Category: Bamboo Basic

The bamboo orchid (Arundina graminifolia or Arundina barbusifolia) is the easiest orchid you will ever grow. This ornamental garden plant is native to tropical Asia and grows up to 8 feet tall. Before the plant reaches the blooming stage, it looks very much like a young bamboo plant. The ideal plant size for indoor growing should be 0.5-1.5 m high.


The orchid produces oval-shaped pinkish flowers sequentially at the top of tall cane during the summer period. The lower 2 sepals are pressed against the labellum while the top sepal is narrower and smaller than the 2 side petals.


There are two methods of propagation

· By dividing rhizomes(keikis and pseudobulbs)

Bamboo orchid propagates itself through keikis (small plantlets on the flower stems). They often develop along pseudobulbs (thickened stems at the base of each growth). When they reach the maturity stage, they are cut and potted. The most effective way of propagating orchids is by dividing them. Division should be done when they are ready for re-potting. Proper division is the best way of producing a clone of the parent plant. When keikis develop some roots, they are carefully cut and potted. The canes don’t always grow upright. They tend to tip over forming a major vegetative propagation strategy.

· Seed propagation

The orchid can also be propagated by seeds, but it’s somewhat difficult. Orchids produce tiny seeds which are quite hard to germinate. They lack the necessary nutrients needed for germination. Since it’s almost impossible to grow the seeds of the parent plant, the orchid can be grown through sterile laboratory flasks. Alternatively, you can grow them on your own if you keep the agar and flasks sterile. To sterilize the seeds, you should first soak them in dilute bleach solution. However, if are able to get orchid flasking service around your area, they can germinate the seeds for you.

Growth requirements

To grow the orchid, you should maintain temperatures at 22C (71F) – 30C (85F) during the day and 13C (55F) – 16C (60F) during the night. However, the plant can withstand mild freezes occasionally. The orchid plant thrives in a well-drained soil. Any temperature that’s reasonably comfortable on humans is going to be fine for the plant. The plant prefers full sun or at least partial sun. When growing indoors, it should be positioned in a place where it can receive temperatures between 60 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Humidity levels should be maintained at 70%. These plants are robust and can grow when given less attentive care.

Growing the orchid indoors

To grow the orchid indoors, you require three to five canes (a clump) and a 12-inch diameter pot. You can mix pot organic soil with sand. Bamboo orchid should be fertilized once a week from spring to fall. Mix a quarter teaspoon of fertilizer crystals into one gallon of water. Once in a while, you can move the plant outdoors. It’s recommended that you first introduce it to partial shade before exposing it to full sun. Keep the area around the plant humid.

Growing the orchid outdoors

Since the orchid prefers low humidity, it grows better outdoors than indoors. To grow the orchid outdoors, you should select a raised bed with full or partial sun. Mix the top soil with compost material and then add some organic fertilizer. The plants should be spaced 1 foot apart. Make sure the mulch does not touch the stem of the plant. Once the buds have bloomed, pruning is necessary.

The golden rule for bamboo orchid success is to duplicate the plant’s natural conditions as closely as possible. When in a controlled environment, it forms a delightful indoor plant.

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Dwarf bamboo varieties are easy to grow and come with unique features. They are much sought because of their versatility and ornamental capabilities. Most dwarf species feature 1 foot growth habit. Once they are fully established, they require little care and maintenance. However, they may require some serious attention when it comes to lighting conditions.

The dwarf species feature different growth habits and come in variety of colors. In addition, to ensure you’re able to control the shape and size of the bamboo, pruning should be done in autumn. Dwarf bamboos should be fertilized once every year and watered regularly.


One can trim the foliage according to his or her preferred height to make a fantastic privacy hedge. Similarly; the bamboo can be used as a wind break, sound barrier, ground cover, border plant or as a wood-lander. When planting dwarf species that are invasive in nature, it’s recommended that you leave a distance of 2 feet from one plant to another to allow the root system expand.

Most popular dwarf varieties

· Sasa pygmaea

It’s a fast growing aggressive spreader. This bamboo is ever green and comes with feathery dense clumps. It can grow in full or partial sun .Watering is usually done once in a week but may require more water in extreme heat conditions. It can be used to control soil erosion, since it forms an excellent ground cover. The bamboo is invasive in nature, so a root barrier maybe necessary. It’s mostly used in Asian and Japanese gardens to add beauty thanks to its unique texture.

· Dwarf Whitestripe bamboo (pleibblastis fortune)

It can grow in sunny and part-sunny conditions. However, the bamboo should not be exposed to the sun for more than 6 hours. This variety is capable of attaining 2 to 4 feet. On the other hand, it can be grown both indoors and outdoors. It features bold white-on-green variegated leaves. Before it sends up new shoots, the foliage should be clipped back to the ground level.

