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Water bamboo around ponds and wetlands

Bamboo is an amazingly versatile plant, and with thousands of species and cultivars to choose from, you can find a variety for virtually any situation. From the oppressive heat to the extreme cold, from towering giants to dwarf ground covers, there’s a bamboo to meet your needs.

Can bamboo grow in water?

But what about growing bamboo in ponds, swamps and wetlands? Can I grow bamboo in the water?

Perhaps you imagine a Japanese garden with a koi pond, and bamboo growing out of the water alongside lotus flowers and papyrus. But unfortunately, bamboo does NOT like to grow this way.

Bamboo does NOT grow well in water or saturated soil.

Or maybe you’re thinking of “lucky bamboo“, those short, segmented cuttings you see growing in a vase of water. Well, don’t be misled. Lucky bamboo grows fine in the water, but is not a true bamboo. It is actually a type of Dracaena, an indoor decorative, sometimes referred to as “corn plant.”

Bamboo will NOT survive in a pond setting or in standing water.

Keep in mind, even if you’re growing what’s called “water bamboo”, it cannot grow in standing water without drainage. If it doesn’t drain within about five days, the bamboo will probably not survive.

But if you’re looking for bamboo that can grow in very wet soil, near the edge of a river where the water levels can rise and fall, there may a few options.

The best strategy is to plant the bamboo somewhere near the wet area and let it spread naturally. If the main root ball is on higher ground, in a well drained area, the bamboo will survive, even if some culms and rhizomes wander too far afield and drown.

Best bamboo species for wet soils

The following varieties of bamboo have rhizomes with air canals that make them more adaptable to wet soil. Just remember, if the ground is completely waterlogged, the bamboo probably won’t make it.

The three types of bamboo listed here all belong to the genus Phyllostachys. As such, there are all running types of bamboo with fast-spreading rhizome root systems. Check out our article on Running Bamboo.

Phyllostachys are generally native to China and thrive in temperate climates. Unlike some of the tropical and subtropical bamboos, many members of this genus can survive in very cold and sub-freezing conditions. Take a look at our article on Cold Hardy Bamboo.

Phyllostachys heteroclada 

This species is popularly referred to as “solid stem bamboo” and sometimes as “water bamboo”. As the name suggests, the culms grow solid or nearly solid, unlike most varieties of bamboo which are characteristically hollow. (See our more detailed article on solid and hollow bamboo.)

Although the stems are almost solid, the roots and culms do have small air canals which help them survive in very wet soil. It is also a very cold tolerant species, hardy down to -5 or 10º F.

Its vigorous growth habit makes P. heteroclada an ideal candidate for privacy screens, especially in very cold or wet areas. The canes grow up to 15 or 20 feet tall, normally not more than 1 inch in diameter. Some nurseries list it as Phyllostachys purpurata.

Phyllostachys parvifolia

Like water bamboo, the rhizomes of this species are well adapted for wet and saturated soil. Small leaves make the thick, dark green culms stand out, and the white rings around the nodes give them even more character.  Fresh shoots of this variety are reputed to be delicious in flavor.

If you’re looking for a giant bamboo in a cold or wet region, this may be your best choice. Mature shoots can get up to 40 feet tall, and nearly 4 inches in diameter. It is cold hardy down to -15º F.

P. parvifolia is difficult to propagate, however, and not widely available in nurseries or outside of China.

Phyllostachys atrovaginata

A popular species for a wide range of growing conditions, P. atrovaginata is commonly known as incense bamboo for its pleasant aroma. The culms have a waxy coating that smells something like sandalwood.

This variety spreads quickly and works great for all sorts of landscaping purposes. Mature canes normally reach up to 30 or 40 feet in height and 2 or 3 inches in diameter. It’s cold hardy down to about -10º F and does relatively well in poorly drained soil and wet regions like the Pacific Northwest.

Incense bamboo also has some of the best tasting shoots of any species, according to the connoisseurs.

Conclusions

If you’re trying to landscape around a swamp or a river bank, or looking for something to grow in your pond, bamboo is probably not the best choice. There are just a handful of bamboo species that are adapted for very wet soil. But even these varieties will not survive prolonged periods (more than about five days) under water.

Better choices in a pond are water plants like lilies, hyacinth and duck moss. Horsetail and papyrus somewhat resemble bamboo in appearance and might help produce the desired effect. Mermaid plant and creeping Jenny are also great options that have the added benefit of oxygenating the pond water.

If you’re determined to grow bamboo around a body of water, it’s better to plant the bamboo on higher ground near the water. These varieties all spread quickly, and you can let them spread naturally within their comfort zone. If the soil is too waterlogged, the roots simply won’t go there.

PHOTO CREDIT: Bamboo with lotus (Unsplash)

wash and care for bamboo clothing

Bamboo clothing has a long list of benefits, in terms of both comfort and sustainability. But after you’ve enjoyed the pleasure of superior softness and a small carbon foot print, you might wonder: What’s the best way to wash and care for my bamboo clothing?

If you read the label on your bamboo items, it will usually say wash cold and dry low, which is generally the best way to treat all your natural fibers, including hemp, bamboo and cotton.

General care instructions for bamboo clothing

When deciding how to wash and care for your garments, it’s difficult to make sweeping generalizations. That’s partly why washers and dryers come with so many settings. It’s not because every cotton article needs to be washed one way, and every linen item should be washed another way.

In most cases, the washing instructions have as much or more to do with the weight and weave of the fabric as the material from which it’s made. In other words, delicate and lacy garments will probably need certain care, while heavier canvas and denim articles will require different care.

Having said that, washing on lower temperatures and spending as little time as possible in a hot dryer is typically the best thing for most garments and textiles.

Bamboo clothing in the washing machine

In some cases, bamboo is woven into something extremely delicate, like women’s lingerie, for example, or a scarf with lots of dangly tassels. Bamboo can also be blended with silk or cashmere. In these less common instances, it’s best to hand wash your bamboo items.

But for the most part, you can toss bamboo in the washing machine like most everything else in your wardrobe. To maximize the lifespan of your natural fiber clothing, it’s best to wash cold or warm.

In almost every case, bamboo fabric comes pre-washed, so shrinkage is not ordinarily an issue. But washing on cold is a good way to avoid unexpected shrinkage, or the possibility of uneven shrinkage when bamboo and other materials are mixed together.

