The Wonders of the Bamboo Plant: All You Need to Know

Team McFly Sep 22, 2023
6 People Read
bamboo plant
Table of Contents
  1. How to Properly Care For Bamboo Plants
    1. What is Bamboo?
    2. What are the Varieties of Bamboo?
    3. Does Bamboo Spread Fast?
    4. Does bamboo attract ants?
    5. When is The Best Time to Plant Bamboo?
    6. How Long Does Bamboo Take to Grow?
    7. Recent Featured Posts:

How to Properly Care For Bamboo Plants

Bamboo plants are an excellent way to add a touch of elegance and style to your garden. Not only are they low maintenance, easy to grow, and drought tolerant - but they're also highly decorative!

Bamboo plants can be planted in various places, from the ground to containers or even deck pots. The key is selecting the correct spot for them.

Bamboo Plants

What is Bamboo?

Bamboo is a fast-growing grass with a woody trunk-like appearance. It belongs to the Poaceae family and thrives in subtropical regions such as China, South America, and Africa.

Bamboos boast an astonishing growth rate; some species can reach heights of 91 centimeters (36 inches) daily!

One of the most widely used applications for bamboo is as a building material. It can be utilized for floors, walls, roofs, and scaffolding due to its strength and lightweight. Furthermore, bamboo has become an ideal material for bridges, houses, and other structures due to its superior strength-weight ratio.

Bamboo can also be used as a source of fibers spun into cloth and yarn. This process, known as rayon, involves dissolving plant fibers in an acid solution of lye and carbon disulfide.

However, this production method isn't the greenest as it releases pollutants into the air. If you're searching for a more sustainable option, opt for products made with natural fibers instead.

What are the Varieties of Bamboo?

Bamboo plants are a stunning addition to any garden, especially those with an oriental or tropical theme. These versatile plants grow rapidly and can be used as privacy screens, hedges, or natural fences.

There are various varieties of bamboo to choose from, each suited to its environment. Some species can thrive in wetlands, while others do best in more arid regions where they replenish depleted soils with essential nutrients.

Clumping bamboo is the most common variety and thrives best in tropical climates where it can be grown between USDA zones 5-9. On the other hand, running varieties tend to be more aggressive and can become invasive if not kept under control.

Some of the most popular types of clumping bamboo include Hedge Bamboo, Silver Stripe, Chinese Goddess, and Fernleaf. These varieties are cold-resistant and can be used as living fences or screen plants if given access to water and plenty of room to grow. They thrive best in areas with ample access to both.


Does Bamboo Spread Fast?

When planting bamboo in a garden or along a property line, knowing how quickly it can spread is essential. With its woody characteristics, bamboo could quickly become an invasive plant, which would be difficult to manage and cost you a lot in the long run.

Some species of running bamboo can produce rhizomes that spread up to 40 feet within just one season, making them invasive and dislodging native plants.

Without chemical pesticides, there are a few methods to control bamboo growth without them. Non-chemical control (physical removal of growth) and containment - digging trenches around the plant to contain it - can be employed.

bamboo ant

Does bamboo attract ants?

Bamboo plants attract ants due to the sweetness of their nectar, which ants love to consume. Furthermore, the leaves contain honeydew secretions from sap-sucking insects such as aphids that attract ants for sustenance.

Ants aren't the only pests that could attack your bamboo. Flies, mealybugs, mites, and subterranean termites can wreak havoc on your plants.

The best way to protect against bamboo pests is awareness and taking action. Monitor your plants closely, trimming back on branches if you see them getting out of hand.

You can protect your bamboo by creating a physical barrier to keep animals away. This may include wire enclosures around young shoots, making them stronger and less attractive to wildlife.

Mosquitoes are another common pest that can harm your bamboo plant. They prefer wet conditions, using the water in their stalks as a breeding ground for their eggs.

When is The Best Time to Plant Bamboo?

Bamboo plants thrive when planted in the springtime, when new shoots appear and need regular watering. However, they can be planted in warmer climates at any time of the year.

When planting clumping bamboo, dig a hole twice the size of the root ball and to approximately the same depth. Refill with soil and gently tamp it down for even distribution.

Bamboo should be planted with deep and moist soil; avoid swampy areas as bamboo doesn't thrive well when its environment is constantly wet.

After planting your bamboo plant, it should be watered weekly until its roots have been established. Additionally, adding 3-4 inches of mulch around the base of the bamboo will help ensure a healthy environment for your new growth.

Running varieties of bamboo spread sideways during summer, covering a vast area in one growing season. Regularly inspect the rhizomes to ensure they don't spread too far and remove any that are growing over top.

Can You Transplant Bamboo?

If your bamboo plant has outgrown its container, there are two basic approaches to repotting. The first involves simply moving the plant from its current pot into a larger one; alternatively, you could divide the clump of bamboo into multiple units for easier care.

When repotting bamboo, it's essential that the roots and soil stay together as one cohesive mass. If the soil around the roots begins to separate or you observe lots of knots when taking it out of its container, this could indicate that your plant is too rootbound and needs transplanting.

When transplanting bamboo, the ideal time is late winter or early spring before new shoots emerge. Dig a hole twice as wide as the bamboo's root ball and replace the soil around its rhizome. Water your bamboo regularly during its first growing season after transplanting to keep its soil moist but not saturated.

How Long Does Bamboo Take to Grow?

Bamboo can grow incredibly fast under ideal conditions. Some species are known to reach 35 inches per day!

Bamboo has many varieties, from dwarf varieties that don't reach over a few inches to giant timber bamboo that can grow to over 100 feet tall. The speed at which bamboo grows depends on its type and environment - including sunlight, soil moisture levels, and water availability - but most grow rapidly under ideal conditions.

Phyllostachys bamboo, a temperate variety from China and India, can grow as fast as two to three feet daily due to its aggressive rhizome roots that spread quickly.

As new shoots emerge in spring/late summer (they only grow for 60 days), they increase in size and number each year as the colony continues its journey toward maturity. On average, it takes four to fifteen years for most species to reach their maximum size.

snake on leaf

Does Bamboo Attract Snakes?

If snakes regularly visit your garden, it's essential that the bamboo garden remains free from these pesky creatures. Various methods are available for deterring snakes from your yard, such as using plants with repellant properties.

One way to deter snakes from your yard is by using natural repellents such as cinnamon oil or clove oil. These oils have been scientifically proven to deter snakes from your yard effectively.

Another way to keep snakes away from your yard is by eliminating any food sources or hiding places for them. This includes bird feeders, animal traps, and other objects which snakes may consider their home.

Finally, it is important to remove any rotting fruit or other junk in your yard that could provide shelter and food for rats and mice. Doing this helps prevent snakes from accessing your property, becoming a major issue for you and your family.

If you are uncertain if your yard is free from snakes, consulting with a pest control company is recommended. They can advise on the best ways to keep your bamboo garden and other areas on your property free from snakes.

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Table of Contents
  1. How to Properly Care For Bamboo Plants
    1. What is Bamboo?
    2. What are the Varieties of Bamboo?
    3. Does Bamboo Spread Fast?
    4. Does bamboo attract ants?
    5. When is The Best Time to Plant Bamboo?
    6. How Long Does Bamboo Take to Grow?
    7. Recent Featured Posts: