Bamboo for Beginners

Here you will find some bamboo basics: basic botanical information, plant terminology, how bamboo grows, how to care for your bamboo, and other bits and pieces.  The links contained on this page are arranged by topic, so you can scan a collection of my blog articles by category, all on one page.  If you get to clicking links and get lost, just click on the “Bamboo for Beginners” tab at the top of the page to get back here.

Basic Botanical Stuff

What is bamboo and where does it grow?

Bamboo vs Wood

What’s in a Name?

Bamboo Impostors

Bamboo Morphology and Growth

Basic Bamboo Plant Parts I

Basic Bamboo Plant Parts II

Running vs. Clumping Bamboos

The Growth Cycle

Getting Started With Bamboo

Is Bamboo For You?

Selecting a Bamboo at the Nursery

When to Plant Bamboo

Where to Plant Bamboo

How to Plant Your Bamboo

Bamboo Care and Maintenance

How to Contain a Running Bamboo

How to Prune Dwarf and Shrub Bamboos

How to Prune Medium –  Timber Bamboos

{ 3 trackbacks }

Chusquea culeou – Chilean Feather Bamboo | Bamboo Bits and Pieces
September 6, 2009 at 1:16 pm
Bamboo Plant Care Basics
April 3, 2012 at 5:32 pm
Purpose Statement | Bamboo CO-OP
May 14, 2012 at 9:34 am

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Amber February 28, 2011 at 12:46 pm

I have found your blog inspiring. I live in the local area and would like to use bamboo as a privacy fence in a housing development. Also we have a septic tank near by. My husband is affraid the bamboo will take off into the neighbors yard and also our drainfield. Any suggestions? Thank you so much

philinshelton March 2, 2011 at 8:54 pm

If by “local” you mean western WA, I recommend Fargesia scabrida for your privacy screen. It’s my favorite of the clumping bamboos that do well here, and no, it shouldn’t be a problem with the drain field or the spreading to the neighbor’s yard.

Aaron May 3, 2011 at 9:59 pm

Wow, thanks! this is a perfect source for my botany research paper. It sure beats the confusing Wikipedia page. :S
i liked it so much that i had to leave a comment telling you. 😀

Jeremy G. August 24, 2011 at 4:42 am

I live in on the east coast of central Florida, and im wanting to plant a bamboo barrier in my back yard before they begin developing the townhomes behind my home. My back yard is only about 25′ deep so i dont think i want to plant “running” bamboo. Which type of bamboo would you recomend? Im thinking i would like a plant that would be 20′-30′ fully matured. Thanks for your time!

Blondie March 1, 2012 at 8:03 pm

In southern Maine I am thinking that Fargesia scabrida is the best bamboo to plant for screening from the neighbor. I have almost total shade there & understand that this bamboo is very shade tolerant & also prefers slightly acidic soil- which we have. There is morning sun but only indirect & for about 2-4 hrs depending on season. I absolutely need clumping since I cannot be there to contain & prune running species. Also on the river , they will not allow running bamboo. Any advice? Where can I buy it? I have combed the web looking for mail order or local nurseries & cannot find anything. Any ideas? Thanks

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M & C's Grandma April 12, 2014 at 2:09 pm

We just bought a neglected place & the last known occupancy of the property was 2004 or 2007. There is some bamboo looking stuff growing out of a plastic pot sitting next to a shed & all around are some pretty big, red “buds” peeking out of the ground. We cut off all the dead, dry canes & burned them with much popping & banging. What do you think we have?

philinshelton April 21, 2014 at 8:59 pm

From your description, it does indeed sound like you have bamboo…all that popping and banging when burned, is exactly what bamboo does. Beyond that, I couldn’t begin to guess at which type you have.

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