Bamboo plants actually require very little maintenance. They prefer organic soil
that drains well but still retains a little moisture with a pH of 5.5 to 6.5.
Dig a hole as deep as the container and twice as wide. Plant with a mixture of
half compost and half soil with no added fertilize or manure. Water thoroughly
when planting, and during the first year in the ground do not allow the soil to dry
A good soaking once a week is good. After the plant has
established itself (3-4 years in the ground), apply a fertilizer with a high nitrogen
content (such as a 17-6-12 slow release) in the spring of the year. Each year thin
out the older canes (3-5 year old) each year. Apply compost in early spring and a
thick layer of (organic) mulch. It does take a few years for the plants to become
well established and generally begin faster growth around the 3rd year.
Controlling bamboo: clumping bamboo varieties do not need any additional
However, the running varieties are another story. If placed near a pond
or running water, they don't typically grow into the water.
A barrier can be created within landscapes to contain them, at least 30 inches deep made from metal or other
material that will not fall apart over time. This one is about the only one way to really keep the roots contained.
Creating a 20 foot wide mowing strip around a planting with regular mowing will
often keep the spreading in check.