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- 1 Bamboo As a Houseplant
- 1.1 What are bamboos?
- 1.2 How Bamboo Grows
- 1.2.1 Can you plant Bamboo Indoors?
- 1.2.2 Tips on growing bamboo indoors
- 1.2.3 How is bamboo as a houseplant?
- 1.3 Types of Bamboos
- 1.4 What is the best way to grow bamboo indoors?
Bamboo As a Houseplant
Have you ever wondered if you can use bamboo as a houseplant? Bamboos are a common plant used for landscaping and ornamental purposes, but some species can also be grown indoors as houseplants. In this article, we will talk about how you can use bamboo as a houseplant.
Bamboo grown as an ornamental or for landscaping purposes can be planted outside in colder climates or inside as a houseplant. Several bamboos make good houseplants. Some are clumping bamboo (such as Black Bamboo) and running bamboo (which spreads by underground runners).
Clumping bamboos grow up to 7 feet tall indoors and require less water than other bamboos. These make them easier to maintain. On the other hand, running bamboos can become invasive if not contained. They grow up to 10 feet tall indoors, necessitating more care and maintenance.
If you want to know more about bamboo and how they are as houseplants, this article is for you.
What are bamboos?
Bamboos are a member of the grass family, and they grow in tropical and subtropical regions. There are more than 1,500 known species of bamboo. This makes them one of the largest families in the world, with around half being native to China.
The tallest can grow up to 130 feet tall, while some bamboos only grow 3 feet tall as houseplants. The woody perennial herb has a thick stem that is hollow and segmented. With that, it makes it an ideal plant for home landscaping projects thanks to its ability to be easily shaped into different forms.
Bamboo grows from its roots instead of from seeds. It means that all parts of this perennial plant can be utilized somehow.
For example, people can eat shoots from the bamboo plant. This part of the plant is known as bamboo sprouts. In addition, the canes are used for making furniture and construction projects. Moreover, the growths originate from one flooring material.
Bamboo has a deep root system that makes it great at absorbing water. This makes them resistant to drought conditions. Because of this, they are commonly used in areas with low rainfall or limited access to fresh water supplies.
How Bamboo Grows
Most bamboos grow through rhizomes. A rhizome is an underground stem that spreads horizontally, sending up new shoots known as culms. These are followed by leaves that also branch off of the main stalk. Thus, these bamboos are called clumping bamboos.
The most common clumping bamboo type is temperate bamboo. This type of bamboo dies back to the ground in winter only to reemerge again in spring. These bamboos grow quickly, with some varieties reaching up to 7 feet tall within 3-5 years.
Running Bamboo also grows via rhizomes. However, their roots can travel long distances and send up new shoots on their own. This makes it possible for them to spread rapidly through your landscaping.
If growing as a houseplant, running bamboos require more attention than clumping types. This is because you need to dig up the roots every once in a while. Running bamboo flowers sporadically throughout the year. On the other hand, clumping bamboo flowers heavily during the summer months.
Can you plant Bamboo Indoors?
Yes, some bamboos are houseplants that can also be grown in containers. Several bamboos make good houseplants. Clumping bamboo (such as Black Bamboo) and running bamboo (which spreads by underground runners).
Clumping bamboos grow up to 7 feet tall indoors and require less water than other bamboos. This makes them easier to maintain. On the other hand, running bamboos can become invasive if not contained. They grow up to 10 feet tall indoors, necessitating more care and maintenance.
If you want to know more about growing bamboo inside your home, this article is for you.
What type of soil do I need?
Because most varieties of bamboo-like well-drained soil, it is best to use a potting mix that contains mostly organic materials. Prepare the planter with drainage holes before filling it up with a potting mix. Next, place your bamboo plant inside the container (potted or not). Once done, you can fill the rest of the pot with more soil.
How much light do bamboos need?
As far as sunlight is concerned, bamboos are fairly adaptable to different lighting conditions. Even some varieties can grow in the full shade, like Yellow Groove Bamboo (Phyllostachys aurea). However, they still require at least 4-6 hours of direct sunlight each day.
Bamboos also benefit from fluorescent lights, which promote firm growth and prevent the leaves from becoming spindly.
In addition, you can also grow bamboo in a windowless office. However, you need to ensure they are exposed to fluorescent lighting. This means placing the pots directly underneath fluorescent lights or lamps designed for houseplants.
How often should I water?
