Bamboos ; Planting and aftercare
In the garden
A sheltered site is best. Strong north winds can damage leaves. Pseudosasus japonica is one of the few varieties recommended for windbreaks.
The ideal soil is well drained , rich, moist and loamy. Any soil can be suitably improved. Dig a hole 18" deep by 18" wide. In the bottom incorporate a layer of well rotted manure or garden compost or mushroom compost mixed with an equal layer of good top soil. Water the bamboo plant and place in the hole so that canes are at the same height as they were in the pot. Fill in around with good soil mixed with manure, garden compost or other organic soil conditioner and some general garden fertiliser (fish blood and bone is good as is osmacote or other slow release fertiliser). Firm in the plant and water well.
To produce rapid growth with thicker canes keep plants well watered during growing season from late spring to late summer, especially during hot weather. Leaves of bamboo will show signs of being too dry by their leaves rolling up.
Mulch with well rotted manure , garden compost, grass clippings or other organic matter in the Autumn . Mulching feeds the plant and helps retain moisture. Apply a top dressing of general fertiliser in Spring.
After several years of growth the shorter older shoots can be pruned out and side branches on the lower sections of the tall canes can be removed to improve appearance of the clump.
Bamboos are evergreen but the older leaves will fall from the plant. They should be left on the ground because they act as a source of silica which strengthens the canes.
Containers should be quite large. Small containers dry out too fast and can quickly become frozen through which may damage the root system and young shoots of some bamboos. Squat containers are better than tall narrow ones, which may blow over in winds.
A good planting mix is 2 parts of black soil, one part of well rotted farmyard manure and one part of peat or peat based compost. Composted bark or garden compost can be used instead of farmyard manure. Fish blood and bone or osmacote slow release fertiliser should be added especially if farmyard manure is not available. John Innes No3 can be substituted for the soil component of the mix. A mulch of chippings or rounded pebbles can be added which helps retain moisture.
For aftercare fertiliser should be applied monthly from late spring to late summer. A general fertiliser or lawn fertiliser is suitable and miracle grow or phostrogen can also be used. Liquid fertilisers can be applied more frequently.
During the colder months of winter the container should ideally be placed in a cold greenhouse, porch or conservatory or of this is not possible up against a south facing wall or in a sheltered place. For the ultimate in outdoor protection wrap around side of pot with bubble film and cover top of pot with branches of coniferous trees such as leylandii."Back to Plant Lists Index"..... "Back to bamboo List"