Bamboo is an elusive plant that confuses taxonomists who try to study it in botanical classes and gardeners who try to plant it in limited gardens when they learn how to plant bamboo. Over the years, bamboo has been considered a primitive grass but recent DNA testing shows that it is one of the most developed forest grasses. There are more than 1200 forms of bamboo that grow in a wide spectrum of colors including well-known green grass and gold and grape red, blue and even black grass. Some types of bamboo can grow up to one foot a day and eventually reach 130 feet while the smallest bamboo cultivars only reach six inches of growth.
The first step in learning how to plant bamboo is to pick cultivars. While most of us imagine tall sticks of gold and gold that grow in tropical bamboo forests, bamboo cultivars range from moderate to tropical. In addition to diversity in cultivars, bamboo has more than 1500 documented uses ranging from use in construction to the manufacture of acupuncture needles and from farm food to the manufacture of musical instruments. Until cut, bamboo stems are called stems and not sticks. In India, bamboo plants are commonly referred to as poor people’s wood and in Chinese people’s friends. To add to the confusion, cultivars which are commonly sold as lucky bamboo are not bamboo at all, but a type of bamboo.
Unfortunately for bamboo, it has a reputation as an invasive plant, grown from rhizomes. Even though this applies to some cultivars, the hardest plants cannot walk at all, but grow from clumps behaving well with established root systems. One thing that bamboo cultivars share is an eternal cultivar. As mentioned above, some bamboo varieties are temperate and some tropical. Because of its diversity, it is easy to find suitable cultivars when you want to learn how to plant bamboo. Bamboo cultivars range from growing indoors to outdoors, in parks or in containers, in bright light or shade.
Two considerations in knowing how to plant bamboo successfully are water and air. All true bamboo is grass and will not grow in saturated soil. They also need air circulation to develop. In fact, some bamboo farmers lift their small cultivar pots on chopsticks to provide air circulation under the plants and around them. Large pots are often raised with thick wooden sticks.
Bamboo is a symbol of longevity, strength and versatility of many world cultures. Revealing mysteries is a source of sustained enjoyment. When you know how to plant bamboo, you will find that the love of plants grows as fast as your bamboo.