PLANTING YOUR BAMBOO: Think about your location and the type of bamboo you are planting. Are you planting up against a fence or property line? If so, give clumpers 3-6 feet away from any obstacles in all directions to center the clump and give it room to grow. Does your variety grow erect and plume-like or arch at the top? Do the canes lean to the sides from the ground up? Is the location easy to water? What is the sun/shade ratio in the location year round? Does it drain well? Bamboo does not like to get wet feet for extended periods of time. Are there any overhead obstacles like a roof over hang or tree branches? How close to other plants in your yard are you planting? These are common questions to ask yourself when considering your location. Have more? Email us!
1. Dig a slightly larger hole than the container of your bamboo. We recommend digging the hole twice the width and 1 1 /2 times the depth of the rootball. While digging, make sure your bamboo is nearby to ensure you are digging the correct sized hole. You do not want to remove the plant from the container and leave the roots exposed to the wind and sun until your hole is dug. Leaving the bamboo laying down on the ground exposed to the sun can kill a bamboo very quickly.
2. Carefully remove your plant from its container. Do not break up the rootball.
3. Bamboos are quite resilient to soils and conditions, but when they are small, you can help your bamboo get a good start by amending the soil inside the hole. Backfill the hole with a 1/2 and 1/2 mix of good soil and composted cow manure. You can mix the compost with the soil you removed from the hole if you have good soil. Place this mix under, around, and on top of the rootball with the top of the rootball sitting about an inch below ground level.
4. Top with a thick layer of well-composted cow manure.
5. Put 6 or more inches of mulch on top of the compost extending several inches past the edge of where your hole was dug. We like to use a mulch with a neutral to low ph level like pine bark etc. Extending your mulch beyond the compost helps discourage weeds and grasses from growing into your bamboo plant. Mulching will help protect the soil and roots from direct sun, break down and improve the soil under it, regulate moisture, cool the plant in summer, and protect the plant in winter. Mature bamboos that shade their root system also begin to produce their own mulch. Bamboo leaves are high in silica and if left as mulch will continue to act as mulch and recycle silica into the soil for the roots to use.
5. You might make a slight indention around the base of the plant in the mulch to help retain and redirect water into the rootball.
6. Although established bamboos can grow with no fertilizer or care after their first few years, they will never reach their largest cane size or height. To keep those leaves dark green and produce maximum size, fertilizing is necessary. Composted cow manure is very popular as the sole fertilizer for bamboos with natural gardeners. Here are some other options for you to try. - Any comercial fertilizer rich in nitrogen as you would give your lawn grass. NO WEED AND FEED! - Palm Tree Fertilizer - Medina and Miracle Gro Products high in nitrogen, or to feed acid loving plants. - Avoid anything containing Boron or Salts! - Know your soil and provide correct PH balance to keep your bamboos green, bamboo prefers neautral to slightly acidic levels of PH. - Foliar feeding your bamboos with liquid fertilizers also will keep foliage fresh and robust, bamboos like chileated iron etc. This is mostly helpful in spring when your bamboos make new leaves. Over-Fertilizing your bamboo can lead to burning the root system, damaging foliage, and weakening your plant, slowing growth. Also if harvesting your bamboo, over-fertilizing can lead to poor wood quality.
7. Water daily for the first few weeks, 3-4 times a week through the first hot season, and 2-3 times a week thereafter. Always water in the mornings so that the plant is never stressed, but always putting energy into growing and thriving. Plants that are in pots must be watered daily in the mornings and positioned so that they will not be blown over by the wind.