In the 1990s, when eager bamboo enthusiasts were rushing to bring their pioneering products to market, some of them may have jumped the gun and overlooked the need for things like careful pre-washing. But over the years, as the material went more mainstream, bamboo fabrics quickly improved in quality, meeting or exceeding the general standards of the garment industry.

As such, you can typically just follow the wash and care instructions on your labels. But whether you’re washing bamboo, cotton or linen, it never hurts to wash things more gently. For most of us, the greatest wear and tear will take place in the washer and dryer. Children’s clothing would be the glaring exception to this rule. 🙂

Bleach and stain removal with bamboo clothing

Bamboo is neither unusually resistant nor abnormally susceptible to staining. Anti-microbial properties do reduce odor and mildew problems, but dirt happens, even on something so delicious as bamboo.

Bleach is not recommended for natural clothing like bamboo, partly because of its toxicity and also due to its harshness on the fibers. We suggest naturally based laundry detergents like Seventh Generation, available at health food stores everywhere.

Check your neighborhood for Zero Waste Stores where you can refill your own containers with eco-friendly soaps and cleaning products without frivolous packaging. You can also use something as simple as hydrogen peroxide as an alternative to bleach.

Drying bamboo clothing

One important feature of bamboo to be aware of is its absorbency. This is a fabulous characteristic of bamboo towels and moisture-wicking bamboo socks. But when it comes time for drying, the super absorbent bamboo items will take longer.

Usually this isn’t such a big deal, but if you’re in a hurry it can be an inconvenience. If you’re traveling, for example, and want to wash some clothes in your hotel room and hang them up to dry overnight, that might not be enough time (depending on weather conditions, of course.)

Generally speaking, bamboo clothing can go in the dryer. But if you’re a big fan of natural fiber clothing, there are a few reasons why you might want to keep the running times on your dryer to a minimum. Sometimes it makes sense to air dry things for 20 or 30 minutes and then lay them out flat to dry the rest of the way. Other people prefer to line dry the whole way.

The advantage laying clothing flat to dry is to prevent items from stretching out. When bamboo comes out of the washer fully wet, it can be pretty heavy. So when it hangs up it will sag pretty low, and sometimes there’s a risk of things stretching out of shape. This is not a problem for items like socks and towels, but could be an issue with long dresses and larger, long-sleeve shirts.

Some people like to use fabric softener in their laundry to keep things extra soft. But these kinds of chemical additives sort of go against the philosophy of wearing natural fiber clothing and reducing your carbon footprint. And bamboo is so soft, it doesn’t really need anything like that. Also, you should be aware that using conventional fabric softeners on towels will reduce their absorbency due to the coating of the fibers.

WEAR AND TEAR

When it comes to the wear and tear of your bamboo clothing, few things will be more more deleterious than a hot dryer. Remember all that fuzz that turns up in the lint catcher after every load in the dryer? Those are the remnants of your clothing as it is slowly being digested by your appliance.

And don’t even get me started on the stocking vortex, that black hole in the dark abyss of the dryer where loose socks continually vanish from existence. Why would anyone want to expose their precious bamboo garments to that kind of mortal danger?

ENERGY CONSUMPTION

If that’s not enough reason to reduce or avoid the use of a dryer, consider the energy required to run such an appliance. If you’re serious about reducing your carbon foot print, this is a great place to start. Especially if you live in a place like California where the sun never stops shining and energy crises are a regular event.

According to the International Energy Agency, about 15% of total global energy demand comes from household appliances. Of these appliances, home dryers are among the most energy intensive.

If you prefer to rely on solar energy, this is the best way to do it, and cut out the middle man (i.e., the photo-voltaic panels). Sunlight also has natural antibacterial properties that help to get whites whiter and remove stains.

Ironing bamboo clothing

For those who prefer their clothing crisp and smooth, bamboo fabric is naturally very smooth, but not particularly crisp. So most bamboo garments don’t require ironing.

Bamboo sheets, the epitome of night time comfort, do have a tendency to wrinkle. If this is annoying, you can go ahead and iron them.

Just use common sense when you iron. Don’t crank the iron up to maximum heat when ironing a delicate bamboo blouse. And don’t iron directly over the printed area of a t-shirt.

Conclusions

Bamboo clothing is amazingly comfortable and somewhat exotic. But washing and caring for your bamboo garments doesn’t have to be complicated. The rule of thumb is simply that the gentler you are the longer it will last. That means not boiling it in the washing machine or cooking it in the dryer. In most cases, wash cold and dry low or lay it out flat to dry. And with that, your bamboo wardrobe will bring you many long years of satisfaction.

To learn more, check out some of our other in-depth articles.

What’s so great about bamboo? Best bamboo towels Best bamboo sheets

PHOTO CREDIT: Laundromat by Jeremy Sallee (Unsplash) and clothes line by Michael Gäbler (Wikipedia)

bamboo for bonsai

Are you looking to add a little touch of the Orient to your garden? Bamboo is one of the best plants to produce that effect. An iconic symbol of the Far East, bamboo embodies all the sublime elegance and simplicity that we associate with Japanese gardens and design.

If you want to take it a step further, you can plant a Japanese maple, whose leaves form a beautiful canopy and turn a brilliant red in the autumn. The Mugo pine also makes an attractive addition, dwarf-like with compact needles. Accent the area with some Mondo grass, also known as dwarf lilyturf, and you’ll quickly find yourself within smelling distance of a deep zen trance.

But if you’re really serious about your Japanese garden, you’ll need some bonsai trees. Yes, the level of difficulty just took a leap. Maintaining a bonsai can be painstaking work. But keeping a bamboo bonsai is relatively straightforward.

Bonsai with Bamboo

Compared to keeping something like an elm or a cedar tree miniaturized, caring for a bamboo bonsai is not difficult at all. One of the most important things will be to select an appropriate species.

Selecting bamboo varieties for bonsai

If you’re talking about keeping bamboo in a shallow pot that’s only 8 or 10 inches wide, you’ll obviously want to avoid some of the popular varieties of timber bamboo. The ideal candidates for bonsai will have smaller culms and more delicate leaves.

One of the secrets to creating an attractive bonsai tree is finding a specimen that can be miniatured proportionally. For example, if you have a 12 inch tall maple tree with 5 inch wide leaves, it will look a little bit ridiculous. A Japanese maple, on the other hand, has naturally very petite leaves. So when the tree is grown as a bonsai, the small leaves look proportional to the little trunk and branches. Same goes for the Mugo pine, which has very short needles compared to most species of pine.

