Have you ever wondered how bamboo grows and under what conditions does this exotic plant spread faster? Here is the mini-guide with the basic tips and practical instructions to do it.
Among all the plants that can be grown in the garden, bamboo is certainly one of the most difficult and complicated to approach especially for its invasive behavior that must be suitably contained.
To grow bamboo, it is first of all necessary that the climate is suitable for this plant of Asian origins which cannot tolerate excessively high temperatures and frosts. The ideal is a tropical climate, sufficiently warm and rather humid.
Although limiting the development of this plant is not at all easy, growing bamboo can be the best way to create green barriers and hedges in a very short time and give a touch of originality to a green space or a garden. Let’s see how to do it.
How to grow bamboo: varieties, climate, and soil
Bamboo is part of a tribe of evergreen perennials with a very luxuriant habit, capable of reaching even 40 meters in height and which develop with an impressive growth rate, to say the least. In nature, bamboo grows wild in Africa, America, Asia, and Oceania but not in Europe. Although there are dozens of genera belonging to the same family, bamboo is generally classified into a bunch, climbing, and reed bamboo. The variety recommended for those who want to try growing bamboo in the garden is the bunched variety that develops in clusters of grouped and relatively non-invasive plants.
The terrain and the ‘ sun exposure are two key factors in the growth of bamboo. This plant, in fact, needs constant exposure to the sun (at least 8 hours) and adequate shelter during the winter. As for the soil, it is good to know that bamboo prefers marly soils and soils, so it will be good to enrich the soil with adequate organic substances before planting the plants or rhizomes. Better a clayey substrate prepared with compost earth, sand, silt, and clay.
Soil and sun exposure are two determining factors in bamboo growth
Anyone wishing to grow bamboo must keep in mind that the roots of these plants are very superficial and, as such, vulnerable to atmospheric agents and parasitic attacks. Arrange support behind the plant to protect it from strong winds and keep the soil always clean and free from weeds and foliage.
How to grow bamboo: planting and propagation
All varieties of bamboo propagate through the roots and rhizomes because monopodiale or Sympodial. In the first case, the propagation takes place underground for a longer time. In the second, however, the variability is high and depends on the climatic conditions and the composition of the soil. If neglected, bamboo shoots can become very invasive and colonize adjacent land and even very large areas.
The sowing and planting of the young plants generally take place in spring, preferably after the last frost of the season. In fact, with mild temperatures and warm soil, the plant will develop much faster and you will avoid thermal shocks to the root system. Remember to space seeds or seedlings at least 1.5 meters from each other, especially if you want to grow climbing bamboo. If you opt for bunched bamboo, the distance to keep is about 30-40 cm.
Bamboo needs abundant daily watering, especially during the first weeks of life of the seedlings, but suffers from excessive water stagnation. The use of organic mulch can help protect the plant from parasitic attacks, temperature excursions and to keep development under control.
How to grow bamboo: control and pruning
The first thing to learn before even starting to grow bamboo is the containment techniques of this plant. This plant is in fact invasive and one of the most infesting. Although there are many varieties, with different characteristics, one characteristic of bamboo is precisely this. Not only that, to eliminate it can take years, and the use of herbicides is harmful to the environment.
There are two methods to prevent the propagation of new bamboo shoots.
The first is the edging or removal of any rhizome that tends to escape the boundaries of the area intended for cultivation.
The second method is that of containing the plants with a physical barrier, a system that is best suited to the cultivation of the climbing variety. After delimiting the area in which to grow bamboo, install barriers of metal or concrete sheets along the entire perimeter to a depth of about 90 cm. Otherwise, it will be necessary to control the spread by cutting close to the ground all the new shoots until the nutrients present in the sections are exhausted.
During the growth, it will be necessary to provide regular pruning to thin out the long branches or the old ones, once or twice a year. Pruning your bamboo so it looks neat and regular is the best way to control its growth and take care of the aesthetic impact it will have on your garden. The fresh shoots also can be harvested and consumed to enrich salads. The taste vaguely resembles that of onion, but it is a good source of fiber and mineral salts.