PLANTING, GROWING & MAINTAINING
PLANTING & MAINTENANCE GUIDES
With your purchase, you receive an easy-to-follow planting guide on how best to prepare your garden, plant & care for your new bamboo. Go home confident & stress free! Our guides are written with 25+ years of experience with bamboo, to assist you in achieving the best results in the shortest amount of time!
We are proud of the high quality customer service we offer and ensure all our customers are equipped with the instructions and advice to achieve the best results with their bamboo. We offer extensive knowledge, assistance before AND after your purchase. Any time you have questions, we are happy to help. We also stock all of the wonderful planting products we recommend to use with bamboo. If bamboo love it, we have it!
Bamboo can be left in their natural beautiful state and be low maintenance plants, especially if they are established well. However, just like hedges or trees, if you wish to 'manicure' your plants and create a certain look that you are after, you can! Read below on the best way to maintain your bamboo, depending on your needs.
TRIMMING YOUR BAMBOO SHORTER
Bamboos are essentially a giant grass, so there is no damage done if you want to trim your bamboos shorter. Once the culms (poles) have been cut shorter, they will not re-grow taller from that cut point. This means no regular maintenance on already trimmed poles! You will still have branches below as normal, in fact it will get bushier from trimming. But don't fear, if you trim too short, you will still get new shoots regrowing from the ground level each growing season to refresh the clump. It will grow back just like a bad haircut!
Another great benefit is the majority of smaller screening bamboos are FLEXIBLE! This means you can stand at ground level, select the culm you want to trim, bend it down and trim it off! NO LADDERS! This makes trimming super easy and convenient. And, you only need to trim the new shoots that grow once a year!
The larger, thicker culms on big bamboos are not flexible, but can still be trimmed with no damage to the bamboos. Keep in mind that some of these beautiful large species look best with their natural height and shape, so you would not want to ruin the natural state by trimming too short. Perhaps select a smaller species instead.
Different species of bamboo have different levels of bushiness, and amount of branches on the culms. Some species come naturally clean stemmed and feature the poles with foliage up the top. Other great screening species are bushy from the top down to ground level.
A commonly desired look is cleaning out the lower foliage of a bamboo, to feature the culms colour or style. This will create a very sleek modern look. Doing this also allows air flow and light through the lower plant. A great proportion is the bottom 1/3 cleaned out, and the top 2/3 left bushy. You can also create a 'topiary' effect on certain species.
You can trim BRANCHES shorter, if, for example, your bamboo has some long branches growing over a pathway. If you don't want to remove the entire branch & lose some screening, simply trim the branch to the preferred length.
Generally speaking your bamboo branches won't prolifically grow back these removed branches, so you won't be maintaining this regularly. On the flip side, if you trim too much and want some density back, you can encourage new growth with fertiliser water & some TLC.
REDUCING YOUR BAMBOO
Clumping bamboo grow in a circular shape, forming an area full of stems - what we refer to as 'footprint' in the earth. The typical footprint size that your bamboo will naturally stop growing at depends on the species. Each species has different natural dimensions, just like dogs! You can read more about this on our 'Running vs Clumping' page.
If you have a clumping bamboo and have decided to plant it into a narrower garden bed (provided you chose the right species for this), or you already have a clumping bamboo and wish to reduce its size, you can do the following:
As new shoots grow from the ground, they will generally grow on the outer ring of the bamboos clump, expanding the size of the clump until fully grown. You can prevent this by placing a root barrier down into the earth and physically stopping the bamboo from being able to expand to its natural clump size.
(Note: the clumping bamboo don't spread invasively, they simply expand outward until fully grown, just like a bird of paradise plant does).
You can also remove new shoots as they emerge; while still young the shoots are soft and 'snappable' almost like a carrot. You can simply kick these shoots over, or cut them off. Do not remove them from their roots. This is unnecessary and can affect the rest of the plant.
Similarly, you can also cut down any fully grown culms if you want to now reduce the size of the grown bamboo.
THINNING OUT YOUR
Different species of bamboo grow to different densities, meaning some can have a very 'full' clump with lots of culms; where other species have an 'open' clump with fewer culms with lots of space between them. If your preference is to maintain your bamboo in a less dense state, you can:
Prevent your growing bamboo from becoming too full throughout establishment. Each growing season the bamboo will send up a certain amount of new shoots. You can pick and choose how many of these shoots you wish to keep in the clump to grow, and how many you remove.
While still young, the bamboo shoots are soft and 'snappable' almost like a carrot. You can simply kick these shoots over, or cut them off. Do not remove them from their 'roots'. This is unnecessary and can affect the rest of the plant. These new shoots are also edible! This is how they are harvested.
The second way you can thin out your bamboo clump is after your bamboo has established and grown too dense for your preference, you can cut down any fully grown culms. You can again pick and choose which culms you remove and which you keep. Thin out your bamboo as much as you want! As they are a giant grass, they will naturally regenerate new shoots to freshen up the clump the following season.
You can repeat this as often as you prefer, or leave your bamboo natural and low maintenance!
If you have any questions on your particular bamboo circumstances, please ask! Our friendly and knowledgeable staff are trained in species identification, selection & best uses for all species of bamboo. They can help answer any questions or concerns you have about planting growing or maintenance on different species. Send us an email, call in or visit us instore!