A member of the grass family, bamboo plants are round, jointed stalks used for decoration, wood, furniture and art. Bamboo are the largest grasses found in nature and can grow up to 100 feet in the wild. The bamboo plant is most abundant in the monsoon area of East Asia, but is also a popular garden and house plant for many Americans due to its exotic beauty and durable qualities.
Selecting the Right Soil
Most bamboo plants grow best in an acidic soil. Prep the soil by loosening the dirt and removing weeds prior to inserting the bamboo plant. Earthworms can help work the bamboo into the soil. Keep the soil fertilized and moderately moist to keep the plant from drying out. If you are growing your bamboo indoors, remember to use a pot with adequate drainage so the bamboo does not become soggy.
Bamboo house plants typically require less sunlight than bamboo in the wild. Smaller species tolerate light to moderate shade, with more shade required during the summer months. As a general rule, keep your bamboo covered with light shade if you have an indoor plant as these plants will be small in size.
For newly planted bamboo, test the moisture of the soil often to ensure your plant will not begin to dry out. Young plants are often not accustomed to sunlight and may dry out quickly if not monitored. Also, checking the leaves of the bamboo will tell you if the plant is lacking water as the leaves will shrink and occasionally turn yellowish. Daily watering is appropriate in hot climates and watering twice a week will suffice in the winter.
Indoor bamboo pruning is helpful in removing tired-looking branches and leaves and in keeping the plant from growing too large for its pot and becoming root bound. Snip any dead or yellowed leaves and branches from your bamboo plant. Clipping the top off the bamboo will keep the plant from growing too tall. The bamboo roots, also known as rhizomes, should be checked periodically to ensure they are not growing through the bottom drainage holes of the pot. Cut the excess once or twice per year with a pair of sharp gardening shears.