How to Plant & Care for Bamboo Trees


Bamboo is a perennial evergreen in most areas except those that have harsh winter conditions. The plant is from the true grass family and is considered invasive as it grows quickly and will spread to unwanted areas when a barrier is not in place. Bamboo is available in clumping and running varieties. Running bamboo spreads up to several feet in a year through underground rhizomes, while clumping spreads slower at only several inches in a year.

Step 1

Find a location for the bamboo plant that offers wind protection, a slightly acidic and well draining soil and light shade protection.

Step 2

Install a barrier made from high density polyethylene around rhizome type bamboo plants to prevent spreading. Place the barrier to a depth of 30 inches and slightly higher than the soil level.

Step 3

Dig a hole that is twice as wide as the container and the same depth. Add a layer of compost to the bottom of the hole. Place the bamboo plant into the hole and fill with an even mixture of compost and soil.

Step 4

Spread 2 inches of compost on top of the soil to increase the nutrient value and moisture retention and decrease weed growth.

Step 5

Water thoroughly after planting and continue to water to keep to soil moist during the first year of growth.

Step 6

Fertilize the bamboo plant in spring, early summer and early fall with a high nitrogen fertilizer. Turf fertilizer works well for bamboo.

Step 7

Place mulch around the bamboo plant each spring. Allow leaves to fall and remain at the base of the plant to form natural mulch.

Step 8

Stake tall, slender bamboo plants to a height of two-thirds of the plant. This will prevent wind damage and uprooting of young plants.

Step 9

Apply heavy winter mulch over bamboo plants grown in areas with cold or harsh winter climates.

Things You'll Need

  • Bamboo seedlings
  • High density polyethylene barrier
  • Shovel
  • Compost
  • Water
  • Turf fertilizer
  • Mulch


  • American Bamboo Society: Planting and Caring for Bamboo
  • Growing Bamboo
Keywords: growing bamboo, rhizome spreading bamboo, planting bamboo

About this Author

Jennifer Loucks has over 10 years of experience as a former technical writer for a software development company in Wisconsin. Her writing experience includes creating software documentation and help documents for clients and staff along with training curriculum. Loucks holds a Bachelor of Science major from the University of Wisconsin - River Falls specializing in animal science and business.