Planting and Maintenance
When receiving plants, remove from box and water immediately. The plants are ready for immediate planting. Do not plant your new plants in direct sunlight if the temperatures are above 90 degrees Fahrenheit. Keep container in a protected environment, morning sun only until temperatures drop. For larger plants we sometimes need to cut the culms to fit them in the box if it’s not possible to bend without breaking. Culms that are able to bend in the box will normally straighten in a few days. If plants are not going to be planted right away, keep them in a partly shaded area and keep moist.
Though there may be more than one culm in a container, it is still one plant and should not be divided before planting.
When planting, dig hole to the same depth and twice as wide as the container, also amend the soil below the root ball.
Mix compost or some type of organic material at a one to one ratio with existing soil.
Remove plant from container carefully, cut the pot away if necessary being careful not to cut the roots. You do not need to break roots apart before planting.
Place the plant in the hole so that the soil level matches at the top. Backfill hole and compress soil between the sides of the hole and the root ball, make a donut shaped depression around the plant and water deeply. Keep bamboo well watered, the soil should be moist but not soggy. If soil is well aerated and free draining, over watering is not a concern.
If planting in a container, choose a container large enough to allow a couple of inches around the root ball.
It is not necessary to fertilize your new plants for the first 6 months. Plants coming from our nursery have been given ample nutrients.
When planting in the ground, the most important time to fertilize is when the shoots are forming underground, depending on your location, normally February, March or April. Any lawn fertilizer will work fine but do not use weed and feed, only straight fertilizer. Composted manure is another more natural form of nutrients which works well for bamboo. You can then continue fertilizing periodically through out the growing season. It is best to use a high nitrogen fertilizer in the spring and summer ,then a high phosphorus and potassium with lower nitrogen in the fall.
Mulching helps prevent your bamboo from drying out too quickly and also protects it from clod weather. It is best to spread two or more inches of mulch around the plant and any area that you want it to grow. Commercial or homemade mulch works great, it is also good to use dried grass clippings which are high in nitrogen. Coposted manure can also be beneficial in protecting roots. It is best not to rake up the bamboo leaves that have fallen, these will help condition soil and keep it moist.
When to Plant
In mild climates, bamboo can be planted any time of the year. In colder climates it is best to plant in the spring. This will give them ample time to become established sufficiently to survive their first winter. If planted in the summer or fall they should be mulched heavily to help protect the root system. Over-wintering bamboo in your house is not recommended. Cold hardy bamboos need to go through a period of dormancy to thrive, and in some cases even survive.