A Guide to Taking Care of Bamboo
Bamboo has countless uses, not the least of which is to add beauty to a landscape. In many cases, bamboo is a hardy and generally low-maintenance grass. These steps will help you get the most out of it.
- If it's planted in the ground, water twice per week while a plant is getting established. Once per week thereafter is usually enough. Bamboo likes a lot of water. But like other grasses, it will develop a more robust root system if it is made to grow deep to get water.
- If it is planted in a pot, you may need to water more frequently. But be careful to not keep the soil wet, as this will cause root rot.
- Add 2 to 3 inches of mulch, but no more. Bamboo loves the stability of temperature and soil moisture that mulch provides. But adding too much can enable rodents to nest in it and damage your bamboo.
- Fertilize your bamboo with a high nitrogen fertilizer during the spring and summer, such as one rated 24-8-16 (or a common lawn fertilizer if that is all that is available). Switch to a low nitrogen fertilizer such as one rated 3-10-10 or even 0-10-10 for the fall. Don't fertilize in the winter, especially if the fertilizer has nitrogen in it.
- If you notice the leaves of your bamboo curled up, forget everything written above about making it work for water. Give it water as soon as possible, as curled leaves usually means the plant is dehydrated. After giving it water, see if you can figure out why it got dehydrated. Perhaps there is not enough soil for it. i.e., it has outgrown it's pot, etc. Perhaps it is planted on a hill and the water runs off before soaking in. Adjust your watering schedule or landscape to accommodate.
- Some types of bamboo can be highly invasive in certain climates. Consider reading the other Wiki articles on bamboo before planting if you think this might be a problem for you.
Things You'll Need
- Bamboo plant
- Garden hose and sprinkler, or other watering system
- A few cubic ft. of mulch - leaves, bark chips, etc.
- Nitrogen rich fertilizer for spring and summer
- Nitrogen poor fertilizer for fall (autumn)
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