So if you see a Temple bamboo or an Arrow bamboo, with their long tapering leaves, they might look beautiful in your garden, but they will NOT look right in a little bonsai pot.

There are many dwarf varieties of bamboo, and those are typically the best choices in a bonsai pot. The leaves and culms are naturally more compact, and the roots are unlikely to burst out of the pot in the first six months.

A couple dwarf cultivars of Bambusa multiplex are known as tiny fern and tiny fern striped. They generally never grow more than 3 feet tall, with culms less than 1/4 inch thick. Members of the Bambusa genus are also clumpers, so the roots are not going to grow so aggressively.

Dwarf white stripe and dwarf green stripe are good choices for bonsai, as well. They are very compact species, but belonging to the genus Pleioblastus they are runners, so the roots may require constant pruning.

One of the most popular candidates for bamboo bonsai is Bambusa ventricosa, also known as Buddha’s belly. Under ordinary conditions this species can grow more than 50 feet, and the dwarf variety usually exceeds 20 feet, but it can be kept in a pot and miniaturized.

The stress of being potted actually encourages some of the more interesting characteristics of the Buddha’s Belly. The short internodes sometimes bulge out, looking cute and belly-like, hence the common name. And when stressed or under-watered, a portion of the culms will grow in an irregular, zig-zag fashion, which is very eye-catching.

Maintaining a bamboo bonsai

One of the biggest challenges with any kind of bonsai specimen is the frequent and meticulous pruning that it requires. But no matter how you’re growing bamboo, you probably need to prune the roots once or twice a year anyway.

Of course, the root maintenance is more intensive when growing running bamboo. Clumping bamboo, for the most part, will spread much more slowly beneath the surface. That’s why clumping varieties (like Bambusa) make better bonsais. And for the same reason, many gardeners try to avoid running bamboo entirely.

But lifting a miniature bamboo out of a bonsai pot is far easier than digging one out of the ground or extracting it from a wine barrel. And you won’t need a Sawzall to get through the burly roots. A nice set of gardening clippers should do the job.

Try taking it out of the pot once or twice a year, before and after the growing season, in the late fall and early spring. Cut back where the roots are spreading the most, and thin them in places where it’s tight and crowded. You can also thin out some of the older culms while you’re at it. Remember, bamboo is a grass; so if you cut back too much, it can almost always recover and put up new shoots.

Chopsticks are another handy tool you can use to feel around the rhizomes. That’s a good way to get an idea of how tight the roots are. If they are very tightly bound, the chopsticks can be used to loosen things up a bit. If the roots are too tight, then the dirt will be impacted, and most of the water will roll off instead of penetrating the soil.

Watering your bonsai

That brings us to the second and equally important aspect of bonsai care, which is watering. It’s critical to remember that over-watering is the number one cause of death among houseplants. But under-watering is the number two cause. So you have to walk a fine line.

When you keep a bonsai plant, you really have to get to know it. You have to be aware of its likes and dislikes, and you practically need to read its mind. Bamboo should almost always stay outside, but in a cold snap it might need to be indoors for a few days. And in a heat wave it may prefer some extra shade.

Equally, the amount of water it needs will vary with the weather and the time of year. But in a small ceramic pot, you can typically expect the plant to dry out fairly quickly, needing water every 2 or 3 days. And in the dog days of summer, it will probably need to be watered daily.

Just be sure the water is soaking in and not just rolling off the top. If the water is not penetrating, then poke some little holes in the soil with chop sticks or something similar, and try again. Let the soil drain and dry out between watering, but water it regularly. Another good idea is to place the bonsai pot near a pond or over a shallow tray of water, just to maintain a little extra humidity around the plant.

Easy bonsai additions

Bonsai trees can be amazing and beautiful. But they can also be notoriously difficult to maintain. As a perennial grass, bamboo is far easier to care for than a tree, and it makes a great introduction to bonsai gardening.

If you’re looking for other bonsai accents, but aren’t quite ready to garden like Mr. Miyagi, junipers and ficus plants are some of the easier shrubs to grow in miniature. You can also plant an assortment of succulents into some attractive bonsai pots for a simple and satisfying solution. Just don’t let them overstay their welcome. After a year or so, they too will need repotting, or a least some dividing.

All that’s missing now are the koi pond and a pagoda!

To learn more, have a look at some of our other popular articles:

Pros and Cons of Potted Bamboo Bamboo containment and removal What’s so great about bamboo?

PHOTO CREDIT: Mark Cruz (Unsplash)

best bamboo poles

Gardeners have all kinds of reasons for planting bamboo. Whether you’re creating a zen garden or simply in need of a good privacy hedge, bamboo is resilient, pragmatic and aesthetically pleasing. And from bicycles to bath towels, there’s almost nothing that can’t be made from this impressive grass.

Although your average gardener might not be so industrious. But even for the amateur hobbyist, a sturdy grove of bamboo can provide a great variety of uses. From arts and crafts to light construction, bamboo poles are famously strong and easy to work with.

It’s no surprise then that we hear so many people asking which species of bamboo is the best to grow and harvest for poles. They make excellent fishing poles, very attractive curtain rods, and strong supports for awnings and canopies. You can also split thicker bamboo poles into slats that look great as accents around windows, picture frames and baseboards. We’ve even had track & field coaches buying thinner poles by the dozen for javelin practice. Really.

You get the idea. It’s cheaper than lumber, has greater tensile strength than steel, and grows like a weed. Yes, it’s useful.

So what’s the best variety of bamboo to grow for your upcoming project? Well, that depends on the nature of your project. It also depends on your climate and growing conditions.

There are about 2000 varieties of bamboo to choose from, so identifying the best choice is no simple task. But let’s take a look at some of the most favorable options.

Best species of bamboo for poles and canes

One thing that virtually all bamboo has in common, it grows in long, straight poles. Though it’s a member of the grass family, it And generally speaking, most bamboos grow pretty quickly. So no matter what kind of bamboo you plant, you’ll probably have an abundance of poles to harvest within a few years.

Timber bamboo (3-5″ diameter poles)

Phyllostachys vivax: One of the most impressive varieties of timber bamboo, vivax grows quickly and produces formidable poles. This is a fairly cold hardy species can survive winters as cold as -15 F. But in the best conditions it can grow well over 30 feet tall with culms 4-5 inches in diameter. Younger canes will be greener, but turn yellow over time.

Just make sure you have enough room before you plant one of these in your yard. Like all varieties of Phyllostachys, vivax is a running bamboo. And with canes that big, it’s going to need some room to spread out.

