Bamboo plants are undemanding and low maintenance, but neglect is the main cause of yellowing or curling leaves. This stress can result in losing your plants. In this article, you will find out How to maintain bamboo plants and revive them if the leaves turn yellow.
When working in the bamboo garden, you’ll need these hand tools.
Care for bamboo plants
Bamboo plants are undemanding and low maintenance. They do not need much attention all year round, but they’ll appreciate a bit of mulch and water once in a while.
The best time to attend to your bamboo plants is early in spring when the growth is prominent.
5 maintenance tasks you can do to care for your bamboo plants are:
- Add mulch
- Remove the old stems
- Prune the old branches
- Maintain bamboo barrier
- Add slug pallets to protect new shoots
If you have not built a bamboo barrier, check out the article which is packed full of practical tips for building and maintaining bamboo root barriers.
How often should I water my bamboo plants?
Bamboo water uptake requirement differs slightly from plant to plant. An established bamboo plant requires less water than the new plants, not the other way around.
Understandably, new bamboo plants will require moist and well-drained soil to establish themselves, whereas the old plants will tolerate dry soils.
If your bamboo plants are growing in fertile and well-aerated soil, you do not have to worry about giving water regularly, unless (of course) it’s very dry.
Here is a guide to the best soil for growing new bamboo plants.
Bamboo plants do not like dry, compacted soil
A well-established garden bamboo can thrive without water for months. Yet, bamboo plants that grow on compacted soils, such as the building sites, will require more water than those growing on loose soil.
Water any new plants and those growing on compacted soil regularly. Keep the soil moist but not waterlogged.
Though the roots, called rhizomes, do not run deep into the soil, they will tolerate dry soil but do not like compacted soil. A combination of hard and compacted soil is not ideal for bamboo plants.
The bamboo rhizomes will struggle to survive in compacted soil.
How often should I add mulch to my bamboo plants?
One of the important things that you can do when attending to bamboo is to add mulch to it.
As mentioned, the bamboo plants are low maintenance, yet they’ll benefit from the water and mulch.
Add mulch once a year.
The best time to add mulch is at the end of autumn or the beginning of spring.
If you are expecting a very cold winter, then add it at the end of autumn. This is an ideal time because you can rake the fallen leaves onto the bamboo grove, which will keep the soil reasonable warm.
Also, if you want new shoots to grow and give you a thick hedge or screen, add mulch to the bamboo late in spring.
Take a look at this YouTube video of how we added mulch in spring. The results were stunning. We got lots of new shoots in summer, see the image below.
When is the best time to maintain bamboo plants?
Bamboos are hardy plants. They like to rest in autumn and winter. The best time to maintain your bamboo plants is late spring.
This is when there is a lot of activity under the ground. Prune the plants by removing the dead branches and stems. Add mulch to the grove.
That’s all you can do.
Your efforts will be rewarded early in summer with lots of new shoots and a vibrant bamboo grove.
How to revive bamboo leaves turning yellow or curl?
The leaves of the bamboo plants are a good indicator of the plants’ health. The leaves will show signs of stress if they are not happy by turning yellow or curling.
Quick actions will stop the plants from dying completely.
The main causes of stress in bamboo plants are lack of nutrients in the soil or waterlogged soils. Others include temperature variation and insect and dust infestations. Here is a detailed article on how to revive bamboo leaves yellowing or curling.
My bamboo plants grow in shade, what can I do?
This is a question that we see appear many times in chats and forums. There is no need to worry about shade because most bamboo plants are shade tolerant.
Though some bamboo plants prefer 5 – 7 hours of light, most bamboo plants will thrive in shade and part shade.
As a general rule, you should plant the variegated, black bamboo, golden yellow bamboo, red bamboo and other coloured bamboo plants in sites where there is enough direct to indirect light.
The colours are often more prolific in the light than in the shade. Yet, the variegated and coloured bamboo plants will still do well in shade to part shade.
Maintain bamboo plants
All in all, maintain your bamboo plants and enjoy them for many years.
If your bamboo plants turn yellow, attend to them immediately. It can be hard to revive them when the leaves turn yellow and start falling off the stems.