What’s the Best Bamboo to Grow in Pots?
Bamboo is beautiful all on its own. It evokes feelings of peace and tranquility, on top of giving you that “zen”. Yes, it not only brings the zen aesthetic, but it actually makes you feel zen, so that you can truly find peace in your own home. The best thing that you probably don’t know at the moment is the fact that you can grow bamboo in pots – which means you can have some at home, even if you don’t have the yard or garden space! When grown inside gorgeous ornamental pots (or other similar containers), bamboo can in fact look rather stunning. This plant comes in various sizes, colours, and textures, which when combined can result in a beautiful sight. Curious yet? Bet you’re wondering what the best bamboo to grow in pots is.
Luckily, as we have mentioned, you can grow bamboo in pots. And these pots can be moved around and placed in various spots around your home. For example, you can put the pot in your patio. Or perhaps in your balcony. Or, of course, in your garden. You’re not at a loss for options, since the pots in which the bamboo grows acts as a barrier. As a result, you can place it in your backyard or garden with no worry about the fast-growing plant taking over everything.
We know that you probably want to know more about growing bamboo in pots – and so, we’re here to help. In today’s article, we’ll talk about everything you need to know about growing bamboo in pots. And, of course, we will also discuss the best bamboo to grow in pots, so you can figure out what type you want!
Where Should You Place Potted Bamboo?
Potted bamboo can be placed in multiple places in your home, as we’ve previously mentioned above. However, there is one thing that we can say that might just disappoint you: you cannot and you should not put potted bamboo indoors. The reason for this is that most if not all species of bamboo will grow really tall. So unless you want to constantly be chopping bamboo down so it doesn’t poke a hole through your ceiling and grow through your roof, keep it outdoors. But hey – you most certainly can put it indoors too. You will just have to ‘trim’ your bamboo often. That, and eventually, you will probably have to move it outdoors anyway.
Outdoors, you have a few options. The only thing you will really have to account for is that your bamboo will likely grow pretty tall. As a result, you must choose to place your pot in an area where your bamboo has enough vertical space to grow. Of course, you will still want to trim every so often. It’s not a good idea to let bamboo run wild and free because once tall enough, the pot will knock over from the wind. Just imagine the wind blowing a tall plant over. It can, and it will, happen – so be cautious about it.
Gardens are always a great place to put a potted bamboo. Or perhaps by your front entryway. Even on the patio, or on your back deck – just as long as its vertical growth won’t damage anything above it. Be wary, however, as bamboo can grow deceptively quickly – so you’ll have to check regularly to avoid any mishaps.
Caring for Potted Bamboo
Now, although most bamboo species can indeed be grown in containers or pots, you can’t just go into it guns blazing. Even the best bamboo to grow in pots requires care and thought for proper maintenance. You’ll have to consider a bunch of things for sure, for example, the pot size required along with the species of bamboo you choose.
With plants, no matter the type (even bamboo of course), the fact is that the pot or container will almost always be outgrown. As a result, the roots may get “root bound”. In the case of bamboo, certain species can grow much faster and at a much more vigorous rate. This means, of course, that these particular species can get root bound much sooner. And once bamboo becomes root bound, it will begin to suffer since there won’t be any more nutrients for the plant’s roots to absorb.
When root bound, bamboo leaves will not grow the same shade of green, and they certainly won’t be as dense. New bamboo shoots won’t emerge as frequently, and any new culms won’t grow as tall or as thick. And so, when this happens, you will have to repot your bamboo into a bigger container. Well, that, or you’ll have to divide it (meaning transfer half of it to a different pot).
Picking a Bamboo Species for Your Pot
Now that we’ve talked about all of the above information, it’s time for us to discuss a bit about the best bamboo to grow in pots. How do you choose the species you plant? Can’t you just pick any species, throw it in a pot, and hope for the best? Well, the answer is a resounding no. You see, not all species will fit a pot. And not all of them will thrive in a container. So how do you know which to pick?
Well, picking a species of bamboo for planting in your pot is rather similar to picking a species of bamboo to plant in your garden. To know the right type, you’ll have to take a few things into consideration. Here are some of them:
Like with any other plant, bamboo needs sunlight to grow. Different species will require different amounts of sunlight and shade. And so, you will need to consider the type of lighting in the spot you plan to put your bamboo in. How much sun does it typically get? How often is it in the shade? Does it get morning sun or afternoon sun? Asking these types of questions will improve the chances that your bamboo will grow and thrive in its pot. As we’ve mentioned, even the best bamboo to grow in pots will die if not cared for properly!
