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Growing Bamboo in North Carolina

bamboo image by Viera Pon from

The bamboo plant is an evergreen perennial grass that can be invasive in areas where there are no control measures taken. The climate in North Carolina makes it an optimal place to grow bamboo in the home garden, because the temperature ranges from 89 degrees F to 27 degrees F with adequate rainfall during the summer growing season. Plant a bamboo variety in North Carolina that is hardy in cool winter temperatures.

Select a location that provides wind protection, partial shade and a well draining soil. Test the soil to verify it is slightly acidic with a pH of 6.0 to 6.5. Work ground rock sulfur into the soil to lower the pH, if needed.

Dig a 30-inch deep trench around the planting area and install a high-density polyethylene barrier. This will prevent the unwanted spread of rhizomes.

Dig a planting hole that is twice as wide as the same depth of the container the bamboo came in. Add 1 to 2 inches of organic compost in the bottom of the hole and set the bamboo on top. Work and equal amount of organic compost into the removed soil and fill the mixture around the bamboo root ball.

Place a 2-inch mulch layer of organic compost around the plant to assist with moisture retention and provide nutrients to the bamboo plant. Refresh the mulch layer each spring.

Water the bamboo generously after planting to moisten the soil to a depth of 4 to 5 inches. Provide supplemental water to the bamboo when the weekly rainfall is less than 1 inch. Bamboo leaves will curl if the plant is not getting enough water.

Fertilize the bamboo with a high-nitrogen turf fertilizer three times a year; in spring, early summer and early fall. Apply the amount of fertilizer recommended in the package instructions.

Place a support stake next to tall bamboo plants. Tie the canes to the stake at two-thirds the height of the foliage. Staking will prevent damage or uprooting from wind.


The amount of ground rock sulfur needed for soil amendment varies based on the soil composition and current pH. Consult the package instructions for proper the quantity.

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