Clumping bamboo and the spreading variety make up the two types of bamboo. They appear almost identical, but the clumping variety only spreads out by 3 to 4 inches per year, while spreading bamboo grows much larger. Clumping bamboo grows well in potted containers. The most important aspect of potting bamboo is providing adequate drainage.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- Plant pot with drainage holes
- 1-inch diameter stones
- Shade cloth or weed barrier fabric
- Sterile, coarse river sand
- Sterile, all-purpose potting soil
- Finely ground mulch
- Slow-release liquid fertiliser
Locate a wide-mouthed plant pot that has drainage holes in the bottom of it.
Fill the bottom of the container with a 1-inch layer of 1-inch diameter stones placed directly over the drainage holes to allow the water to wash through but not the soil.
Lay a piece of shade cloth or weed barrier fabric over the pot and push it all the way into the bottom so that it rises up the sides. Trim the cloth off 1 inch below the top rim of the container using scissors. Discard the excess material.
Fill the bottom of the container with 4 inches of coarse, sterile river sand, which is available at aquarium-supply stores.
Add 11 to 13 inches of sterile, all-purpose potting soil on top of the sand and smooth the top out evenly.
Dig holes in the centre of the soil that are only deep enough to accommodate the roots of the clumping bamboo. Insert the roots into the hole, with the green portion of the bamboo completely above the soil. Fill in the holes with additional soil until the bamboo stands upright.
Water the soil only until it feels damp like a wrung-out sponge.
Spread a layer of finely ground mulch on top of the soil until it is level with the top rim of the plant container.
Apply a slow-release fertiliser to the soil in the early summer just as the clumping bamboo begins to sprout. Use half the amount recommended on the bottle and reapply the same amount each month until the fall.
Place the bamboo in bright light either indoors or outdoors, but not in direct sunlight.
Tips and warnings
- Potted bamboo plants dry out faster than those planted in the ground and require more frequent watering.
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