How to Plant Bamboo


Gardeners can choose between two varieties of bamboo, a member of the grass family. Both the clumping and running varieties require the same planting and growing requirements. Consider the growth habits of the bamboo when choosing a variety for your garden. Running bamboo types can spread several feet each year, while clumping varieties will spread only a few inches. Some species of bamboo can grow quite tall, reaching 30 feet or more. Bamboo tolerates a wide range of conditions, and even a novice gardener will find that planting it is an easy task.

Step 1

Select an area in your garden that receives at least four hours of direct sunlight each day. Bamboo grows best in full sun to partial sun. Choose an area that will be large enough to accommodate the bamboo without interfering with structures or power lines.

Step 2

Kill weeds, grasses or other unwanted vegetation in the planting site. Young bamboo plants do not thrive if competing with other vegetation. Wait two weeks to plant after using herbicide.

Step 3

Amend the planting area with compost, manure or peat. If you want to contain the bamboo's growth, do not amend the soil any deeper than one foot. Limiting the depth of the nutrient-rich soil will keep the roots from spreading too far.

Step 4

Dig a trench at least three feet deep around your planting area. Place either plastic landscape edging or a wooden board in the trenched area. Cover the barrier, packing the soil firmly around it on all sides. Rhizomes reaching the barrier will turn around and grow in another direction.

Step 5

Dig a hole in the planting area large enough to hold the bamboo's root ball and place the plant into it. Cover the hole, stomping the dirt down firmly around the base of the plant. Space additional plants 8 to 10 feet apart. Mulch around the base of the plants to retain moisture.

Step 6

Water the plant. Continue watering at a rate of two to three times each week to keep the planting area moist. Reduce watering to once every week to week and a half after the bamboo has established itself. Mature bamboo will tolerate periods of drought or extreme wetness.

Step 7

Fertilize in spring, summer and fall with a 10-10-10 fertilizer.

Things You'll Need

  • Herbicide
  • Compost
  • Manure
  • Peat
  • Shovel
  • Plastic landscape edging
  • Wooden board
  • Mulch
  • Water
  • Fertilizer


  • Burt Associates Bamboo
  • America Bamboo Society
Keywords: planting bamboo, growing bamboo, landscape grasses

About this Author

Joyce Starr is a professional writer from Florida and owns a landscaping company and garden center. She has published articles about camping in Florida, lawn care and gardening and writes for a local gardening newsletter. She shares her love and knowledge of the outdoors and nature through her writing.