Bamboo, the most essential element for feeding your growing panda!
Common name : Bamboo
Scientific name : Phyllostachys
Family : Poaceae
Category : Shrubs
Type of plant : Perennial
Bamboo brings together a number of genera: Phyllostachys, Sasa, Arundinaria, and Fargesia, which explains their diverse behavior in the garden. Some can be trimmed, others not so much, and most are even invasive, excluding fargesia, which grows in clumps. They are evergreen and don't require any particular care except for clearing rhizomes if a barrier wasn't installed beforehand, and regularly trimming old stems.
Sowing & planting
100 - 2000
6 - 7
Identify my bamboo
Bamboos are orginally from Asia — it's the core of the pandas' diet! Their perfectly straight stalks and mostly narrow leaves make them perfect plants for screening purposes.
All bamboos have underground stems that we call rhizomes. The rhizomes are the storage organs for the bamboo. The roots are called "adventitious" — meaning that they develop around the nodes of the rhizome. Some varieties are called "leptomorphs", or "running roots", and we want to keep them out of our gardens to avoid invasion! Others, such as Fargesia are known as "pachymorphs", or "clumping roots", and won't spread.
Plant my bamboo
Bamboos love very sunny places and will accept practically any kind of soil — except dry! — with a slight preference for lightly acidic ground. Beware, bamboo of the Phyllostachys, Sasa and Arundinaria genera propagate themselves uncontrollably! In order to avoid a total bamboo invasion of your garden, place an anti-root or anti-rhizome barrier at the bottom of the planting hole, extending to 5 cm beneath the top of the soil on all sides with an angle greater than 15°, so that the roots will grow towards the top instead of going outwards under the barrier. If heavy landscaping scares you, plant bamboo from the Fargesia genus.
If you plan to grow your bamboos in a pot, look for a pot or container that will be large enough, and mulch it heavily to keep the soil moist. Water regularly.
Water my bamboo
Regularly watering your bamboo during the first two weeks after planting creates favourable conditions for root development and growth.
Water your potted bamboo regularly, primarily during the evening, as it is a plant that takes in a lot of water, especially at the start.
Prune my bamboo
If needed, you can prune the height of your bamboo without difficulty — it won't harm the stability of the plant at all and will actually help it grow thicker. Just know that once they've been cut, the canes won't grow anymore — the secondary canes may regrow, but they'll never grow to the size of the original cane. On the other hand, the new canes will give you rhizomes!
Propagate my bamboo
Propagate if you'd like in the spring. Dig out with a clean, preferably disinfected, garden spade, rhizomes at least two years of age, and if possible, choose plants that are not yet covered in hay mulch. Plant this rhizome in the ground, in a planter or in a pot with a mixture of garden soil and potting soil. Water copiously the first few weeks.
Check on my bamboo
Specific aphids, scales, mealybugs and mites target bamboo exclusively. Bamboo aphids are small, light-green, pear-shaped bugs that feed on the underside of the leaves, causing them to turn yellow and drop-off. Bamboo pit scales appear as tiny, black, oval bumps on the leaves and stalks of infested plants but cause no real damage. Bamboo mealybugs are small, oval, pinkish insects with a white waxy coating. Bamboo spider mites create veils of silky webbing on the underside of leaves. They feed by piercing leaf tissue, causing stippling and yellowing.
Natural predators such as ladybugs, lacewings, predatory mites and parasitic wasps help prevent problematic infestations of bamboo insects and mites. If needed, spraying plants with a forceful blast of water or cutting off infested leaves helps control these pests. Insecticidal soap or horticultural oils may treat infestations.
Mulch my bamboo
Mulch, at least for the first few years, in a way that protects your young plants from the winter cold, and also keeps the soil cool and moist. After a few years, spreading dried straw on the soil will create a natural carpet and you won't have any need to worry!