Bamboo Trees: Types and Growing Them

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bamboo trees

Baboo trees may look like trees, however, are actually a perennial type of plant that belongs to the grass Bamboo.

It is a colony plant, so it uses its energy from the existing plant to produce more pants.

Moreover, it expands its root structure. Thus, the new plants grow in the same manner and turn into a cane with limbs and leaves within a good 60 day period.

It has been a part of the Asian-inspired garden for many years, however, many gardeners shy away from going them as they will become invasive.

And yet, it is a beautiful, graceful plant that forms an excellent backdrop for other foliage species.

Thus, choosing the right one and keeping an eye on its growth patterns can help to help it in bounds and contained.

Keep in reading to learn more about Bamboo trees.

Planting Bamboo Trees

It is important to plant your bamboo tree where it gets full to partial sun. Make sure that the soil you are planting is slightly acidic and not overly damp.

Bamboo is grass and will grow well anywhere the grass grows.

Space your plants anywhere from 2 to 8 feet apart, depending on the variety of baboo you are growing.

To plant them, dig a hole twice as wide as the root ball of your clump and just as deep.

Tease out any of the roots of your plant that are encircling the root ball, as they can girdle the plant and eventually kill it.

bamboo trees 1

Place your bamboo in the hole so the top of the root ball is just under the ground level.

Backfill or replace the soil you removed from the hole and tamping it down to eliminate air pockets.

Water your plant generously, allowing it to seep into the ground, and then give your plant some more water.

Water your bamboo every few days for the first month after planting it.

Learn more about Bonsai Trees here.

Caring for your Bamboo Trees

To take care of your bamboo trees, you need to consider the factors like water, nutrients, pruning, pollination, and management of pests and diseases.

Let’s discuss them as follows:

Water and Nutrients

When planting a new tree, your bamboo tree will need regular watering several times a week. However, once you see its growth, you can cut down on the watering.

After it establishes, bamboo has shallow roots and needs an inch or so of water, however, if it does not gets that water, it can rot.

Thus, make sure to water your plant regularly throughout the growing season.

Keep in mind that you do not need to feed your tree for the first month after planting while it continues to grow.

After this period, feed your plant with general-purpose fertilizers that are made for bamboo or palm trees.

However, you can also add compost around the plant in the spring season.


Pruning and thinning your bamboo plant can help shape it and you should do it in late summer or early fall.

Thus, you can trim off the top clump to control its height or thin out your plant with sharp cuts above the branch nodes.

Another way to control its growth is to dig up a clump and break apart the root ball into sections.

You can then transplant or discard these sections.


Bamboo tree is a self-pollinator and you do not need to have more than one plant to ensure good pollination.

Most varieties of it carry out this process via win, although a few of them rely on insects for pollination.

life cycle of bamboo trees

Moreover, you can slip the clumps of bamboo to get new plants once it is well established.

Pests and Diseases

Insects that favor bamboo are bamboo mites that cannot be seen with the naked eye.

However, if you see small, light-colored spots or fine webbing that your plant is infected.

Aphids may feed on bamboo, as do bamboo mealybugs. A general insecticide can help with any of the above pests.

Bamboo is a steady plant and is resistant to a number of plant diseases.

Fungal diseases, however, can affect them which you can control with the help of copper fungicide.

It is important to note that bamboo mosaic has no cure and kills the plant. Root rot and heart rot happens in some cases, and if you diagnose it, then you should dig it and destroy it.

Now let’s discuss the types of Bamboo Trees.

Buddha Belly Bamboo

This bamboo tree is native to China and gets its name from its lumpy internodes.

These nodes resemble the bulging belly of the Buddha and are popularly used as an ornamental plant in containers.

Moreover, it grows well in moist and fertile soil.

However, for the culm bulges to become exaggerated, you need to keep them without fertilizer or in dry soil.

buddha belly

It is a tropical plant that grows well in temperate climates, though you can keep it indoors in cooler regions.

