Garden bamboo plants have special properties and structural compositions that are beneficial to gardeners and homeowners. In this article, we discuss 10 benefits of bamboo plants, and in particular, the common bamboos that grow in the UK such as the Phyllostachys and Fargesia bamboos.
If you think bamboo plants are something that you can grow, you’ll find the 10 benefits useful.
Benefits of bamboo plants
The bamboos are evergreen, hardy and tolerant to pests and diseases, and come in different sizes, colours and shapes. Their leaves, culms and roots have been used as home remedies, stimulants, home décor and garden sticks.
The benefits and uses are unlimited!
1. Greenery all year round
Bamboos are evergreen. This is probably the most common benefit of bamboo plants, especially for garden hedges and natural privacy screens. The fact that they stay green all year round and are fast-growing makes them the best natural screens.
The foliage of the bamboos does not fall off in Autumn, even in very cold weather conditions. Some plants will remain green even at minus 20 degrees Celsius.
They are the best natural plants for screening unsightly features.
Bamboos you can grow for green cover all year round, hardy and tolerate very cold weather: Tall bamboo plants for garden hedging and privacy (multiple plants)
2. Stop topsoil erosion
There are two types of bamboo plants – running and clumping. Both bamboo plants have strong rooting systems composed of rhizomes, base buds and root hairs.
This network of underground roots are firm and can stabilise loose soil, stopping it from being washed away by running rain (or drain) water.
Bamboos you can grow for stopping topsoil erosion: Clumping bamboo plants (multiple)
3. Provide thick natural fence walls
Bamboo culms tend to grow in clusters, especially those of the clumping bamboos. They form thick walls and are good natural fences when planted close together. Note that the clumping bamboos do not spread like their running cousins.
Grow the clumping bamboo along the boundary for the natural wall fence.
Here is a comparison of running vs clumping bamboo for natural wall fences.
4. Edible bamboo shoots
Only a few bamboos are edible. You can grow them and enjoy the new shoots. Here are some edible bamboo plants that you can actually grow, harvest and eat.
Edible bamboos: Bamboo Phyllostachys Sulphurea Viridis and Phyllostachys flexuosa Sinuate Bamboo and Phyllostachys atrovaginata Incense Bamboo
5. Use bamboo leaves mulch
The leaves are a great source of Silica which is beneficial to plants. The mulch from the bamboo leaves can protect the plants from frost in Winter and preserve moisture in Summer.
The decomposing leaves are a source of fertiliser for the plants. The three bamboo plants below have broad and elongated leaves which can be pruned.
Best bamboo for mulch: Fargesia Robusta Wolong Broad Leaf Bamboo, Fargesia murielae Ivory Ibis clumping bamboo and Fargesia murielae Blue Lizard.
6. Bamboo sticks for garden and pot plants
One of the best things about growing bamboo is that you can use bamboo sticks for staking plants, garden frames and trellis to support creeping plants like the runner beans.
We covered the home and garden uses of bamboo sticks extensively in this article – take a look: Bamboo plants for sticks.
7. Use bamboo sheaths, branches and sticks for kids’ arts and crafts
Bamboo sheaths, branches and sticks are great for DIY arts and crafts because they are thin, tough and bendable. You can create any shape with them.
The uses are limitless, it depends on your creativity. For example, the bamboo sheaths can be cut to make windmills and the sticks used for making mini rafts (Here is a video of mini rafts we built out of bamboo sticks and had lots of fun with).
Adult supervision will be required when cutting the bamboo sheaths and sticks.
Bamboos you can grow for sheaths and sticks: Fargesia Blue Dragon Papyrifera Borinda and Fargesia Borinda Angustissima Frosty Bamboo
8. Used for making drinking water cups, mugs and storage tubes
The timber bamboo plants have a lot of uses, including some of the large varieties of Phyllostachys bamboo. The thick and hollow bamboo segments are perfect for making water storage like bamboo cups, mugs, and pencils storage.
Large timber bamboos: Timber Bamboo Phyllostachys Bambusoides and Moso Timber bamboo
9. Make musical wind instruments
Bamboo instruments have been used for thousands of years in ancient China and parts of the South Pacific region. They are great wind instruments and can be easily made from common bamboo that is common in the UK.
The bamboo flutes, bamboo harps and wind chimes are some examples. Our YouTube video shows the use of a bamboo harp in traditional storytelling in the Pacific.
Long internode and hollow culm bamboos: Phyllostachys Bissettii and Phyllostachys Vivax
10. Use bamboo to make grow pots and seed-trays
Bamboo pots and trays are eco-friendly substitutes for plastic seed pots and grow trays. They are reusable, you can use them for many years. They are also biodegradable and will break down within 3 – 5 years and turn into soil.
Here is a step-by-step guide for making your own bamboo seed propagators.
Giant timber bamboo plants for seed propagator pots and trays: Timber Bamboo Phyllostachys Bambusoides and Moso Timber bamboo
Benefits of bamboo plants: pros and cons
Apart from the 10 uses of bamboo, they have been used extensively to make tea, wine, beers, vinegar and many natural home remedies. However, there are special bamboos that are fit for these purposes, and not all bamboo plants are useful.
Some bamboos have little hairy spikes on the sheaths that can make skin itch. Many have tough culms that are razor sharp. Others are invasive.
And not all bamboos are edible.
Therefore, though there are many benefits of bamboo plants, you have to know what kind of bamboo you should grow. So, selecting the right bamboo plant to grow is the first thing to think about.
Common Phyllostachys and Fargesia bamboos
Here at GardenBambooPlants.com, we featured over 70 bamboo plants that thrive in the UK weather. The suggestions above will help you to find the right plant.
At gardenbambooplants.com, we feature these bamboos because they can grow in the warmer parts of the UK. We also know that bamboo seeds and cuttings are often hard to get.
One suggestion is to contact the plant’s nurseries, garden centres or online retailers and ask for the particular plants that you are looking for. You can also leave a message below to let us know about your requirements and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can.
Here are some renowned UK home and garden retailers which you can get bamboo and bamboo supplies from.
Bamboo Plants and Supplies
Fargesia Bamboo Plants
Black, Green & Yellow Bamboo Plants
Bamboo-based Eco Products
Best Hand Tools for Digging Bamboo
Phyllostachys Bamboo Plants
Conclusion (10 Benefits of bamboo plants)
The 10 benefits of bamboos are a guide to the uses of these unique plants. There are many uses and benefits of these plants. We compiled this list based on our work with bamboos. We hope that it will inspire you to be creative as you unravel the many benefits of these fantastic plants.
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I visited Thailand in 2009, bamboo is used in almost everything from building materials to arts and crafts…the use and benefits are limitless.
You can write a whole book about it! 🙂
A great list of benefits of bamboo plants is listed in this article.
One that also needed mentioning is the easy growth habits. With a suitable climate, any type’s reasonably well-drained fertile soil, and with less maintenance, it grows better. Also, as a perennial, it is arguably drought-tolerant making bamboo plants great indoor and outdoor plants.