Skip to content

How to take care of bamboo plants?

Bamboo will require care and maintenance to grow well. In this article, we take a look at how you can nurture your bamboo plants, and when to attend to them and get the best results all year round. Let’s dive in.

Thinning bamboo

Bamboo thinning is absolutely necessary when the bamboo outgrows an area either in the garden or in the pot and container.

In addition, thinning running bamboo means reducing the number of culms and rhizomes by digging them out completely.

Thinning is important because sunlight will reach the inner part of a bamboo plant and promotes growth. Also, the young plant will do well when it does not have to compete with the older, more established plants among the stock.

The best time for thinning bamboo is early Spring, just before any new shoots from the previous year establish themselves.

It is important to note that thinning bamboo is likely to cause distress to the whole plant. To avoid any significant damage to the plant, cover it with access soil, add mulch and water.

Pruning bamboo

Pruning bamboo promotes growth and lets light into the bamboo. In this case, you do not have to take out part of the plant that is underground.

Pruning bamboo can be a quick task like removing the old culms and dry branches and trimming back the bamboo above the ground.

Always remove the culms close to the ground. Cut the at the first node just above the ground to promote new growth. If you do not want any new growth, you will have the thin the culms completely.

You can prune your bamboo at the time of the year, but any care and maintenance work on your bamboo is best done in Spring or Summer at the latest.

If you have a bamboo grove, you will definitely have a lot of bamboo sticks to use in the garden, come Summer. So, tidy the bamboo stick and prepare them for staking beans, flowers and any other plants that needed support in the garden.


Bamboo plants will grow thick and fast where there is well-drained soil with good moisture. It is also good to way add warmth and protect the bamboo from frost and frozen soil in Winter.

Mulching is important for the soil to retain moisture in Summer, promote new bamboo growth and preserve the plant from Winter’s cold. It also gives your garden a neat appearance.

The best mulch to use is bamboo leaves. They contain silica which is high in nitrogen and nutrients plants need. So rake the bamboo leaves and put them back onto the plant. Other options are grass cuttings, tree barks, dead leaves and small twigs.

You can add organic mulch as and when your bamboo needs it, but the ideal time for mulching is early in Spring or late in Autumn.

How to take care of bamboo plants?

Bamboo is a tough plant, however, there are measures that you should take to protect them.

Firstly, the new plants are prone to slug attacks. In fact, slugs love the new bamboo leaves and shoots. They can devour the plants in one visit, this happened to one of our new bamboos.

If you see any new growth, add Slug and Snail pellets to protect them.

Secondly, the tall bamboo and new shoots will require staking. This stem support encourages the shoots to grow upright and protect them from the wind. Staking the plants is important if you grow bamboo in pots or as windbreaks.

You can use bamboo sticks and garden rope to tie bamboo as they grow.

The ideal time to stake your bamboo is when the new growths are coming out. They will need this support.

Roots Barrier

Roots barrier is essential. Both the running bamboo and clumping bamboo will require some sort of barrier, either as raised beds, pots and containers or trench.

In addition, the running bamboo plants are invasive. Using roots barriers will definitely be a top priority.
Create a root barrier before planting running bamboo, unless you are growing them in a contained space.

If your bamboo does not have a root barrier, here are some places where you can get one. The plastic root barriers are formidable – strong enough to stop rhizomes from penetrating them.

Slugs and Snails Killer

Feeds and Fertilisers

Rhizomes/Roots Barrier

Heavy Duty Pots and Planters

When to attend to your bamboo plant?

The Bamboo plant is a perennial evergreen and retains its foliage all year round, including its culms, sheaths and branches.

In addition, its underground nodes, clumps, roots hairs and rhizomes will remain fresh though not much activity will take place in Winter.

Like other plants, bamboo growth is prominent in Spring and Summer when the weather warms up. There will be a lot of activities in the soil.

So, when is the best time to attend to your bamboos?

Early Spring is probably the best time to provide the basic care and maintenance for your bamboo plant. It is an ideal time for thinning, pruning, mulching and applying fertilisers.

What tools and materials do you need to care for bamboo?

Here are some tools and materials that you will need for thinning, pruning, mulching, and generally maintaining your bamboo.

  • Garden fork
  • Shovel
  • Pair of secateurs
  • Pair of garden loppers
  • Garden ropes
  • NPK fertilisers
  • Mulch
  • Roots barrier

Hand tools/Uses

Sales and offers (Available Now)

Wrecking bar: Provides leverage for removing tough rhizomes, roots or blocks.

DIY Hand Tools at B&Q online

Pickaxe: Dismantles rhizomes and clumps.

B&Q Offers

Handsaw/Loppers: Cuts culms to propagate.

Gardening Tool Offers

Sharp garden spade: Digs/cuts small rhizomes and roots, clears dirt.

Pedigree spade is ideal for narrow spaces.

Garden rake/hoe: Clears soil and dirt around the work area.

Specials and Offers

Pair of secateurs/garden loppers: Cuts large rhizomes and culms.

Check out the latest offers Loppers and Secateurs

Tips for taking care of bamboo

If you are planning to build root barriers or thin out the bamboo rhizomes and culms, do it in early Spring.

After attending to your bamboo, always add the access soil and mulch to the base of the bamboo plants, and tidy up the base of the bamboo before Summer to stimulate new growths.

Here are helpful tips for taking care of (and growing) bamboo plants.

1. How to take care of bamboo plants in pots and containers?
2. How to propagate bamboo from seeds and bamboo cuttings?
3. How to cut bamboo plants?

Learning or knowing how to take care of your bamboo plants in the garden or in pots and containers is vital.

All in all, thinning, pruning, mulching and protecting your bamboo are all significant aspects of bamboo care for better plants.

We hope this article helps you. Let us know what you think in the comment below.

4 thoughts on “How to take care of bamboo plants?”

  1. This excellent article – yes bamboo plants are low-maintenance but you have to watch them carefully. I agree if you do not plant them in the right location and use root barriers, they can run wild.

  2. Bamboo plants are generally undemanding and low maintenance. I agree with this article… it is better to grow bamboo in root barriers as this will stop them from spreading… prevention is better as when it spread, it just becomes too hard to contain.

  3. Thanks for the reminder that proper mulching is also essential to consider when taking care of bamboo. I want to look for a bamboo nursery soon because I’m thinking about finding a good way to make my lawn look a bit more interesting. Bamboos can also serve as an organic barrier at the border of my property.

    1. Hi Alice! I’m delighted that you found the reminder helpful. It sounds like you have some exciting plans ahead for your lawn, and bamboo can certainly add a unique and appealing touch to your landscape. If you have any more questions or need further guidance on your bamboo project, feel free to ask. I’m here to help in any way I can. Best of luck with your gardening endeavors!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *