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Why are Bamboo Plants so Expensive?

 We commonly get questions regarding the high price of bamboo. Many gardeners complain that bamboo plants are too expensive when compared to other common plants/trees, such as Palms or Eucalyptus trees. There are 2 major factors that cause the high cost of bamboo.

Reason 1: Difficult Propagation Process

Propagation, which is the creation of new plants, it’s a very difficult process with bamboo. The flowering and seed production stage of bamboo only occurs are extremely long intervals. Some bamboo species only produce seeds every 100 years of more. The lack of available seeds requires growers to propagate new plants with rhizome cuttings. Rhizomes are essentially the roots that travel underground that allow bamboo to spread rapidly. It is possible to cut segments of these rhizomes to produce individual plants for sale. First, the bamboo plant must be dug from the earth, then rhizomes must be cut and transplanted into a container. Obviously, this is a very labor intensive process and will only produce several plants. Also, the failure rate of rhizome cuttings is high, so much of the labor will never amount to an actual bamboo plant. 

Reason 2: Plant Rarity

Many bamboo species are extremely rare in the United States. The importation of bamboo from overseas is highly restricted, and it can take many years for a newly introduced species to become established and available to the public. Species must remain in an Federal quarantine area for a number of years before being released into the environment. For this reason, you will rarely see major nurseries, such as Home Depot or Lowes focus on bambooplant sales. There is simply not enough profit potential in bamboo plants to make it worth their while.

We hope this article helps explain why bamboo is so expensive.