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How do I Plant Clumping Bamboo?

Sonal Panse
Sonal Panse

Clumping bamboos are generally planted in gardens for ornamental effect or as privacy screens or windbreaks. Unlike the running bamboo species, which can spread uncontrollably, clumping bamboo is less invasive and grows in clumps that, owing to a limited rhizome root system, spread only a few feet per year. To plant bamboo in your garden, you will need to consider the climate in your area, the different clumping bamboo varieties, the size of the planting area, the amount of sunlight received in that area and the soil type.

Climate is an important factor, since bamboos are tropical plants; the Fargesia bamboo types, however, can do well in cold areas. Some other popular clumping bamboo types are Bambusa and Dendrocalmus. It will be a good idea to research how tall each variety grows to make sure this suits the look you want in your garden. Since the clumping bamboo roots grow very close to each other, removing a grown bamboo may prove difficult later on.

Man mowing the grass
Man mowing the grass

The size of the planting area matters as, although the clumping bamboo grows slowly and in close clusters, it still needs room to expand over time. The bamboo may become unhealthy or die if it over-grows in a confined area. It will also help to check the amount of sunlight the area receives. The small varieties of clumping bamboo require partial shade conditions, but the large clumping bamboos need exposure to full sun.

Bamboos flourish in a well-drained, well-watered soil. They will not thrive if the ground is soggy or marshy. Tilling and fertilizing the soil before planting your bamboo plant will be a good idea. Spring is usually the best time to plant bamboo. This will give the plant ample time to settle in before the winter.

When you are ready to plant your selected bamboo plant, dig a hole that is slightly deeper and twice as wide as the potted soil around the bamboo plant. Water the hole well enough to make the soil muddy and lower the bamboo in it carefully; the plant may have many new shoots and you don't want to break them if possible. To help the plant grow well, add organic compost and fertilizer in the hole around the plant. You can then refill the hole with soil and tamp the soil down. It will be necessary to water the bamboo plant regularly after it has been planted and it will also help to add nitrogen-rich fertilizer every two weeks.

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