Phyllostachys bambusoides: Commonly known as Madake or Japanese timber bamboo, this massive species has an attractive combination of handsome canes and dense, dark green foliage. Canes can reach about 60-70 feet in height and 5 or 6 inches in diameter in its native habitat. Elsewhere, in more temperate climates, it might only grow half that size, or less, and not as quickly.

Culms of Japanese timber bamboo grow smooth, green and very straight. The wood is very strong and resistant to cracking. For this reason, it is widely used in furniture making. It is also the ideal choice for making shakuhachi flutes.

Phyllostachys edulis: Perhaps the most widely grown species of bamboo in the world, P. edulis (also known as Moso bamboo) is the Chinese variety that is used for making bamboo clothing, bamboo flooring, and dozens of other applications. As the name suggests, its tender young shoots are also edible.

A very attractive species, with deep green canes, Moso bamboo looks great in parks and botanical gardens, but it may be difficult to maintain unless you have some acreage to work with. The poles can get up to about 4-5 inches in diameter, and close to 100 feet tall. If you have an ambitious construction project in mind, no job is too big for this massive bamboo.

Sometimes you’ll get thin yellow stripes on some of the culms, but the poles will turn a nice shade of yellow once they’re harvested and dried.

Bambusa oldhamii: Sometimes called Oldham’s bamboo, this is one of the most widely grown varieties in the United States. Its thick foliage and robust culms give it a very elegant appearance. The poles, often growing more than 50 feet tall and up to about 4 inches in diameter, are excellent to work with.

Oldham is also a clumping variety, rather than a runner, which make it even more appealing to gardeners. It can be difficult to find a type of bamboo that will grow such substantial poles without also taking over the whole garden.

Guadua bamboo: The most popular variety of bamboo in Central and South America, Guadua is not only tall and thick, but it’s incredibly strong as well. So strong that it’s earner the nick name “vegetative steel”.

Unless you live in Latin America, or some other semi-tropical region like Florida, you will have a difficult time growing this species at home. But if you’re looking to purchase bamboo poles for a building project, most bamboo specialists consider this the best variety, at in western hemisphere. (In Bali, Indonesia, they are more keen on Dendrocalamus.)

Small to medium size bamboo poles (1-2″)

Phyllostachys aureosulcata: Another running bamboo from China, P. aureosulcata has a few different cultivars, namely ‘spectabilis’ and ‘yellow groove’. The poles are interesting because spectabilis is yellow with a green stripe in the sulcus groove, and yellow groove is predominantly green with a yellow stripe.

Sometimes the culms of a spectabilis specimen will grow in a crooked, zig-zag manner. This unusual appearance can make a real impression. But the vast majority of the poles will grow straight, making them easier to work with for crafts and building.

Both cultivars are very cold hardy, down to around -15 F. Then canes ordinarily get to about 2-2.5 inches in diameter, and 30-50 feet in height.

Phyllostachys nigra: Usually referred to simply as black bamboo, the distinctively dark brown (not quite black) shoots make this one of the most popular species of bamboo. Any nursery that sells bamboo is likely to have some of this on hand.

As the plant matures, the dark color of the culms grows richer, making for a very attractive contrast against the bright green leaves. Moreover, when the poles are dried, they retain that dark color, sometimes taking on a speckled appearance. The richly-colored poles lend themselves to any number of decorative uses, from fencing to furniture.

Native to the Hunan Province of southern China, gardeners now cultivate black bamboo all over the world. Although it thrives best in its own subtropical habitat, it can grow very well in USDA zones 7-10. If planted in rich, loamy soil, black bamboo can get 20 to 30 feet tall with mature culms of 2 inches in diameter.

Pseudosasa japonica (arrow bamboo): This beautiful species earned its name from the long, strong, straight poles, which Samurai warriors once used to make arrows. Although technically considered a runner, it has a far more restrained growth habit than most bamboos of that class. The graceful poles and broad green leaves make this a popular variety of bamboo, and relatively easy to find.

Arrow bamboo can grow 15-20 feet tall, with stick canes not more 1-1.5 inches thick. It’s a fairly cold tolerant species that can get down to around 0º F.

How to cure bamboo poles

After harvesting your bamboo poles, but before your start building, it’s best to best to cure them somehow to prevent cracking or uneven drying and warping. The simplest thing to do is lay it out somewhere dry, not too hot or too cold, with adequate air circulation. An open air rack in the shade is ideal. It’s also a good idea to rotate the poles regularly.

It can take several weeks or even a few months for timber bamboo poles to dry out thoroughly. You can watch the color change, usually from green to yellow, as it dries.

Further reading

If you found this interesting and informative, be sure to have a look at out some of our other stimulating articles.

Growing Bamboo: The complete how-to guide The best bamboo varieties for construction

PHOTO CREDIT: Zdeněk Macháček (Unsplash)

Pros and Cons of Potted Bamboo

A lot of gardeners are reluctant to plant bamboo for fear that its aggressive rhizomes will wreak havoc on their otherwise immaculate garden. This fear is not entirely unfounded. It’s true that many varieties of running bamboo, with their monopodial rhizomes, can spread everywhere and become almost impossible to remove.

But with a little caution and forethought you can pretty easily avoid this predicament. We’ve written about different ways to keep the grass from growing out of control in our article about bamboo containment and removal.

Planting bamboo in pots

One of the most popular and straightforward methods of taming your bamboo and protecting your garden is to keep in in a pot. There are many advantages to growing bamboo this way. But there are also some drawbacks that every gardener should be aware of.

