Bamboo Plant Care

The Proper Care for Bamboo

To care for bamboo indoors can be a project that pays off in serenity and peace.  Can you see yourself in a sea of green?  Delicate and swaying like an ocean. 

You feel quiet, reflective, calm, and protected.

Are you in Japan, or Thailand?

No you are at home, surrounded by indoor bamboos.  

It is not difficult to create your own garden with indoor bamboo plants

Bamboo is one of the mysteries of the plant world.  Some time ago, it was thought to be a simple grass.  In modern times, thanks to DNA testing, we now know it is very complex in its structure. 

Bamboos are forest grasses and they act as such.  Any bamboo makes wonderful indoor companions.

With over 1,200 known forms, there is a bamboo for almost any situation, from low light levels to bright sun. Because there are so many types of bamboo and because their homelands are often extreme in climate, it is difficult to make rules that apply to all types of bamboo. This is especially true when explaining care for bamboo and growing bamboo indoors.

Bamboos are really no different from the more conventional, usual houseplants.  How to care for bamboo properly requires s the same treatment.  These conditions are well-drained and nutrient-rich soil, sufficient light, adequate humidity, and fertilizer.  Remember, true bamboos cannot grow in standing water.

Bamboos are grasses, and grasses love to eat. In bamboos, it is best to feed with a high-nitrogen fertilizer.  When growing bamboo in containers, it is important to use a pot with adequate room for these fast-growing plants. Use a container large enough to have a space at least two inches between the edge of the root ball and the side of the container.

Tub-like containers are generally better than tall, deep ones, especially for the “running” bamboos with roots that grow more horizontal than down deep.   The generalization can be made that the larger the leaf, the less light it requires, but take into account whether the bamboo is natively tropical or temperate.

Temperate bamboos refer to the fact that the species is native to a climate that provides a cold season. When temperate bamboos are grown indoors, their environment is altered and the cold season is not achieved. You are still caring for bamboo in a healthy way when this happens.  It is not damaging to the plant, but often results in leaves dropping.  

Aesthetically, and in terms of maintenance (house-keeping!), this must be understood, as the bamboo can appear almost naked, and water requirements are affected. It is the short days (lower light levels) that have triggered the dormancy (not the outdoor cold), and the plant is “resting.” Since photosynthesis has slowed, water is not consumed.

This is important to note, as bamboos do not enjoy saturated soils be careful not to over water. Saturated soils leave no room for oxygen, and without oxygen, the roots will rot and kill the plant.

In contrast, tropical bamboos are found in warm climates in which temperatures remain more or less consistent throughout the year, as does the length of day. Tropical bamboos grown indoors adjust to the indoor environment more easily with little trauma. 

Humidifiers can be used to create an atmosphere of moisture. Grouping plants together accomplishes this as well. Misting the plants occasionally with a spray bottle is another easy task, and helps dust build-up. Not only do plants need water, food, and light, they need care.  

An extra tip for caring for bamboo is an occasional manicure.  This will keep your plant thriving and beautiful.

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