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Bamboo, Bamboo - Care Advice

Growing your Bamboo

Bigger, bold and boisterous bamboo:

Phyllostachys, Pseudosasa, Plieoblastus, Semiarundinaria and Sasa.

This group of bamboo tend to be amongst the largest we can grow in here in the U.K. On the whole these bamboo prefer a sunny to part shade position away from strong winds. Some species such as Pseudosasa japonica and Phyllostachys bissettii will tolerate a fair amount of exposure though they always look there best in a more sheltered position.

For rapid establishment we recommend selecting plants with pots full of chunky roots, even to the point of bursting the pots (the general rules of pot bound roots doesn’t apply here!) Obviously healthy stems and leave are important too but although we tend to buy with ours eyes, what’s in the pot is really what’s important.

Planting your Bamboo

Choose your planting position carefully, is there enough space? Don’t underestimate these plants in a few years they can easily double or triple in size.

We recommend using a rootbarrier to encourage them to grow in the space allocated otherwise they may have other plans particularly if your neighbours garden looks more inviting.

Before planting it is a good idea to soak the bamboo thoroughly to ensure the rots are well and truly saturated then dig a hole at least twice the size of the root ball add compost then place the bamboo so that the finished soil height will be slightly lower than the top of the root ball. Backfill using your soil mixed 50:50 with good compost. Once planted gently firm down the soil around the base add a top dressing of a good fertilizer, we prefer poultry manure, then mulch with a good 8-10 deep layer of compost. Finally water again to help settle the bamboo. In dry periods it may be necessary to repeat watering regularly, if the bamboo looks dry and the leaves are curling this is a sure sign.

After the first season we repeat the mulching and feeding each spring.

Now stand back and enjoy. Don’t expect your bamboo to grow away like a rocket, yes bamboo can grow incredibly fast but most of this happens over a 3 month period which is very generally late May through to early August so if you’ve planted either side of this period I’m afraid you’ll have to wait.

Pruning and Grooming

Bamboo can be very accommodating here. I’ve seen pristine clipped hedges and topiary shaped plantings of both Phllostachys aurea and bissetti showing easy how easy it can be managed. What I like to do though on any large bamboo is to remove all old, thin and spindly canes (or culms as us horticulturists call them) then prune away all the side branches off the remaining culms to a height of between 60cm to 150cm depending on your choice. This in my opinion show bamboos off to there best making them stately specimens.

For any further information about your Bamboo, please either call us on 01903 891466 or email us at info@bigplantnursery.co.uk and we will be glad to help.