PROS of Potted Bamboo Bamboo in a pot will generally stay very well contained, without the rhizome roots getting into your vegetable patch or wrapping around underground things like irrigation pipes and utility lines. I say generally, because if you’re not careful, the bamboo can get from the pot into the earth. (See below.) If you want to create a privacy screen along a specific area of your garden, a row of pots or containers can make for a very well-defined hedge space. Should you decide to relocate your bamboo plant to a different place in your garden, or remove it altogether, this will be immensely easier when the bamboo is in a pot rather than rooted in the ground. Being able to move your bamboo with the seasons can also be useful. In the summer, for example, it might be happier in a shady corner of the garden. In a freak storm or blizzard, on the other hand, it might be best to bring it inside for a day or two. Bamboo is already a very attractive plant, and using pots allows you to introduce another decorative element to your garden scene. Rustic wood barrels look interesting, or perhaps you can find some elegant asian pottery to compliment your zen aesthetics. Just be careful not to use pots that get narrow at the top; that will make transplanting very difficult. Watering and fertilizing might be easier when the plant has a very clearly defined place. CONS of Potted Bamboo and general precautions Keeping your bamboo in a pot might help you sleep easier at night. But it could also give you a false sense of security. It’s especially important to place something solid under your pot, otherwise the roots will eventually crawl through the drain hole and get into the soil. It could be months or years before your realize this. Best to set your bamboo pots on a solid deck, a concrete driveway, or some sort of stepping stone. Any plant that remains in a pot year after year is liable to get root bound. This is especially true for bamboo, with its vigorous rhizome root system. It will be essential to pull the bamboo out of its container at least once a year and trim the roots. Better still, you can split the root ball into two or three sections. (Yes, that means you’ll need to get more pots. But a potted bamboo plant can also make a great house warming gift and a friendly gesture for a neighbor.) If you don’t trim the roots on a regular basis, two things are likely to happen. The root bound plant will feel restricted, grow uncomfortable, and languish like a prisoner in a tight cell. But over time, the robust bamboo roots will probably burst through the container. Whether the pot is plastic, wood or ceramic, it will eventually give way to the effects of time and pressure. Even if you do prune your roots on a regular basis, most bamboos will never achieve their maximum size in a pot. If you want to grow timber bamboo, don’t expect to see 5-inch thick culms and 80-foot poles from a potted bamboo. Better to stick with more compact species or dwarf varieties. In most cases, watering bamboo in a container will require more care and attention. The soil in a pot will generally dry out more quickly than the soil in the open ground. Also, as the roots get crowded inside the pot, the water sometimes goes straight through without getting absorbed. In other cases, there could be insufficient drainage, and you could run into issues like root rot. Conclusions

As you can see, there are a host of advantages to keeping your bamboo in a pot or container. And there are a few disadvantages, but most of them can be easily overcome. The bottom line is that you will have more flexibility when your bamboo is in a pot, and you won’t have the problem of bamboo rhizomes running amok in your garden.

The main thing is that you’ll have to repot, and/or inspect the roots of your bamboo on a regular basis. But even with bamboo growing directly in the earth, it’s always a good idea to poke around the roots every few months.

What are the best varieties of bamboo to plant in pots?

Some species are going to be more comfortable in a pot than others. One of the most popular varieties of potted bamboo is Pseudosasa japonica, also known as arrow bamboo. It’s a runner, but with a fairly compact growth habit. It generally grows about 15 feet tall with 1 inch canes.

Otatea acuminata (Mexican Weeping Bamboo) is another popular option. This clumping bamboo grows bushy, with delicate, graceful leaves that rustle in the breeze.

You can also look for various types of dwarf bamboo. Dwarf white stripe is a variety that I like to grow. And all the cultivars of Buddha belly (including the dwarf) are strikingly attractive, with their unusually shaped culms. Take a look at this article on Buddha belly bamboo.

Further reading

To learn more about gardening, check out some of our other in-depth articles.

A complete guide to growing bamboo Bonsai with bamboo How fast does bamboo grow? 10 Best bamboo varieties for your garden

PHOTO CREDIT: David Clode (Unsplash)

Why you should plant a bamboo hedge for privacy

Here at Bambu Batu, we’ve written at great length about the countless virtues of bamboo. It’s a plant of unsurpassed strength and versatility, with an incredibly rich and colorful cultural history.

Check out our articles on What’s so great about bamboo and Bamboo symbolism and folklore to learn more about that.

But despite its many benefits, planting bamboo is actually somewhat controversial. Many amateur gardeners will actually try to talk you out of planting a bamboo hedge. And the lack of consensus leaves many people wondering: to boo or not to boo?

As great advocates of bamboo, we are certainly aware of this controversy, and we’d like to help you make the right decision before you rush into planting a bamboo privacy screen. So the following article will identify the main pros and cons of bamboo hedges. We’ll also talk about how to minimize the cons if you decide to go ahead with it.

Pros and Cons of bamboo hedges PROS Bamboo grows quickly, if you’re in a hurry to establish a privacy screen It grows thick and bushy, assuring good privacy It can grow very tall, easily providing privacy for second story windows An evergreen, bamboo will not lose its leaves in winter (resulting in less privacy) Most people consider bamboo to be an attractive plant: it sounds nice when the winds blows through, it has no prickly thorns or sticky sap, and it doesn’t drop messy berries or an excessive quantity of leaves CONS Bamboo can grow aggressively, quickly overreaching the area intended for the hedge Privacy screens normally go along property lines, so a fast-growing variety of bamboo is likely to sprawl out into the neighbor’s property, which they might not want It can be very difficult to remove bamboo from the ground, if you should change your mind after a few years A careful gardener can make the most of bamboo and avoid the potential problems

As you can see, there are some great horticultural and aesthetic benefits to planting a bamboo privacy screen. And the biggest concern is that an established bamboo plant will get out of control.

But with an ounce of caution and a little more work at the front end, you can eliminate those problems that might crop up in the future.

How to keep your bamboo under control

To prevent your privacy screen from producing a primal scream, there are a few precautions you should absolutely take before the bamboo goes in the ground.

ROOT BARRIERS

The most important thing you can do is bury a rhizome root barrier around the area where you will be planting the bamboo. It might not seem necessary at first, but within a few years, you could have a monster on your hands.

Not every bamboo is so aggressive, but some of them have roots that will grow like crazy. (Check out our article on Running Bamboos). The problem is, it’s very difficult for a non-expert to tell the difference.

There’s a famous proverb about bamboo that says, “The first year it sleeps, the second year it creeps, and the third year it leaps.” Even after a year or two, a running bamboo will look very tame. If you poke around under the soil, however, you might find that the roots tell another story. And by the third year, you could have fresh shoots coming up everywhere.

But by then it’s too late. So a good root barrier is essential. And it will allow you keep shape your hedge in a very definite and confined space, usually something long, narrow and rectangular.

Today you can buy sheets of extremely durable black polyethylene, about 1.5 mm in thickness, and usually 24″ to 30″ in width. It’s normally available on a roll, anywhere from 25 to 100 feet in length. You might think 24″ is plenty. After all, who wants to dig a 3-foot trench all the way around their hedge? But trust me, use at least 30″, you’ll be better off in the long run. Like I’ve said before, never underestimate the perseverance of a bamboo.

