Once established, bamboo is very hardy. In fact, some varieties can become invasive if not planted in a bamboo barrier. As a very hardy landscape plant, bamboo does not require much care. However, proper care will help to improve its size, health and color. By following some basic guidelines, your bamboo will thrive either in the landscape or in a pot.
Appropriate Amounts of Sun
In nature, bamboo grows under the shade of taller canopy trees. Because of this, bamboo does best in partial sun or partial shade. Some varieties, especially smaller bamboos, need full shade. Some varieties of bamboos can suffer from yellow leaves or leaf burns if grown in the full sun. If you have a variety that can tolerate full sun, you may need to water the grove more often than if growing in partial sun or shade.
Bamboo does not need a lot of water. However, it needs regular water. Bamboo needs well-draining soils to avoid becoming waterlogged, causing root problems. In general, bamboo does well with 1 to 2 inches of water every four to seven days, depending on your local climate. Most bamboo, however, is drought tolerant once established and, although water will help keep it green, can survive moderate periods without water.
Although you don't need to fertilize bamboo when planting, as the plant becomes established fertilizer will help to keep it healthy. Fertilize according to the instructions on the fertilizer package three months after planting your bamboo. After that, fertilize in February, June and September. Because it is a grass, any fertilizer formulated for turf or lawns will work very well with your bamboo.
Mulch your bamboo to control weeds and to help the soil retain moisture. Organic mulch, like dry leaves or straw, will also help to add nitrogen to the soil around your bamboo. As the leaves of the grove drop off, do not pick them up. Allow them to break down. This will help return needed nutrients to the soil.