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Bamboo

Updated on August 17, 2014

The bamboo's hollow stems are reminders that there is always room for knowledge.

Bamboo is one of the Chinese 'four men of honor': the four being bamboo, the Chinese Plum, orchids and chrysanthemum. The bamboo also is a symbol of longevity, strength and flexibility.

There are over 1200 known forms of the grass that is bamboo and they grow in varying climates from tropical to above the timberline in the Himalayas. And, they also make wonderful container house plants.

One of the most mysterious plants in the world

The bamboo is also a symbol of flexibility, longevity and strength. In China it is one of the four men of honor among flowers. It has been called the ‘most mysterious plant in the world,’ one of the most highly evolved (If you asked this would be through DNA testing). The grass grows in a variety of climates from tropical, to above the timberline in the Himalayas, in low light to bright sun. It grows indoors or out.

Bamboo grows tremendously fast, Have been measured to grow almost 48” in a 24-hour period. One reason you may want to plant the clumping rather than the running or creeping bamboo: the latter can take over the world. It will come through concrete walks and home foundations if let grow uncontrolled; clumping, not so much.

The world's most useful plant.

Plant it, care for it and use it.

A gift if one chooses to act positively.

Like life we get what we care to see and experience." James Clever (American Bamboo Society).

One of the most versatile, strongest materials available, the bamboo is used as flooring, textiles, green home building because it is very sustainable. There are bamboo cutting boards and a variety of kitchen stuff. It is a natural hedge or a privacy screen.

Are you psyched about bamboo? Taking care of it is easy. If you check out the American Bamboo Society Species Source List, you can find the right bamboo for growing conditions, including types like the Dragons’ Head Bamboo that can withstand temperatures of -23 F if you want to use it in your landscape.

Inside and out, this hardy plant, needing well-drained soil and resonates with mulch. Watering: likes to dry a bit between waterings. Your new bamboo needs watering a couple of times a week. If outside, in a windy environment, you may have to water more often. Get to know your bamboo, and when leaves curl inward, you aren’t giving it enough. With indoor plants, check the soil regularly, and you’ll have to be extra-careful of overwatering. Use organic fertilizer high in nitrogen, once in the summer and again in the fall.

Bamboo is container friendly it just needs one large enough. Or, you can bonsai it to keep the growth confined. It does grow fast, and even more quickly if it has full sun. This is a plant that displays its stunning-ness if uplit, leaves in shadows reflecting on your walls.

Btw: the Lucky Bamboo is not a bamboo at all. It is a member of the dracaena family. Only you know if it has been lucky or not. It is said that some good fortune is attached if the plant is given to you rather than you purchasing it on your own.

Bamboo in Water

This is a plant that can also be grown in water, in fact it looks rather nice in a clear glass vase with river rocks.

How To: place the bamboo sticks in the vase, then carefully add river rocks. For the latter, you’ll want them to fill the bottom 3” – and this gives you an approximate size for the container.

Fill the vase with water. Because tap water contains chlorine, and water that flows through a water softener aren’t healthy choices, use bottled spring water. The added water should be at room temperature. Fill the vase up as you gets lower.

BAMBOO PLANT - The Real Deal

BAMBOO IN THE YARD

A Little Touch of Paradise

Spring is the time to plant bamboo, but that doesn’t mean that it can’t winter with you inside. If planning on planting in dirt, it is a good idea to get the ground ready ahead of time. Get out there and till that soil. Add compost. Till it again.

When ready to plant in the spring, the hole should be large enough to allow the root ball to sit slightly low. Carefully cover with soil and water and mulch after planting. Water regularly, give some nitrogen fertilizer during the growing season (until late August).

You can grow bamboo from seed. Plant in a mix of dirt and vermiculite. Make sure the drainage is good. The seeds will not germinate under 50 degrees F.

If you have a shady spot, Chimonobambusa (a running bamboo) likes the environment. Phyllostachys, (also running) likes lots and lots of sun. Bambusa and Himalayacalamus are clumping.

Running bamboo can take over your yard, and your neighbor’s yard. The latter may not be happy about it. Clumping bamboos aren’t invasive.

Potted Bamboo Plants

These are the plants I have - and they are thriving.

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    • PhoenixV profile image

      PhoenixV 2 years ago from USA

      I have never had the opportunity to see bamboo in nature or in the wild although I think I have seen some possibly being used in furniture, but I am not really sure that's what it was. I have seen some on TV though and it seems a really odd plant with chambers inside and I have seen them use it for many different things. Very interesting.