The bamboo plant is a true grass species that is native to many tropical regions through out the world. Bamboo plants are available in either clumping or running root varieties. Clumping bamboo plants grow slowly and maintains a clumped root system. Running bamboo plants grow quickly and spread through underground rhizome roots. The running bamboo variety is an invasive plant species that requires control by placing a barrier around the growing area.
Select a bamboo planting area with protection from wind, partially shaded sunlight and a well-draining soil that is slightly acidic.
Test the soil pH to verify it is has a pH close to 6.5. Work ground rock sulfur into the soil to lower the pH number and make the soil more acidic or add limestone to increase the soil pH number and make it more alkaline.
Install a soil barrier if planting running bamboo plants. Dig a 30-inch deep trench and insert a high-density polyethylene barrier around the bamboo planting area. Insert the barrier so approximately 2 inches should be visible above the soil level, advises the American Bamboo Society.
Dig a planting hole that is the same depth and twice as wide as the bamboo root system. Place the bamboo root system in the hole so the top of the root ball is at ground level. Mix equal parts organic compost into the removed soil and fill it around the bamboo roots.
Place a 2-inch layer of organic compost for a mulch layer around the bamboo plants. Organic compost will increase the moisture retention and nutrient content of the soil. Refresh the mulch each spring to maintain a 2-inch layer.
Water the bamboo roots well after planting to moisten the soil to a depth of 10 inches. Continue to water the bamboo plants during the first growing season to keep the soil evenly moist for root establishment. Established bamboo plants are drought resistant, but benefit from supplemental water applications during periods of drought.
Fertilize the bamboo plant with a turf fertilizer in the fall season after planting. Follow package instructions based on the square feet of garden space the bamboo plants comprise. Apply turf fertilizer each spring and fall to established bamboo plants.