A BAMBOO SPECIALTY NURSERY
Planting and Care of Your Bamboo Plants
If you buy a $1.00 plant, dig a $10.00 hole! - - - - Anonymous
- Choose a location with drainage which suits the light level requirements of the bamboo.
- Dig a hole at least twice as wide as the pot and a bit deeper than the pot.
-If the soil is good, use it as part of what you put back into the hole. If the soil is poor, get a good garden soil to replace it. Either way, you want a soil mix of about 50% compost or composted manure. Add some of this to the bottom of the hole.
- Remove the plant from the pot. Try not to disturb the soil around the roots.
- If you are planting a clumping bamboo and discover a solid mass of tangled roots covering the bottom of the dirt ball, cut of that solid mass of roots before planting the bamboo.
- Put the plant in the hole. Be sure there is enough soil below the plant so that when you fill in the hole the dirt level on the bamboo will be about the same as it was in the pot.
- If you have a running bamboo, and there are rhizomes curling around the outside of the dirt, go ahead and loosen them carefully and spread them out in the hole so that they are no longer growing in a circular fashion.
- Fill in the hole half way with your soil mixture. Tamp the soil firmly; don’t pack it hard.
- Fill the hole with water and let it soak in.
- Fill in the rest of the hole with soil and soak it with water again.
- Add more soil if needed after the water soaks in; water again.
- Add mulch, up to several inches high, over the entire hole.
- Stake the plant if necessary.
- Remove any damaged or unsightly leaves.
- Remove about 20% of the remaining leaves.
- (Optional) If the plant is in full sun, cover it with burlap or something cotton (an old bed sheet, etc.) and keep the covering wet for several days, then remove the covering.
- For a week or two, water the plant every two or three days. Don’t let the soil become soggy; if you do, leaves will turn yellow or orange and fall off.
- Watch the leaves. If they roll up or fold up, the plant needs water; remove more leaves and water the plant. If leaves dry up and become crispy, remove them.
- Remember that bamboo leaves will grow back, but cut branches or canes will not grow back. Yes, this is very different from what trees and shrubs do!
- Water the plant well for the entire first year to help it become established.
- Fertilize with compost, composted manure, or slow-release fertilizer; high nitrogen before and during the growing season and low nitrogen at other times. Bamboo is a grass, so lawn fertilizer works also.
Contact us if you have questions!
Bamboo and Deer
There is not a completely clear answer concerning deer and whether they eat bamboo, so here are some things to consider.
Deer will eat any plants if they are hungry enough.
In my conversations with bamboo growers around the USA most say that deer are in their groves but are not a problem. However, some have said that if the local deer get a taste for bamboo, then they will eat the shoots.
I have deer in my groves and they do not eat the bamboo. Grasshoppers are a different storey!
There are wild stands of Golden Bamboo in West Lake Hills, Texas, which is overpopulated with deer, and the bamboo is not eaten.
I recommend preventive fencing of any new bamboo planting for the first 2-3 years until the plant gets established. Use a fence that keeps out rabbits and squirrels, and hopefully deer as well. Chicken wire two feet tall will keep out rabbits. Squirrels are more aggressive and can jump over a fence that short. Deer present more of a problem regarding fencing, but I have been told that they respond well to electrified fences.
If the plants are available to livestock (which will eat young bamboo) they are in more danger than they are from deer.
Let us know if you have other information to contribute!
Updated May 30, 2008
By The Webmaster
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- Planting and Care
- Deer and Bamboo