Moreover, is a non-invasive type of bamboo and you can use them as a living privacy screen.

In its mature form, it can grow up to 55 feet tall, needs fertile, well-draining soil and you can use it as a decorative stem.

Learn more about How to Grow and Care for A Date Tree? here.

Giant Bamboo

At a height of about 100 feet, the giant bamboo is the tallest of bamboo trees in existence.

It has chunky, sturdy stems that can measure up to 1 foot in circumference.

These canes start out with a chalky white residue covering them, however, as they mature, they take on a faded dark blue through a pale green color.

giant bamboo

Moreover, it can grow very fast, producing shoots that can grow about 12 inches in just a day. It is native to Thailand, Burma, and China.

It produces flowers every 4 decades.

As it matures, it can grow up to 100 feet fall, needs full sun to partial shade, needs moist soi, well-draining, and nutrient-rich soil, and has huge canes.

Umbrella Bamboo

Most often, farmers cultivate this type of bamboo tree for a number of reasons.

These are non-invasive, elegant, sturdy, need minimum care, hardy, and are adaptable trees.

It features green-yellow caners from which slender, narrow leaves grow.

Its foliage has a beautiful look and is bright green on the top. While grey-green on the underside.

The canes of this tree, while maturing, gently arc from the weight of their foliage, however, do not snap or need staking.

umbrella bamboo

This bamboo grows quickly and has a clump-forming habitat, that usually spreads to about 4 to 5 feet in width.

It likes to strive in partial shade, as direct sunlight can cause its leaves to shrivel up.

Umbrella bamboo can grow up to 15 feet, strives in partial shade, and needs moist soil to grow.

Dragon Head Bamboo

This one is a primary food source of the panda, however, if you do not have them, you can grow them for aesthetic purposes.

It has beautiful features and shiny green canes that arch slightly as they age under the weight of their foliage.

Foliage is blue-green, narrow, and glossy, and its leaf measures around  4 inches in length.

dragon head bamboo tree

You can easily propagate this plant from stem cuttings or division.

It grows in a wide range of soils as long as it can retain moisture and thrive in a combination of sun and shade.

It can grow well up to 8 feet tall, needs full sun to partial shade, needs moist, fertile, and well-draining soil to grow.

Chinese Fountain Bamboo

This beautiful plant features long and slender canes that arch heavily under the weight of their foliage.

Canes are medium green with different patches of flushed purple, thus forming clumps of up to 5 feet across.

The foliage of this tree is long and narrow, which is a matte surface in a dark shade of grey-green.

This tough and reliable tree can tolerate severe cold and does not need excess heat. Moreover, it grows best in a shady area and requires less sunlight to thrive than most other bamboo plants.

chinese fountain

It can survive in a wide range of soil types, including properly draining soil, thus, making it suitable for planting along riverbanks, near ponds, and streams.

This bamboo tree can grow up to 15 feet, needs partial shade, and grows well in moisture-retaining soil.

Fish Pole Bamboo Tree

The smooth and straight canes of this plant are popular and earned it the name ‘fish pole bamboo’.

The canes of this tree are evergreen starting out bright medium, however, dull to a pale-yellow green as they mature.

Its canes are sturdy, tough, and relentlessly remain upright without arching. Moreover, it has vigorous growth and can grow up to 25 feet in length and 15 feet in width.

fish pole

If you keep this tree in dry conditions, it will form clumps, however, in moist soil and warm temperatures, it can become invasive.

It can strive well in full sun to partial shade, needs moist and well-draining soil.

Final Thoughts

There are over 200 species of bamboo trees and can add greenery to your garden during different seasons.

Moreover, it can help to stabilize the soil and control the worst of erosion problems and is also a great option if you plant them as windscreens and you can also trim them as to the height of your desire.

It can survive for more than a hundred years if you take proper care of them, and on average can live up to 15 years depending on the species.

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