The most popular, most effective, tried and true bamboo containing material is available online from Amazon. It’s the DeepRoot Bamboo Barrier, 30″ deep by 100 ft roll. This stuff is nearly invincible, going a serious 2.5 feet underground, and the 100-ft roll gives you enough length to contain a pretty major privacy hedge. Consider it a few hundred bucks well spent on your peace of mind and good neighbor relations.

Another less expensive alternative to consider is Bamboo Shield’s 24″ by 100 foot roll.

Bamboo Shield also offers shorter rolls with deeper coverage to contain the most aggressive bamboo specimens, all available at Amazon. Check out the Bamboo Shield 30″ by 50 foot roll, or the extra heavy duty Bamboo Shield 36″ by 25 foot roll .

ROOT MAINTENANCE

Even if you have a good root barrier, you’ll want to poke around in the soil on a regular basis, to make sure the roots aren’t creeping through the mulch and climbing over the root barrier. At least once a year, you’ll want to go in with some heavy duty clippers and cut back some of the roots.

If you already have a bamboo hedge without a barrier, don’t panic. You still have options. A lot of gardeners just go in and prune their roots back at least once a year. Of course, this will be more work, but if you really want to build a close relationship with your bamboo, this is one way to do it.

Otherwise, it’s not impossible to dig around and plant your root barrier around an existing bamboo plant. But you’ll want to perform a deep and serious root pruning beforehand.

BAMBOO IN CONTAINERS

Another option, if you don’t want to get your hands dirty burying a rhizome barrier, is to keep your bamboo hedge in a series of pots or barrels. Or, with some basic carpentry skills, you can build a long, narrow planter just the right size for your hedge.

But don’t think that pots and boxes will solve all your problems. Roots still want to grow. If you don’t transplant potted bamboo and divide the rootball on a regular basis, it will probably burst through its container. Still, pulling it out of the pots and pruning the roots might be easier than digging in the ground every six months.

Also, if you have potted bamboo sitting on bare earth, the roots will eventually creep out of the drain holes and make their way into the ground. If you try to move a pot of bamboo and it won’t budge, this is probably what happened.

Selecting bamboo for a hedge

With some 2000 varieties of bamboo to choose from, selecting the best bamboo for your garden can be a challenge. The first criteria to consider is whether you want a running bamboo or a clumping bamboo. A lot of people have a fear of running bamboo, which is notoriously aggressive, so they will prefer clumping bamboo.

But if you’re planting a privacy hedge, a running bamboo will generally be a better choice. A few runners will fill out the given space more quickly and thoroughly, producing a dense and well-defined hedge. Clumping bamboo, on the other hand, will spread slowly and look uneven.

The next criteria will be the size of the bamboo. Are you looking for a 30-40′ privacy hedge? Phyllostachys vivax might be the best choice. Or will 6-8 feet be enough? Are you looking for thick bamboo poles that will knock together, or do you prefer something light and delicate with leaves the rustle in the breeze?

Check out our article on the 10 Best bamboos for your garden to learn about different varieties of bamboo and their characteristics.

DISCLOSURE: Some of the links in this article are affiliate links. This means that, at no additional cost to you, we will earn a small commission if you click through those links and make a purchase. This helps us meet the cost of maintaining our website and producing great articles.

Bamboo is a grass not a tree

As a matter of fact, bamboo is neither a tree nor a bush. Bamboo is a grass, belonging to the family Poaceae, sometimes called Gramineae. The same botanical family comprises some 12,000 species of monocotyledonous flowering plants, including cereals and grains, as well as lawns and golf courses.

Keep on the Grass

The fact that bamboo grows so tall (often to more than 100 feet) and becomes so woody (even harder than maple or red oak) makes it easy to mistake for a tree. But there are several definite characteristics to help us identify bamboo as a grass.

Bamboo growth habit

One interesting feature of bamboo is that an individual stalk will grow to its full height in a single growing season. Unlike other trees and shrubs, the bamboo will not continue to grow taller year after year. In subsequent years, the poles may put out more lateral shoots, becoming increasingly bushy, although the amount of bushiness will depend on the variety. But their height will not change.

It’s true however that younger bamboo plants will put up shorter shoots than mature plants, more than four or five years of age. So in this sense, an older bamboo plant will be taller than a younger one. But that’s not because the shoots keep getting taller. It’s only because the newer, more mature shoots have a greater height capacity. The culms of a more mature bamboo plant will also have a greater diameter.

This is fairly typical of grasses. They put up fresh growth which quickly reaches full height, and then spread from the base. Pruning from the top with encourage more fresh growth and bulk, but clipped blades or culms will not get any taller.

Annual and Perennial Grasses

Maybe when you think of grasses, you think about grains like corn and wheat that grow for one season, go to seed, and then die. That sure doesn’t sound like bamboo. No, those are annual grasses.

But there are plenty of perennial grasses as well. Just think about the grass in your front yard (or your neighbor’s yard). Or other ornamental grasses, like blue fescue or fountain grass. The keep putting up fresh growth each year, slowly expanding their footprint. Eventually, after five or ten years, they may die. Every plant has some sort of life expectancy, even perennials.

Bamboo propagation

Most annual grasses rely on seeds to propagate themselves each year. But most perennial grasses spread with their rhizome roots.

See our in-depth articles on Bamboo Flowering and Running Bamboo.

When you cut down bamboo, it’s not dead, because it lives underground. Cutting bamboo is something like mowing your lawn. It actually promotes more growth and helps keep the plants looking fresh and vibrant.

Again, think of other ornamental grasses. Fountain grass, for example, should be cut all the back at least once a year. Otherwise it starts to look shaggy and haggard. Now you probably don’t want to cut your bamboo back this hard, because it would take a couple years to fill out again. But it is a good idea to go through periodically and cut out some of the old growth.

Mowing the lawn?

There are some dwarf varieties of bamboo that only grow a few inches tall, and they make a great ground cover, particularly in a Japanese garden. You should actually cut these back every year, maybe even with a lawnmower on a high setting. It’s especially a good idea if you are gardening in a colder climate where the bamboo leaves are likely to go brown in the winter.

Shape and structure

With giant timber bamboos, which can get more than five inches in diameter, it’s tempting to refer to the girth of a bamboo pole as a trunk. But this is tree talk, and does not apply to bamboo.

As a grass, the individual stalks are hollow and should be referred to as culms. But we often call them canes, or shoots, in the case of fresh growth. Sometimes we call them poles, but that’s more appropriate for a culm that has already been cut down.

