Bamboos are happiest in a loose, loamy soil. When planting, dig a hole double the diameter of the existing root ball, and a few inches deeper. With the soil that comes out of the hole, mix an equal amount of organic material (planting mix or mulch). Place some of the mixed soil in the bottom of the hole and tamp it down, so that when the root ball is carefully removed from the container and placed in the hole, the top of the root ball is at ground level. Back fill around the root ball with the soil mix, tamp it down, then form a 3-4" high basin around the plant to hold water. Steer or chicken manure can be used sparingly as part of the soil mix, as long as the other organic material is used. Mist the leaves to insure the plant does not shock.
Water the rootball of the plant deeply before planting and then water 3-4 times per week, depending on the weather, for the first month. Summer watering; four times a week and cooler weather; two or three times a week. If the sides of the leaves start curling up, it is not being watered often enough or for too short a time. In addition to watering the plant, spray leaves with water, several times per day, for the first week to minimize shock.
Bamboo is part of the grass family and likes a high nitrogen (N) fertilizer like that used on lawns. Fertilize as recommended for grass by the manufacturer. Do not fertilize in the first month after planting.
Generally bamboos are pretty much pest free. Some varieties of clumping bamboo (particularly multiplex species) may get mealy bug (white cottony splotches) and resulting black sooty fungus. Treat with Orthonex. Occasionally bamboos will show evidence of mites (bleached looking spots with small webs on the underside of leaves), and aphids (small, white, tan, or green insects). Treat them with an insecticide spray.
Bamboos will thrive if they have a 2-4" layer of mulch around the base of the plant. Let fallen leaves remain on the ground, and once a year add other organic material - mulch or planting mix.
Every year or two it is a good idea to thin out the dead culms (stalks or canes) in the center of a clump. This will allow better air circulation and faster growth of the newer culms. You can reduce the height of bamboo by cutting the taller culms above a node. To even out the appearance of the clump, you can also cut back the side branches.
Please see our Frequently Asked Questions for more care tips.