Growing bamboo is a rewarding and useful process, and dozens of varieties are available for home growing. The reasons to grow bamboo include creating attractive privacy screens and adding a manicured look to an attractive garden. As a gardener considers growing bamboo, it is important to think about the climate, maintenance, and the different species.
Bamboo plants prefer tropical and warm temperate climates, which means the often chilly weather in the UK is potentially detrimental to these plants. Nonetheless, it is possible to grow healthy plants in the region by keeping a few things in mind. For example, bamboo plants require a balance of shade and sun. Too much light causes the plant's leaves to curl and eventually kills the bamboo. Too much shade, on the other hand, causes the canes to become weak. In general, plants should receive around five or six hours of sunlight each day.
To grow properly, bamboo plants require a healthy soil composition. Adding compost, leaf mould, or peat moss to the soil when planting seeds and young plants helps them thrive. Each spring and summer, gardeners should add a topdressing of fertiliser. It is also important to water the plants regularly. Watering after planting during the spring and summer when the plant is growing is an important part of developing healthy plants.
The high number of bamboo species available provides flexibility when planting a bamboo garden. Learning about some of the many types and their traits helps gardeners select plants for specific purposes. Due to the large variety, most bamboo species do not have common names. Instead, it is necessary to learn the botanical names.
Gardeners who want to create hedges or privacy screens have several choices. Phyllostachys aureosulcata, Phyllostachys vivax aureocaulis, and Phyllostachys bissetii are three of the most common choices for screens. These plants are relatively hardy and attractive, and they create a thick spread to block the view. When planting bamboo plants for hedges, it is best to space them 1 metre apart to give them enough room to spread without crowding each other. To create a particularly dense hedge, Pseudosasa japonica, Semiarundinaria fastuosa, and Fargesia murielae are ideal species. These species tend to grow thicker foliage, and it is possible to trim and manicure the plants like a traditional hedge.
Growing bamboo in containers such as half-barrels is a viable option, and it is also an easy way to create decorations for patios and other outdoor areas. It also helps gardeners move plants to sunnier or more sheltered areas, as needed.