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by Gib Cooper

The plants you have received are ready for immediate planting. If they are not planted right away, please keep them in a shady area and make sure they do not dry out. Don't keep them waiting for more than a few hours after unboxing. Unwrap carefully. Avoid breaking tender, new shoots.

To plant, follow these instructions:

    1. Dig a hole as deep as the container and twice as wide.
    2. Mix compost with the excavated dirt at a one to one ratio. Discard the excess dirt.
    3. Carefully remove the bamboo plant from the container. Be careful with new emerging bamboo shoots, these are very tender.
    4. Place the plant in the hole so that the soil levels match at the top. Back fill the hole and tamp the dirt/compost mix tightly between the root ball and the sides of the hole.
    5. Build a 'donut' shaped depression around the plant and water until deeply soaked.
    6. It is important to make sure the bamboo does not dry out during the first summer after planting. The signs of drying out are apparent when the bamboo leaves roll up like cigarette papers and become very narrow looking. A 3-4" mulch of wood chips, bark, or hay is desirable.

For planting in containers:

Use container large enough to have a space at least two inches between the edge of the root ball and the side of the container. Squatty tub like containers are better than tall deep ones.

Fertilizing the bamboo is simple. Mix a slow release fertilizer like Osmocote 28-14-14 into the soil. If this is not available a soluble fertilizer such as Miracle Grow will do quite nicely. Another method is to use lawn fertilizer. Of course bamboo just loves a top dressing of manure, just don't over doo it! The rule of thumb is to use high nitrogen fertilizers for Spring and Summer and then go to a high phosphorus and potassium and lower the nitrogen for the Fall.

The key to keeping the bamboo beautiful is in how one prunes and grooms.
Remember that the bamboo culms (canes) are one of its attributes. Other than the dwarf species, the culms should be exposed for admiration. The older culms need to be thinned out each year and the spaces between them kept even and open.

The running bamboos are spreaders.
These species need room to grow. Don't plant them in tiny spaces unless a root barrier is installed. A 25' X 25' space is necessary to allow for free growth. Our root barrier is installed by trenching a perimeter 30" deep around the planting area and then placing on vertical edge our 40 mil. plastic barrier. Try to only have one seam. The seam is pop riveted, taped, or bolted shut. If the trenching seems excessive it is recommended to rent a Ditch Witch type trencher to do the job.

Watering tips for dry Summer climate
If the climate is dry in the Summer, an effective barrier can be accomplished through drip irrigation and watering only the center of the plant.

Spacing plants
Space dwarf bamboos 3' apart, shrub size 6', tall shrub sizes 10' and timber sizes 15' to 25' apart. Good luck and ichi-ban bamboo growing!

Click here to go to the next page: The World of Bamboo

P.S. I would be glad to discuss any other questions with you. My telephone and answering machine is (541) 425-5177.