How to Care for a Bamboo Tree

Overview

Bamboo is one of the fastest-growing trees on Earth. Some species can grow up to 3 feet a day, reaching 120 feet tall and 12 inches in diameter. Bamboo grows in two types: clump bamboo and running bamboo. The latter spreads quickly and is invasive in some areas. Planting it means taking responsibility for its spread. Knowledge of how to create the right environment for the pant will keep it healthy but in check.

Step 1

Choose an area to plant the bamboo in full sun and moist, well-drained, fertile soil. Work the soil, digging 12 inches deep and mixing in 3 to 6 inches of organic compost to add nutrients.

Step 2

Plant the bamboo by digging a hole twice the width of the root ball and at a depth about the same height as the root ball. Place the bamboo in the hole and backfill the soil around the roots. Space multiple plants 2 to 3 feet apart for a hedge and 15 to 20 feet apart of specimen plantings.

Step 3

Water the bamboo deeply after planting and protect it from drought for the first year. Watering every seven to 10 days if it does not rain will provide sufficient moisture for the plant.

Step 4

Keep the weeds down around the plant for the first year after planting. Bamboo does not like to compete for nutrients. Placing a 2- to 3-inch layer of mulch around the plant will help in this process.

Step 5

Fertilize the bamboo with a well-balanced fertilizer in the second spring of the plant and each subsequent spring. Extra nitrogen will encourage the plant to flourish. Follow the directions on the package for application instructions.

Step 6

Cut off 5- to 7-year-old canes at the soil line with pruning shears. Also cut off dead canes when they appear. Otherwise, prune the bamboo as you wish.

Things You'll Need

  • Organic compost
  • Spade
  • Water
  • Mulch (optional)
  • Fertilizer
  • Pruning shears

References

  • Auburn University: Bamboo Growing in Alabama
  • University of Georgia: Growing Bamboo in Georgia
  • Bellarmine University: Bamboo
Keywords: growing bamboo, watering bamboo, fertilizing bamboo, bamboo care

About this Author

Sarah Morse recently graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in English language and literature. She has been freelancing for three months and got her start writing for an environmental website.