How to grow golden bamboo in pots

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Golden bamboo, Phyllostachys aurea, is a variety of running bamboo. Running bamboos, unlike the clumping bamboos, will take over a garden, spreading by underground rhizomes if not stopped by a man-made underground barrier.

Growing golden bamboo in pots does away with the need to protect the rest of the garden from its invasive habits. As with most container-grown plants, though, your golden bamboo will require some extra care.

Grow your golden bamboo in a wood container or unglazed terra-cotta pot measuring at least 60 cm (24 inches) deep and wide. Unglazed pots are more porous and will help insulate the bamboo roots from heat.

Place the pot on an impenetrable surface, such as concrete or a deck. Check the bottom of the pot periodically to make sure the roots aren't blocking the drainage holes or otherwise escaping.

Place a 2.5 to 5 cm (1 to 2 inch) layer of mulch on the soil around the base of the bamboo. This will help keep the soil cool on hot days.

Water the golden bamboo three times a week during the summer. If temperatures are over 32.2 degrees C (90 degrees F), you may need to water five days a week. Keep an eye on the moisture content of the soil, and if it appears to be drying quickly, give the bamboo some water.

Fertilise the golden bamboo once a month with a 17-6-2 slow-release fertiliser. Follow the label directions for dosage. Water after fertilising.