Belonging to the Gramineae family, these tall and long, green grass shoots known commonly as bamboo are versatile plants. Bamboo gardening is popular as they can be used as an ingredient of food, fodder for animals, interior and exterior decoration and also for carpentry. The presence of bamboo also creates a sense of zen-like atmosphere within houses and gardens. As per gardening experts, bamboo gardening can be a successful adventure provided you take care of certain things.
Bamboos can grow in regular soil with a good amount of mulch on the top – about four to five inches. Mulch allows bamboos to survive even when the roots freeze. They can be planted any time of the year in moderate climates. If you are living in places that have extreme conditions, as per experts of fine gardening, bamboo gardening is best when you plant them much early before winter. This way the plants will be mature enough to withstand the winter. If you intend on growing a bamboo hedge, spread compost and fertilizer on the entire area. Bamboo garden works best if you stake slender and tall bamboos. This will ensure that they are not uprooted even during strong winds.
Broadly, there are two varieties of bamboos – runners and clumpers. Clumpers can expand but because of their root structure which is limited, they can creep only for a few inches every year. These clumpers are tropical plants so it is best to plant them early before winter. Running bamboos can spread across huge areas owing to their underground rhizomes. This can be a cause of concern, but in the case of runners, should be hassle free if you bury a plastic hedging of about 2 feet around the plant. This is because the rhizomes grow only 2-18 inches deep and therefore, can be limited by this plastic hedging. Ensure there are no cracks in the edging because the rhizomes will find a way to get through these.
Bamboo garden works best if you expose the bamboo plants to liberal amount of direct sunlight. If you are going to do bamboo gardening indoors, use bamboo plants that are not taller than 20 feet. They can survive indoors. Bamboos also require sufficient watering to yield new culms. However, over watering can also harm the plant.
Bamboo garden also requires regular pruning. Do not be concerned if the leaves turn yellow or drop during the spring season as is in the nature of bamboo plants. However, there should be new bamboo leaves. If your bamboo plant does not have a good ratio of yellow, green and new leaves, it is time to pay attention to your plant. If the leaves get rolled up, either your plant is exposed to a lot of sunlight or it is not being watered properly. If the culms are soft and start rotting, the bamboo plant is getting undernourished. Also, do not let the roots of the plant dry up. This will reduce the chances of the plant surviving.