Of the grass family, bamboo is a monocotyledonous plant that comes in thousands of different species. Very popular for its leaves and cylindrical stems, this ornamental plant adapts well to hot and temperate climates. Nonetheless, some species of bamboo can withstand harsh climates and low temperatures. Bamboo is made up of a cylindrical part, or stalk, and foliage of varying colour depending on species.

There are over 1200 species of bamboo, such as dwarf, medium and giant varieties. These plants native to Asia mostly require water and high heat to grow well. Some bamboo trees can adapt to colder climate and withstand extreme temperatures up to -4 ° F. Species such as the Pseudosasa japonica and Phyllostachys bambusoides (nuda and nigra) are very resistant. With their beautiful leaves and tall size, giant bamboos are plants that can be used to create beautiful hedges. To brighten up green spaces, it is preferable to opt for dwarf bamboos. Regularly maintained, these bamboos will become beautiful ornamental plants with a remarkable exotic look. However, these plants can be very invasive.

Planting bamboo

Bamboos are able to adapt to compacted and calcareous soils, but it is best to choose fertile, moist and well-drained land. Bamboo particularly appreciates the heat but fears strong sun exposure. Accordingly, it is recommended to plant on a site that is not directly exposed to excessive light. It should be put in the ground in spring or summer in order to be hardy enough for the first frosts. To amend the land, the use of a fertilizer specially adapted to bamboo is recommended. Before planting the bamboo, abundant watering is required and it is essential for the roots to become waterlogged. These have a particularly important role and it is essential to keep them intact. When planting bamboo, the hole should be deep enough for the roots to be sufficiently covered. After adding a small amount of fertilizer and packing the soil, water thoroughly as bamboo requires substantial amounts of water to develop well. To maintain a good level of moisture needed for growth, cover the ground with leaves. It is possible to propagate bamboo by cuttings as early as spring by choosing small rhizomes of less than three years. The cuttings are to be planted in damp enough soil for them to produce roots. However, this type of propagation is more appropriate for bamboos grown in containers. To create additional hedges, dig up a small clump of bamboo to be planted in fertile and well-drained soil.

Maintaining bamboo

The ground is covered with leaves to keep the humidity at a constant level and to allow the young bamboo plants to grow properly. Once the bamboos are sufficiently developed, this procedure will no longer be necessary, as the foliage provides sufficient shade to the soil. It is useful to water the plants regularly, especially in summer. The ground must be sufficiently drained to prevent water stagnation. Large enough bamboos do not require frequent watering, as their roots extend deeply. If bamboos become invasive, we must resort to anti-rhizome barriers that prevent plants from growing out of the planting area. In regard to fertilization, it is best to give priority to manure and organic fertilizers. Bamboos are plants that require no special care but must be protected from extreme cold. Thus, it will be easier to preserve bamboo from bad weather and maintain it regularly by planting it in large containers. These plants can be repotted and planted in the ground. However, these procedures are not necessary for species suited to harsh climates. Bamboos suited to temperate climate are plants that are resistant to cold and frost.

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Published in Exotic trees by Alexander on 06 Jul 2011