Bamboos remain healthy when the soil is kept moist but not too wet. This typically means that you can wait until the surface feels dry before watering it again. This is especially true for clumping bamboos because running types may develop root rot if left in wet conditions for an extended period of time. So what kind of fertilizer should I use?
Regular plant fertilizers will work well on most bamboos; you can use a balanced, all-purpose variety or mix in some time-release pellets to provide nutrients longer than regular fertilizers, which tend to leech out of the soil quickly.
If your bamboo is growing indoors with limited sunlight, then you can reduce or skip fertilizing altogether.
Tips on growing bamboo indoors
- Choose the right variety. For indoor bamboo plants, you will choose a clumping type or one of the shorter running types.
- Select an area with plenty of direct sunlight. If this is not possible, use fluorescent lighting instead.
- Use potting soil with organic material mixed in for best results and drainage.
- Water the plant regularly – do not let the soil stay wet for extended periods, though, because it can cause root rot and other problems.
- Fertilize your plant every few months (balanced, all-purpose fertilizer works well) but skip fertilizing during winter or early spring when new foliage emerges from dormancy/resting period after flowering season ends (late summer).
- Grow in well-drained containers; this will prevent root rot and other problems.
- Avoid overwatering your bamboo plant.
- Pruning (tip pruning, not leaf pruning) is sometimes necessary to keep them healthy and under control indoors.
How is bamboo as a houseplant?
Bamboos are natural, easy to maintain houseplants. You can always use bamboo as a houseplant. They look beautiful and provide greenery indoors without requiring too much time or effort on your part.
Bamboo is good for growing as indoor plants so long as you choose a light-loving species, keep it in a well-lit area, water it regularly, but do not overwater it, fertilize every few months but skip during winter/early spring when new leaves emerge from dormancy period and prune if needed. Some popular varieties of bamboo include Black Bamboo, Yellow Groove Bamboo (Phyllostachys aurea), Purple Stripe Bamboo (Phyllostachys nigra ‘Hale’ ume), Gold Lace Bamboo (Phyllostachys aureosulcata ‘Spectabilis’), and Green Hedge Bamboo (P. aurea ‘Boryana’).
How fast do bamboos grow as houseplants?
Depending on the variety, some types of bamboo grow up to 3 feet or more per year.
How tall will my bamboo become as a houseplant?
Bamboos grow anywhere from 3 feet to 15 feet indoors, depending on the type and growing conditions. Some of the most popular bamboos for houseplants include Black Bamboo (Phyllostachys nigra), Golden Lace Bamboo (Phyllostachys aurea ‘Heterocycla’), Green Hedge Bamboo (P. aurea ‘Boryana’), and Yellow Groove Bamboo ((Phyllostachys aurea).
Are bamboos poisonous?
Bamboo is not poisonous, but it can cause injury if ingested by pets or children who may eat the leaves/stems by accident. Also, remember that with running-type bamboo plants, there are always pointy ends complete with sharp edges, so avoid having these around small children and pets without proper supervision.
Types of Bamboos
The two main types of bamboo are clumping bamboo and running bamboo. The former has a slower growth rate while the latter has faster-growing varieties making it more suitable for landscaping purposes. Clumping bamboos grow up to 7 feet tall, while running bamboos can grow up to 10 feet tall indoors.
Clumping bamboos typically have short internodes, which makes them ideal plants for smaller spaces. They also require less water than their counterparts, making them easier to maintain in the house. Still, because they take longer to establish, they are not as widely grown commercially as running bamboo.
On the other hand, running bamboos have greater commercial value due to their quick growth rate, making them the number one choice for landscaping projects. They are also known to grow in a wide array of soil conditions, but they do not fare well when planted directly in water. Or when left exposed to flooding because their roots need oxygen. And it can cause problems such as rotting.
Some types of running bamboos include Black bamboo (Phyllostachys nigra), Blue Shrimp Bamboo (Bambusa chungii), Fountain Bamboo (Chimonobambusa quadrangularis ‘Spectabilis’), Golden Hedge bamboo (Pleioblastus fortunei), Lucky Bamboo (Dracaena sanderiana), and Phyllostachys species. These are all great to use as bamboo as a houseplant.
Which bamboos are great indoors?
