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Bamboo Does Require Maintenance - But Oh How It's Worth It!

Aug 17, 2007
Bamboo is an extremely hardy plant yet it still requires a solid level of maintenance to ensure it continues to flourish. Keeping bamboo well fed and moist is one of the keys to maintaining it in a healthy state. One of the common misconceptions with bamboo is that it doesn't require maintenance. In fact, the truth is that bamboo, particularly in containers requires watering more often than most other plants.

Relying on the elements such as rain for outdoor bamboo plants just won't cut it. In summer, regular watering is essential and if possible, automated watering systems are preferred. Keeping the soil moist will result in a happy plant yet as is often the case with most vegetation during winter, less is needed.

Bamboo Maintenance

Fertilizing your plant in spring and summer is highly recommended. There are several fertilizing methods available however, these depend on whether the bamboo is kept in a container or in the ground. For container plants, a slow release fertilizer is the preferred option while organic is ideal for in-ground plants. I have predominantly container plants and the slow release fertilizer works a treat. I have also found bamboo is partial to a seaweed boost.

Depending on the type of bamboo you have, then keeping them in check will keep both the plants and your neighbors happy. Spring time is when the running variety sprouts new shoots. You need to be wary that overcrowding doesn't occur and pruning stalks at the base can prevent this. Pruning these stalks every couple of years will keep down the threat of over clumping bamboo. Trimming also encourages extra foliage.

If you did your homework before planting your in-ground bamboo then you would have had to decide between running or clumping bamboo. The latter is non-invasive while the running variety needs to be kept in check. I have heard plenty of horror stories regarding running bamboo which could easily have been avoided. For instance, planting in escape proof barriers is a preferred way to stop the plant from spreading. Believe me, you don't want to think about this when the plant is a couple of years old and well established.

I don't have running bamboo however, my neighbor does and his example of how to host this "invasive" customer should be used as a guide if you are thinking about growing it. Wonderful additions to any garden and shade personified, running bamboo can get out of control if the proper precautions aren't taken. My neighbor used both an escape proof planter and also installed a deep barrier along his fenceline. It was a little extra work but the result is in the finished product and he has some of the most magnificent bamboo in our neighborhood. Plus, it's kept in check . You'll also want to check any regulations imposed by your local authorities regarding the planting of running bamboo. There may be restrictions.

Bamboo at it's bloomimg best is hard to beat. If you are considering making it a part of your landscape then my advice is to start small and gradually increase it's presence over time.
About the Author
Dean Caporella is a professional broadcaster. Get the latest news and reviews on bamboo maintenance and related bamboo information at:http://www.bamboogalore.com
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