· Dwarf fernleaf bamboo (Pleioblastus distichus)

It’s one of the smallest bamboo varieties. The distinctive feature of this bamboo is its roughness. It prefers part-sun or sunny conditions.This bamboo can be grown indoors or outdoors and can attain a maximum height of 2 feet.

How to grow dwarf bamboo in containers

First, select a container based on the size of the plant. Make some drainage holes and place some pebbles at the bottom. Mix top soil with compost, then put into the container.

Secondly, transplant the plant from the original pot into the container then sprinkle some water immediately.

Thirdly, provide some shade to prevent water evaporation. Frequent watering is required on daily basis until the plant is fully established. Most dwarf varieties require moist, well-drained soil. During this period, ensure you apply dilute nitrogenous fertilizers to your plant.


During autumn, you should remove the top 6 inches using a pruning saw. Due to the aggressive nature of dwarf varieties, pruning should be done twice every year. This should go together with ground mowing. With time, the stems age and are replaced with shoots. Periodic pruning ensures the plant look healthy.

When planting dwarf bamboo, it’s recommended that you follow the planting guide to achieve the best results.


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Giant Bamboo:

A giant bamboo can grow up to 100 feet high. For most species, the girth measures 7 inches in diameter. Some of the most common giant bamboos include Moso bamboo (Phyllostachys edulis), phyllostachys nigra and Japanese timber bamboo (Phyllostachys bambusoides). If you want to yield massive plants in your garden in just a few years, you must be sure you are growing the correct species. The shoots are used as ingredient in many Asian dishes.

Moso bamboo (Phyllostachys edulis)

It’s one of the most sought timber bamboo in the world. Phyllostachys edulis holds a central role in Japanese culture. It’s used as food and construction material. This giant bamboo is capable of attaining a maximum height of 15 meters with a culm diameter of 20 cm. The culms can mature in two seasons .On the other hand, the rhizomes can extend in all directions taking over a large area once it’s fully established. This makes the bamboo a running species. The flowering cycle for Moso is unpredictable but is likely to occur in every 50 to 100 years.

Giant black bamboo- phyllostachys nigra

It features feathery green leaves and jet black culms. The bamboo will grow 2 inches in diameter and attain a maximum height of 25 feet in average climates. It should be grown in rich topsoil. Further, the plants should be well spaced. When phyllostachys nigra is grown in poorly drained soil; thin, weepy culms are produced. The soil should be kept moist but not soggy until the plant is fully established. Giant black bamboo is used as a decorative wood since it retains mottled colors when dried.

How to plant Moso bamboo seeds

Soak the seeds in a container full of water for at least one day. Place the soaked seeds in a paper towel then wrap the entire container. It’s recommended that you place the container in a warm place but not necessarily in sunlight. After a few days, the seeds will sprout .Pot them in a soil container once they are one inch long, then wrap them with saran until the leaves appear. Wrap them off and make sure they don’t dry out. Spray the plants to keep moist and put them in the sun.

Growth of giant bamboo

Most giant bamboo species can grow up to 40 inches within 24 hours. Similarly, the cane can reach its maximum height within one season. During the spring period, the soft shoots emerge from the soil. They are yellow, purple, brown or reddish in color. The culm is usually protected by sheath but sheds off as the bamboo grows taller.

Uses of giant bamboo species

Today, giant bamboo is becoming increasingly popular in United States for construction purposes. It’s versatile and can be used in a number of applications. In china, it’s used as plywood and as a flooring material. Bamboo has become a viable alternative to particle board and MDF. Bamboo flooring is durable and a perfect alternative to traditional hardwood floors. In Asia, it’s used for scaffolding and constructing small bridges.

Where to buy giant bamboo

Giant bamboo is available in a number of suppliers both locally and online. It’s recommended that you buy from a nursery that manages commercial production or from a dealer who has extensive knowledge on giant bamboo species.

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Many people are faced with the challenge of finding bamboo plants that are reasonably priced. A good seller should match customers with plants that suit their needs. He should also operate with honesty and integrity.

Where do you buy cheap bamboo plants?

· Websites/online retailers

The best place to begin your search is online. There are thousands of bamboo nurseries to choose from. A good online nursery should serve the retail, wholesale and mail order markets. Similarly, it should have diverse bamboo collection. Your task will be to compare the bamboo species you are looking for, then request for a quote. You can also contact the seller to negotiate the price.

If you want to buy cheap bamboo plants on wholesale, you have to meet the minimum quantity orders. When shopping online you will not be limited to bamboo species you are looking for. To ensure you select the best plants, you should follow the advice given by the support team. On the other hand, you must check the descriptions of each bamboo species and then compare with the pictures provided.