When new culms emerge from the ground, they appear like conical shoots, with a sharp point. Usually the fresh shoots are wrapped in a protective paper, known as a culm sheath. This is another typical feature of grass. As the culms get bigger, they outgrow their sheaths, which dry up and peel off.

And watch out, because they grow mighty fast. As mentioned above, the bamboo culms will reach their full height—which could easily be somewhere between 10-100 feet tall—in a single season.

Further Reading

For more fun facts about bamboo, check out some of our other great articles.

Ask the experts: 12 Common questions about bamboo The complete guide to growing bamboo 10 Best bamboo varieties for your garden

PHOTO CREDIT: Lee Soo Hyun (Unsplash)

Hollow bambooInner wisdom

In addition to being a giant grass associated with tropical climates and the Far East, bamboo is famously hard and hollow. Its hollowness helps make the bamboo lightweight and flexible. You will also find that bamboo is much easier to saw through, compared to solid wood.

Is every bamboo hollow?

Hollowness is the general rule with bamboo, but there are exceptions to the rule. Among the 2000 kinds of bamboo in the world, the vast majority are hollow. But some canes have thicker walls than others, and a few of them even grow solid.

When we talk about wall thickness, this is not the same as the diameter. The diameter describes the girth of the poles. Bamboos can vary from less than a half inch in diameter to more than five inches in diameter. But the wall thickness refers to how much woodiness there is between the inside and the outside of the ring. Usually it’s just a centimeter or less, and the center is hollow.

All different varieties of bamboo have different wall thickness, and this is a very important quality to consider if you plan to use the bamboo for construction. Bamboo with thin walls will bend more easily, which might make for better fishing poles. On the other hand, thicker bamboo will be stronger, sturdier and better for building substantial structures.

Bamboo in the node

Sometimes you’ll see a cross-section of bamboo that is solid. But in most cases, this is not from a bamboo that is completely solid. More likely, it was cut at the node where the bamboo is solid. The spaces in between, the internodes, are probably still hollow.

This is another feature that makes bamboo fun to work with. Cut a thick bamboo pole just below the node and some inches above the node, and you’ll have a simple yet attractive drinking cup. Keep in mind, the bamboo is not entirely water proof, so it shouldn’t be used to make a vase for flowers. It’s perfect, however, for something like a pencil holder.

If you do want to make a bamboo vase, the best method is to use a very thick diameter bamboo culm, and slip a narrow glass inside. The glass won’t be visible from the outside, but it will hold the water. Otherwise, the bamboo will gradually soak up the water, eventually leaking and making a big mess.

Solid bamboo varieties

One of the few varieties with a solid stalk is Phyllostachys heteroclada f. solida. Commonly known as simply “solid bamboo”, this is a subspecies of “water bamboo”, thriving in swampy areas and river beds of central Asia.

Dendrocalamus strictus, a timber bamboo native Southeast Asia, also has the nickname of solid bamboo, and for the same reason. This could be somewhat confusing, except that these varieties have very different habitats and growth habits. Phyllostachys is a genus of temperate runners, and Dendrocalamus bamboos are tropical clumpers. In most cases, D. strictus has very thick walls, but is not completely solid.

Dendrocalamus stocksii grows in northern India and has completely solid canes. This species is also interesting for the fact that its flowers never actually go to seed.

In South America, most members of the Chusquea genus also have solid stems. One of the more interesting species, C. quila tends to spread out and grow like a vine. They appear predominantly in Chile and Argentina.

Further reading

To learn more about other bamboo varieties and growth habits, take a look at some of these interesting articles.

10 Best bamboo varieties for your garden 11 Cold hardy bamboos Best bamboo varieties for construction Dendrocalamus strictus, aka Bambu Batu Moso Bamboo: King of grasses

PHOT CREDIT: Takeo Kunishima (Unsplash)

Bamboo flower

From food to flooring, bamboo has thousands of practical uses. But when’s the last time someone brought you a bouquet of bamboo flowers? When was the last time you even saw a bamboo flower, for that matter?

Perhaps never, because bamboo flowers are both infrequent and inconspicuous. Or you may have seen a blossoming bamboo and not even realized it. No, they aren’t so exciting to look at, but bamboo flowers can be a fascinating thing to study.

How often does bamboo flower?

Like most characteristics of bamboo, the answer to this question varies greatly between species. There are, after all, more than 1,200 varieties of this noble grass.

The short answer is: rarely. Bamboo flowering cycles are generally very long, often between 40 to 60 years. In some cases, more than 120 years will pass between blooms. And because the period is so long, most gardeners will only see an individual specimen flower once in their lifetime, if they’re lucky.

As a result, the flowering cycles of bamboo are not entirely well understand, and remain something of a mystery. But we do know a few things.

Flowering terminology

To better understand the nature of bamboo flowers, it will be helpful to review some botanical terms and concepts.

Monocarpic: This describes a plant that will only flower once and then die. This is not to be confused with an annual plant, including most grains and vegetables, who go through their whole life cycle in a single growing season. Many varieties of bamboo are monocarpic, but not all of them. Bromeliads are another example of a monocarpic plant. It may take some years for the plant to flower, and afterwards the plant dies. Polycarpic: Flowering multiple times before dying. This is the opposite of monocarpic. Gregarious flowering: Also called mass flowering or synchronous blooming, this refers to plants of a given species that all bloom at the same time, regardless of their location. This is one of the most fascinating characteristics observed in a several species of bamboo. Species that exhibit this unusual behavior are typically monocarpic. Sporadic flowering: Each specimen flowers on its own schedule, and not on a mass scale. Most bamboos flower sporadically, and most of them are polycarpic. Gregarious bamboo flowering

This exotic behavior remains one of bamboo’s greatest mysteries. As if there is some kind of alarm clock in the cells of certain bamboo species, every individual member of that species will flower at the same time. This is especially bizarre because the flowering periods are so long and irregular.

Phyllostachys bambusoides, also known as Japanese timber bamboo, is one such example. Sometimes it has a flowering interval of 130 years. Then every specimen of P. bambusoides—regardless of its location around the world—will blossom, go to seed and die.

Mautam: Mass flowering crisis

Probably the most exceptional case of flowering in bamboo, or perhaps any plant species, occurs with Melocanna baccifera. In an event called Mautum, meaning “bamboo death”, every member of this bamboo species flowers and leads to a famine in the region.

