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Bamboo After Care

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Bamboo After Care

Twice a week after planting give your bamboo another deep watering. Thirty minutes minimum. Hand watering is generally under done. Squirting the leaves helps establish your plant plus it knocks off mites and other critters that want to eat your plant. After the first three months and growth is evident you can scale back or even stop watering. The Florida summer rainy season (June through September usually) lessens or eliminates the need for you to water. Curled up leaves on a bamboo tell you the plant is desperate for water. Step up your watering schedule. A properly prepared planting hole allows the bamboo to be self sufficient after three to six months.
Fertilize once every three months by broadcasting a slow release turf fertilizer within a few feet of the bamboo. The first year a few big handfuls will do per application. As it grows older you should spread five or six large handfuls within five to eight feet of the plant base. The roots grow down and outward to gather water and nutrients. To the extent they are successful your bamboo thrives and gives you the look you desire. Never use fertilizer products labeled Weed and Feed. Nasty long lasting stuff in it that you do not want in your drinking water. Twice a year add Ironite fertilizer in addition to a turf fertilizer. It is loaded with iron, calcium, sulfur, magnesium, and other minerals your bamboo needs. Apply it like a fertilizer.

Typically a purchased bamboo has been situated in a semi­share area prior to purchase. Moving it immediately into full sun may bake the chlorophyl out of the leaves to some extent. Leaves will yellow and fall off. With care (water) the branches will sprout new leaves and grow strongly. A few bamboo prefer filtered light. Most do best in full sun but do fine in half day or even less sun. Soil and water are more important. Four hours of sun is enough.

At some point you will want to prune your bamboo to remove a sideways hanging culm in the mower path or blocking a walkway. Limit pruning to 25 % of the foliage or less. Understand that when a bamboo culm is pruned it can not form a double leader and extend the growth. Nodes below where it was pruned, if any, will have the urge to add branches and leaves. Prune to taste.

Typically a newly planted clumping bamboo puts up a set of new culms (canes) within a month especially if given a decent planting hole and water. Once established expect your clumping bamboo to put up new culms during the wet summer months June through September. If your bamboo only puts up one set of new growth per summer it is telling you to improve the care.

New culms will be on the outside perimeter. Typically they will be a bit thicker and taller than previous growth. A new culm takes about sixty days to reach the height it will reach that year. Then it begins to branch out and leaf out. Photosynthesis occurs, the bamboo has more energy reserves so it may then erect another set of culms again a bit further out, thicker and taller. This process continues for three to six years until the bamboo reaches it's height and culm diameter maximum for that plant in that environment. By the end of the second year a reasonably good screen is in place. A few years later it will be even thicker and more opaque. Much cheaper than a comparable size fence, looks better, won't blow over in high winds and should last as long as it is having it's need satisfied.