There are many different types of bamboos, but some of the more common species include
- Black Bamboo (Phyllostachys nigra)
- Blue Shrimp Bamboo (Bambusa chungii)
- Fountain Bamboo (Chimonobambusa quadrangularis ‘Spectabilis’)
- Golden Hedge bamboo (Pleioblastus fortunei)
- Lucky Bamboo (Dracaena sanderiana), and
- Phyllostachys species
Black or Lucky Bamboo
Black bamboo is often associated with good luck, hence its nickname Lucky Bamboo. It has slender culms with black sheaths, making it one of the most attractive bamboos grown in Asia. This variety is also straightforward to maintain, making it a top choice for beginners who want to grow a bamboo plant indoors.
Asia has used Lucky Bamboo for centuries as an ornamental plant because Asians believed that it brings good luck and fortune, so many people get them as gifts or centerpieces around the house.
How do I care for my lucky bamboo?
It is best to place your lucky bamboo in indirect sunlight but avoid direct exposure to strong light because it may cause the leaves and stems to turn yellow. Which will affect its appearance and overall health. Too much water can also lead to rotting, especially if you keep the plant submerged in water, making it important to let the soil dry out before watering again. It will help to fertilize regularly when new growth emerges or during the springtime (March) with fertilizer safe for houseplants.
You can help keep your lucky bamboo healthy by rotating the plant every time you water it so that all areas will receive equal amounts of sunlight and the leaves do not lean towards a certain side, which can cause uneven growth or browning. If you follow these simple steps, your lucky bamboo should look great all year round!
Where should I place lucky bamboo in my house?
Because black bamboo is a tall plant, it makes a great centerpiece for any room and complements both modern and traditional decor. It is best to place your lucky bamboo in indirect sunlight but avoid direct exposure to strong light because it may cause the leaves and stems to turn yellow, which will affect its appearance and overall health. Too much water can also lead to rotting, especially if you keep the plant submerged in water, making it important to let the soil dry out before watering again. It will help to fertilize regularly when new growth emerges or during the springtime (March) with fertilizer safe for houseplants.
Green Hedge Bamboo
Green Hedge Bamboo (Pleioblastus simonii) has thin, narrow leaves that grow in dense clumps, making them ideal for hedges in landscaping projects. This variety can tolerate full sun to partial shade, but they need to be moist during summertime.
Yellow Groove Bamboo
Yellow Groove Bamboo ((Phyllostachys aureosulcata) has yellow canes with dark green foliage. Known for its upright growth habit, making it a great choice as an ornamental plant. It grows to 15 feet tall and 5 feet wide and prefers rich, moist soil that drains well.
Blue Shrimp Bamboo
Blue Shrimp Bamboo (Bambusa chungii) has light green, thin leaves which resemble grape leaves when young, but mature into a darker shade of green. This variety requires a lot of water, so frequent watering is necessary, especially when it’s hot out during the summer months. However, blue shrimp bamboo produces small bamboo shoots that are edible and used to make soups or boiled as vegetables in Asia.
Golden Hedge Bamboo
Golden Hedge Bamboo (Pleioblastus fortunei) has yellowish-green leaves and grows in dense clumps making it great for use as a privacy hedge. It can tolerate partial shade but is more suited for bright, indirect light and requires regular watering during wintertime when growth slows down.
Fountain Bamboo (Chimonobambusa quadrangularis ‘Spectabilis’) features thick culms with cream-colored stripes that grow up to 15 feet tall and 5 feet wide. This variety will produce small bamboo shoots that are edible and used to make soups or boiled as vegetables in Asia.
What is the best way to grow bamboo indoors?
One of the best ways to keep bamboo as a houseplant is by using a lucky bamboo plant. Lucky bamboos are grown in water, and you need to ensure that it has enough sunlight and change the water regularly so no algae will form. They require very little maintenance, which makes them suitable as houseplants, and they can also be grown outdoors if placed in shaded areas or during wintertime.
Phyllostachys species such as the Phyllostachys nigra (Black Bamboo) is an excellent choice for growing indoors because its culms turn black making it great as an ornamental plant. The Phyllostachys bambusoides (Fargesia murieliae) is another option that features dark green foliage and grows in well-drained soil.
If you want to make a bamboo plant feel at home, it is important to follow these simple steps:
- Make sure your lucky bamboo has enough sunlight
- Ensure that the water level is appropriate – do not allow it to dry out completely or soak it
- The floor of the container needs to have a drainage hole so the excess water can flow out. Also, if there is no drainage hole, find a saucer or tray that will fit underneath your container because that way you won’t be worrying about over-watering.