In northeastern India and parts of Myanmar, this variety of bamboo covers vast areas of forest. Every 48-50 years or so, all the M. baccifera blooms, goes to seed, and sparks an unexpected environmental cataclysm. The last time it happened was in 2006.

The unfortunate series of events runs something like this. After about half a century of ordinary vegetative growth, all the bamboo across the region flowers and turns to seed. Because of the general size, shape and geographic location, the seeds of bamboo are often called bamboo rice.

Although it has little or no culinary value for humans, the sudden proliferation of bamboo rice in rural, northeast India is a great boon for the local rodent population. Rats flock to the fields to participate in this once in a lifetime feast. And as they do so, their population skyrockets.

This is all wonderful for the rats and their burgeoning families. And it’s of little consequence to the people in the area, so long as the rats are well fed. But once the bamboo rice runs out, chaos and panic ensue. Enormous numbers of hungry rats now raid the surrounding villages, decimating storehouses of grain, leading to a widespread famine.

In 1966, the Mautam occurred, and warnings from village elders were dismissed as ignorant superstition. Subsequently, crops were destroyed, many starved, and a major political uprising took place. The obvious lesson here: listen to your elders.

When the cycle returned in 2006, local officials were far better prepared. Indian army and local militia had been anticipating the Mautam for two years. Local villagers had been growing other crops, as well as fragrant plants like ginger and turmeric to help ward off the invasive rodents. Their preparations paid off, and famine was averted.

Further reading

For more fun facts about bamboo, check out some of our other articles.

What’s so great about bamboo? 20 Best bamboo gardens in the world 12 Common questions about bamboo

PHOTO CREDIT: Bamboo blossom (Wikipedia)

How fast does bamboo grow

Bamboo has many amazing characteristics. And the woody grass has a reputation for being the fastest growing plant on earth. That reputation is well-deserved, because some varieties of bamboo can grow more than a meter a day, under ideal circumstances.

How fast does bamboo grow, and how big does it get?

As there are more than 1000 distinct varieties of bamboo, these are difficult questions to answer. Some dwarf bamboos only get a few inches tall, and some giant timber bamboos can reach more than 100 feet in height. Of course, the timber bamboo grows much faster, but there are a number factors than come into play.

Bamboo’s growth rate

According to the Guinness Book of World’s Records, bamboo is actually the fastest growing plant on earth. Although Guinness does not identify a particular species, they report a growth rate of 35 inches a day. Other sources claim that bamboo can grow more than a meter in a day.

At 35 to 40 inches a day, bamboo is indeed the fastest growing plant on earth. But there are a few things you need to understand about bamboos and their growth habit.

First of all, this rate of growth is only possible with certain varieties of bamboo. Phyllostachys, a genus of running bamboo from Southern China, includes some of the fasting-growing species. Moso Bamboo (Phyllostachys edulis) is considered one of the largest and most vigorous varieties. Phyllostachys vivax is another impressive timber bamboo.

Guadua is a tropical genus from Central and South America, often called the world’s strongest bamboo. It grows incredibly fast, often getting up to 5 or 6 inches in diameter. Then there’s Dendrocalamus, from India and Southeast Asia, which is also incredibly large, strong and fast growing.

Moreover, bamboo does not grow this fast on a regular, consistent basis. During the growing season, which is generally in the spring—although some tropical climates get two growth seasons a year—the bamboo puts out fresh shoots.

Bamboo’s growth habit

If the bamboo is fully mature, at least four or five years old, it will put up maximum-sized shoots. For a month or two, these monstrous culms will skyrocket upwards until they reach their full height. The culm diameter will not get any larger after this. During the rest of the year, the bamboo may continue to bush out with more leaves and branches. But the individual bamboo culms will achieve their maximum height and girth within the short growing season.

Finally, the growing conditions are critical. Moso Bamboo, for example, is considered the fastest-growing species of temperate bamboo. Although it’s native to the subtropical areas of Southern China, Moso can grow very well in temperate climates. But in those cooler regions, it will never grow as fast and tall as it does in the heat of the subtropics.

Tropical, clumping bamboo, like Guadua and Dendrocalamus, will have a much harder time in temperate climate zone. In fact, they will be lucky to survive, let alone reach their full potential.

Temperate, running bamboos like Phyllostachys are also noteworthy for their aggressive, monopodial rhizome roots. Thankfully, they won’t spread at a rate of 2-3 feet a day, but their growth rate is formidable and something to aware of. Check out our article on running bamboos to learn more.

Bamboo height

With more than a thousand varieties, it’s impossible to make a generalization about how tall bamboo will get. Moso Bamboo, again, is one of the biggest, easily exceeding 100 feet in height.

Another remarkable species is Guadua giganteus, native to Colombia and Central America, one of several varieties referred to as Giant Bamboo. This New World specimen will commonly grow 25-35 meters high, or 80-115 feet.

But according to Guinness, the prize for the world’s tallest bamboo goes to Dendrocalamus giganteus, also called Dragon Bamboo and Giant Bamboo, from Southeast Asia. Living up to its name, this enormous species has been known to get more than 50 meters high, or 164 feet.

That’s still a far cry from the Hyperion, a 380-foot tall Coastal Redwood in Northern California, but pretty astonishing for a stalk of grass. Keep in mind, a maple tree, for example, will rarely grow taller than 150 feet.

Conclusions

There’s no doubt about it. The size and growth rate of certain bamboo species make them some of the most remarkable plants on earth. Growing more than a meter a day, you can actually sit and watch it grow. Grab a cold beverage (maybe with an umbrella in it), pull up a cozy rattan chair, and in 40 minutes you can see a tropical bamboo grow about an inch.

Indeed, this makes bamboo the fastest growing plant, or organism of any kind, on earth. Apart from these especially vigorous varieties of timber bamboo, the next fastest-growing plant is probably giant kelp. Macrocystis pyrifera grows a little more than two feet a day, reaching a maximum length of around 150 feet over the course of a long growing season.

Just don’t expect to see bamboo growing like this in your own garden. Not that you would want to. But unless you live in Costa Rica or Indonesia, it’s probably not going to happen. Within the U.S., you might see comparable growth rates in Hawaii or Florida. But you’re still not going to set a new world record.

Further reading

To learn more about the incredible properties of bamboo, check out some of these other interesting articles.

What’s so great about bamboo? Moso Bamboo: The king of grasses Growing Bamboo: A complete how-to guide
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