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What Are the Best Growing Conditions for Bamboo?


Question: What Are the Best Growing Conditions for Bamboo?

The answer to any "how do you grow X?" question must address the basic requirements, and it's no different here. So below I present the best growing conditions for bamboo. You need to master the basics first, concerning:

  • Sun (or protection from sun)

  • Soil

  • Nutrients

  • Water

On the subject of growing conditions for bamboo, the American Bamboo Society states that "most large bamboos grow quicker and do their best in full sun." However, they are also quick to point out that "Fargesias and most Thamnocalamus are happier with some shade during the hottest part of the day." Take note of that requirement, because later in this FAQ series I will be discussing one of the Fargesias.

Bamboos prefer a soil pH that is slightly acidic (around 6). In terms of soil texture, bamboo plants prefer loam.

To stimulate growth in the plants, apply a fertilizer high in nitrogen.

Bamboo likes a lot of water, but it also needs a well-drained soil. While it is necessary to saturate the entire planting area when growing running bamboo plants, you can restrict watering for clumping types to the area around the base ("clump") of the plant.

Now you know not only how to contain bamboo plants, but also how to grow them. But for those who live in cold climates, there's another key piece to the puzzle yet to be supplied: growing a bamboo suitable for your climate. Cold-hardy types are the subject of the next FAQ....

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