The bamboo plant is becoming increasingly popular in homes and offices all over the U.S., mostly because of its connection to feng shui. As a result, a lot of people decide to grow it by themselves. In today’s article, we’re going to talk about the main aspects related to growing a bamboo plant, by providing you with 8 tips to help you grow your own.
Grow a Bamboo Plant at Home: 8 Useful Tips
1. Don’t Place It in Direct Sunlight
One of the most important things to know about the bamboo plant is that it doesn’t like direct sunlight. Since you can typically find it in the rainforest, it is used to the forest’s canopy filtering the sunlight, which is exactly what you should do as well. That is not to say that the bamboo plant doesn’t enjoy strong sunlight, because it does. Brightness is not an issue, as long as you keep the sunlight filtered.
If direct sunlight hits your plant for a long period of time, it will cause the leaves to scorch. In fact, this plant is able to tolerate shade much better than it can tolerate direct sunlight. So, if you want to keep it more in the shade, you’re free to do that. Just keep an eye on it and make sure it doesn’t start to stretch, or that the green of its leaves doesn’t start to fade. This is a sign that it needs more sunlight.
2. Water It Carefully
The bamboo plant has a complicated relationship with water. On the one hand, it can grow perfectly fine as long as you place it in a vase with an inch of water in and some pebbles that are meant to support it. On the other hand, it only thrives in a certain kind of water. If your tap water contains chlorine and other such chemicals, you shouldn’t use it for the bamboo plant.
Use distilled or bottled water instead. You can also use tap water, provided you allow it to sit for 24 hours until all the chlorine evaporates. In order to keep your bamboo plant healthy, we recommend changing the water every week. A good indicator of how healthy the plant is are its roots. If the roots are red, you shouldn’t panic. This is a sign the roots are healthy, and so is the plant.
3. Fertilize It Slightly
The great news about owning a bamboo plant is that you don’t have to fertilize it as often and as much as other plants. In fact, you only have to concern yourself with this every other month. For best results, use a liquid fertilizer. It doesn’t even have to be a strong one. A weak one is enough for your bamboo plant to get the nutrients it needs. Moreover, you only need to use one drop for a single bamboo plant. In case you were wondering, there are special fertilizers for bamboo plants that you can buy.
4. Place It in the Right Temperature
Temperature is also important when growing a bamboo plant, especially since this plant is used to a different type of climate. If you want to make sure your plant develops properly, keep it in a warm place, with temperatures ranging from 65 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit. Since it is recommended for the temperature to be constant, we advise you not to place your bamboo plant in front of heating vents (which would warm it up too much) or air conditioning (which would make the environment too cold).
5. Choose the Right Growing Medium
The truth is, there is no wrong growing medium when it comes to growing a bamboo plant. All the growing medium this plant can be grown in are equally as good for its development. For instance, as we’ve already mentioned, you can grow it in water (which is what most people choose to do). However, you can also use potting soil, as long as it’s rich and well-drained.
If you decide to choose water as a growing medium, it’s easier to tell how much water you should provide your bamboo plant with, since all you have to do is replace the water in the vase once a week. When it comes to growing it in potting soil, you should make sure the soil is constantly moist, which can be more work. At the same time, you have to avoid soaking it, because this would damage your plant.
6. Shape It Properly
What differentiates the bamboo plant from other houseplants is that most of its appeal lies in the intricate and unique shapes that you can trim it into. Luckily, shaping a bamboo plant is not the same as shaping a bonsai tree. For a bonsai tree, you need a lot of trimming and plant wire. For a bamboo plant, all you have to do is rotate the stalks in front of a light source. The plant will naturally follow the light and grow in that direction.
Now, even if this sounds simple, it’s a process that takes quite a bit of time, so you have to be patient. Not only do you have to rotate the plant constantly, but you should also monitor its growth so that you can tell how to rotate it next. In order to do that, you can use a three-sided box under which you place the bamboo plant. Then, slowly rotate the plant to help it take its shape.
7. Trim It Regularly
Trimming the bamboo plant is something you shouldn’t neglect because it can seriously affect its health. Usually, in time, the top part of the plant becomes too heavy. Furthermore, the interesting shapes the plant has taken will lose part of its form. This is why you need to trim the plant. Keep in mind never to cut the main stalk. Instead, use sterile snippers to cut the offshoots. Trimming them back will promote the growth of new shoots, which will make the plant bushier.
If on the contrary, your bamboo plant creates too many new growths and you want to get rid of some of them, the best way to do that is to dip the cut end in some paraffin. While dramatic changes aren’t recommended when it comes to trimming a bamboo plant, there are ways in which you can completely change the shape of your plant. For instance, you can cut an entire offshoot flush from the main stalk. This will create a tan scar, over which a new shoot may appear (but not necessarily). If you’re interested in propagating the bamboo plant, you should keep the shoots you’ve removed and replanted them.
8. Beware of Common Problems
Bamboo plants are not immune to health problems. This means that if you want yours to be healthy, you have to know a few things about the main issues that it can face and how you can recognize and treat them.
First of all, we’d like to once more underline the importance of the type of water you use. Avoid chlorinated water at all costs, since it will eventually kill your plant. Dirty water or water that contains bacteria can also kill it. If dead leaves fall into the water, you should remove them immediately. That’s because if they get a chance to rot there, they might give birth to bacteria.
If you use a clear vase, algae might grow inside of it, due to the exposure to light. If you notice algae in the water, take them out and replace the vase with an opaque one. The leaves of the bamboo plant say a lot about its health. If the leaves are yellow, that means the plant is getting either too much fertilizer or too much sun. If the leaves are brown, it means the air around the plant is too dry or polluted. Spraying the plants on a regular basis can help with that.
One of the worst things that can happen to a bamboo plant is for its stalks to rot. If this happens, you can’t save them, so you have to immediately remove them before they threaten the health of the other stalks around them. In terms of insects, the bamboo plant is pretty similar to other tropical plants that are grown indoors. This means the solution is the same as well. Either you pick the bugs off manually or use an insecticide especially designed for houseplants.
Summing Everything Up
Having a bamboo plant can really spruce up the look of your home, office, or any other space you decide to find for it. This plant isn’t only exceptionally beautiful, but it’s also a great plant for people who love feng shui. As we hope you were able to tell from today’s guide, the bamboo plant is not the easiest plant to take care of. At the same time, it isn’t extremely difficult to maintain either, as long as you keep in mind the tips above.
That being said, we want to leave you with this short video about the connection between bamboo and feng shui.