One thing that we can say you truly must consider consider when choosing the best bamboo to grow in pots is the species’ adaptability. By that, we mean just how well the species can adapt to the weather or climate in your location. Does it get cold often where you live? Then you truly have to choose a species of bamboo that will work well in the cold. In tropical conditions or warmer climates, most species of bamboo will typically live well regardless.
When choosing your species of bamboo, you must also consider its purpose. Are you looking for bamboo that you can grow for the purposes of making a privacy screen? If so, then you probably have to plant it in a bigger or wider pot (rectangular perhaps) so that you’ll actually have a “screen”. If you’re just going for zen, then most any bamboo type will do. But sometimes, the best bamboo to grow in pots is the type that will work well for all the conditions and factors above.
The Best Bamboo to Grow in Pots
Let’s talk about some species of bamboo, shall we? After all, we can’t tell you all of this information without actually giving you the accompanying species that will work in the situations you need. So let’s get right to it, shall we?
The first type of bamboo that we want to mention is running bamboo. This species will be the best if you are looking for height. The running bamboo, after all, can grow quite tall – and quickly, as well! Running bamboo grows quick, and the roots will grow and spread in a very speedy manner. This results in the plant becoming root bound far sooner.
Next up, we have the clumping bamboo. This species won’t grow as quickly and aggressively. This results in clumping bamboo lasting far longer in their containers or pots. This is one of the best bamboo to grow in pots because you won’t need to repot or divide as often, as they won’t be getting root bound as frequently.
The tradeoff, however, is that this species won’t be able to reach the same type of heights that the running bamboo can (in a similarly sized pot or container). That’s not always a bad thing though – in fact, if you don’t want to be trimming your bamboo as often, this is actually a perfect trait. You might even be able to keep it indoors with proper maintenance.
Maintenance – Repotting and Dividing
When your potted bamboo starts getting root bound, you will need to do one of two things. You could either repot the bamboo into a bigger pot, or you can divide it. By dividing, we mean you can take some of the bamboo and move it to another pot, before replenishing both pots with fresh soil. If you’re dividing, however, you must remember that the best time for you to do this is either in the fall or in the winter.
The reason why you must wait till fall or winter is because spring and summer are the active bamboo growing seasons. If you disturb the root balls during these seasons, you can potentially kill your bamboo. Yes, even if you’ve chosen the best bamboo to grow in pots.
That’s not to say that you can’t repot or divide during spring and summer. You sure can! You’ll just have to take great care not to disturb your plant’s root ball.
No Cause for Concern
Although the thought of repotting and dividing can be daunting and even discouraging, there’s no cause for concern. This is because it’s actually quite an easy task, and you only really need to do it once every three to five years. This depends on the size of the pot and its species, but all the same, it’ll usually be years in between. Celebrate the fact that this part of bamboo maintenance only really needs to happen once in a blue moon!
Protect your Potted Bamboo in Winter
During winter time, you’ll have to take extra care to prevent your bamboo from getting damaged – or worse, dying. Most of the potted bamboos will typically survive winters, so you shouldn’t really have to worry. However, if you’re going through a particularly cold winter – such as extreme freezes – you’ll have to take some precautions.
Just like with many other plants in pots, bamboo grown in containers will be more susceptible when it comes to cold temps and climates. The bamboo is not in the actual ground, so it won’t be getting the benefit of natural ground water supply in winter. This also results in the bamboo’s root system being more vulnerable to becoming frozen in winter. For this reason, you should consider wrapping your pot in some insulation material (like burlap) in extreme freezes. You may also choose to move the pot inside your home, if you are capable of accommodating it.
You’ll also have to water the soil regularly to make sure your bamboo receives enough moisture all through winter. To further prevent freezing, you can add some mulching.
Bamboo Can Overheat, Too
When grown in a container, even the best bamboo to grow in pots will suffer in hot weather. Add to that some strong winds and you’ve got a recipe for disaster! If the weather is hot and the winds are strong, the moisture in the soil evaporates more quickly. This results in your plant struggling to find enough water to survive. Water once every two days to ensure your bamboo gets enough water during extreme heat. Sometimes, you may even need to water more often – check the soil for moisture regularly. By checking we don’t mean the surface – stick a finger under the first few inches of soil to know for sure.
When you choose the bamboo you want to grow in a pot, you’ll also have to consider the type of pot (or container. Remember to choose a container that is a bit lower to the ground or somewhat more low profile. Also make sure to have the pot be wider than its depth. Finally, put some weighting material on the bottom (rocks or gravel) to ensure that your pot doesn’t tip over in high winds. With proper care, you should be able to have a healthy and happy bamboo plant, no matter what!