Bamboo hails originally from China, Vietnam and other areas of Asia, growing in the warm, lush jungles of those countries. The plant came to the U.S. with the giant pandas, and has since gained popularity both indoors and outdoors. It does, however, require some specific maintenance routines, particularly as a potted plant.
Bamboo is one of the most versatile plants on earth. It is successful in the wild (in jungles and along rivers) and in domestic landscaping. These plants grow from rhizomes, or bulbs, which put out multiple shoots to self propagate. Bamboo foliage consists of strong canes and leafy shoots.
Potted bamboo requires specific growing considerations. All bamboo does best with quick drainage and full sunshine, so it's important to keep bamboo in quick-draining, nutritious soil and in sunny locations. According to Bamboo Information For You, however, the quickest way to kill bamboo is to underwater it. The soil should always be at least slightly moist.
To help maintain good drainage, soil moisture and nutrition, many gardeners mix quick-draining soil with rich, organic compost for potted bamboo. This gives the potted plant, which is isolated from the more nourishing outdoor world, a good source of continuous nutrition.
Bamboo is a vigorous grower that requires frequent nutritional supplements. Feed bamboo time-release nitrogen-heavy fertilizer like 13-3-13, or a rich organic fertilizer. Supplement fertilizer with consistent applications of fresh organic compost, which boosts the soil rather than just the plant.
Bamboo Information For You suggests that gardeners begin feeding potted bamboo three weeks after planting. The site states that bamboo enjoys frequent feedings, and Quindembo Bamboo Nursery suggests ferilizing bamboo every four to six weeks. Apply fertilizer between February and September, then give potted bamboo a break during its dormant season.