Soil Conditions for Growing Bamboo

Overview

Bamboo is popular in yards as a landscaping and detail plant and also provides good privacy screens. The plant grows in both clumping and vining varieties and may shoot up 20 feet in a single growing season with the right care. Bamboo grows from rhizomes, or bulbs, and requires some specific soil conditions.

Location

One of the most important aspects of growing bamboo is starting it an appropriate location. Bamboo requires full sun, good drainage and plenty of space; plant it 5 to 10 feet from any other bamboo or structures, to give it room to expand.

Compost

Bamboo enjoys good nutrition in its soil from the start. Mix plenty of organic compost into the soil before planting, but don't use any fresh manure; that could burn the bamboo rhizomes and keep them from growing. Bamboo rhizomes cannot tolerate the high acidity that comes from fresh manure and prefer a balanced pH level.

Quick Drainage

Mix quick-draining potting soil into the planting site as well. Bamboo prefers loose, rich soil for good drainage and breatheability. Plant bamboo rhizomes 1 to 2 inches deep and pack the soil in around them to eliminate air pockets.

Fertilizer

Once bamboo is planted and growing, it thrives with monthly feedings. Add 10-10-10 fertilizer to waterings once ever four to six weeks to encourage bamboo to shoot up and out. Don't add fertilizer that has a high nitrogen content, as this could burn the bamboo.

Watering

Bamboo enjoys lots of moisture, so water the plant with 2 inches of water a week. Monitor the soil to ensure that it's staying moist without becoming muddy or soupy, though, since bamboo rhizomes rot in standing water.

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