things You'll Need

  • Soil pH kit
  • Soil pH amendments
  • Spade
  • Bamboo seedlings
  • Water
  • Mulch
  • Pruning shears


  • "Bamboo for Gardens"; Ted Meredith; 2001
  • University of Georgia: Growing Bamboo
  • University of Arizona: Growing Bamboo
  • University of Maryland: Bamboo

Who Can Help

  • USDA: Find a Cooperative Extension Office
Keywords: growing bamboo, planting bamboo, bamboo plant care

About this Author

Josh Duvauchelle is an editor and journalist with more than 10 years' experience. His work has appeared in various magazines, including "Honolulu Magazine," which has more paid subscribers than any other magazine in Hawaii. He graduated with honors from Trinity Western University, holding a Bachelor of Arts in professional communications, and earned a certificate in applied leadership and public affairs from the Laurentian Leadership Centre.