· Visiting a local nursery

When you visit a local nursery, you will be able to familiarize yourself with care and maintenance tips of the bamboo varieties you with to purchase. However, a visit to your local nursery can be time consuming.

How to choose a nursery that offers cheap bamboo plants

· How long has the nursery/seller been in operation?

It’s recommended that you choose sellers who have been in existence for at least 5 years. However, you can opt to go to those that have operated for a few years if they are selling high quality, cheap bamboo plants.

· Customer reviews

This is the first thing you should check before you place any order online. What are other customers saying about the plants? The idea is to look for positive comments for other buyers. This will help you determine if you are dealing with a reputable seller.

Examples of some cheap bamboo plants you are likely to find online

· Phyllostachys nuda

This is also referred to as the stone bamboo. It features dark red to purple new culms. Phyllostachys nuda is hardy in cold temperatures down to -20 degree F.The plant is 1 to 2 feet tall and is about 1 to 2 years old. It can be used for erosion control or as a privacy screen.

· Phyllostachys nigra (Black’ bamboo)

This is a hardy bamboo capable of withstanding temperatures to 5 degree F .It’s suitable for climate Zones 7-9.The canes are green in color but will turn ebony black as the plant grows. When the plant matures, it will grow up to 30 feet high. It’s well known for its ornamental beauty and can be used as a privacy screen. The plants are 3 to 4 feet tall.

· Phyllostachys Rubromarginata (Red Margin Bamboo)

It’s one of the fastest growing screening bamboos. The bamboo thrives in colder climate zones and has the ability to withstand cold dry winds. It features beautiful green canes with long nodes. The shoots are edible while the canes are highly sort for art work. The plants are 2 to 3 feet tall.

When buying cheap bamboo plants online, you should be assured only quality bamboo plants arrive at your door.

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Bamboo Varieties:

If you are a landscaping enthusiast, you should know the botanical difference that exists between the various bamboo varieties. Bamboo can be categorized into two; the cold-hardy type and warmer climate type. This can be narrowed down to running and clumping varieties. To know the varieties that best fits your area, you should know the lowest temperature in your area during the winter season.

Cold-hardy types

These are cold tolerant bamboos capable of adding beauty to your landscape in partial or full shaded areas. The bamboo varieties in this category can be used to create evergreen hedges and privacy screens. Some can withstand temperatures as low as -20 degree F. Let’s look at the best varieties in each category;

Running bamboo varieties for cold-hardy climates

· Phyllostachys Aurea (Golden Bamboo)

This is an evergreen bamboo that features thick foliage. It’s best used as a sound barrier and is extensively preferred as a privacy screen. The bamboo becomes less aggressive in cold climates but grows fast in hot climates. It can grow in temperatures below 5 degree F. When grown in the right conditions, it can reach a maximum height of 30 feet.

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· Phyllostachys nigra (Black bamboo)

It features feathery green leaves and black culms. Mature black bamboos have culms that measure 2 inches in diameter. The plant is capable of growing up to 35 feet high. When the bamboo is grown in poor soil, it tends to grow in a cluster. However, when grown in well drained fertile soil, it spreads vigorously.

· Phyllostachys rubromarginata (Red margin bamboo)

It grows well in extreme cold-hardy areas. The bamboo can survive at temperatures of -5 degree F to -10 degree F.

Clumping bamboo varieties for cold-hardy climates

· Fargesia Murielae (umbrella bamboo)

This is a hardy bamboo suited for cold climates. It’s known as one of the most beautiful bamboos. The bamboo can reach a height of 3 to 4 meters. Further, it can tolerate temperatures below -20 degree F. The umbrella bamboo is wind resistant, hence most suitable for screening.

· Bashania Fargesii (Chinese mountain bamboo)

It’s native to central china. The bamboo features dark green leaves. It thrives well in moist fertile soils. The culm diameter is 6 cm and can attain a height of 8 meters.

Warm climate types

Clumping varieties for warm climates

· Bambusa multiplex (Silverstripe bamboo)

This bamboo cannot thrive in temperatures below 12 degree F. The culms measure 3cm in diameter and can attain a maximum height of 4 feet. Due to its tolerance in warm areas, it works as a hedge.

· Bambusa multiplex riviereorum (Chinese goddess bamboo)

It features fern-like leaves and is mostly used for hedging. The culm diameter is 1 cm.The bamboo is capable of growing up to 3 m high. It grows well in an area with full or partial sun.

Running variety for warm climates

· Phyllostachys Bambusoides (Giant Japanese Timber)

This is one of the famous bamboo varieties thanks to its excellent wood quality. It grows well in warm climates. The bamboo cannot survive in temperatures below 5 degree F. When exposed to full sun, it will develop thick culms and attain a height of 72 feet.

The above bamboo varieties can be used to enhance the look of your garden.

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