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How fast does bamboo grow?

More than 1,000 different species of bamboo have been identified and some species grow faster than others, but all in all, bamboo is among the fastest growing plants in the world. And now you may be thinking: how fast does bamboo grow? Bamboo grows about one meter per day, with the exception of the Moso bamboo: it can grow as much as 1.20m in 24 hours. In addition, bamboo can be divided into two different types: proliferating and non-proliferating bamboo. But where and when does bamboo actually grow? And do you need to prune bamboo?

Where does bamboo grow?

Generally bamboo is known as a plant that grows in places like Southeast Asia, but in reality bamboo can grow anywhere. Depending on which species bamboo is trying to sprout, bamboo can grow in subtropical areas or in places as cold as Iowa.

Before cities expanded widely, bamboo grew on every continent except Antarctica and Europe. Southeast Asia is the most common place where bamboo grows, and the plant species has been growing there for millions of years. Even South America has native bamboo. More than five million acres of land in Cane Beak, located in southeastern America, was once covered with native bamboo. It was only during the migratory movements in the early 19th century that the growing bamboo was destroyed by settlers because the bamboo plant grew on land that they believed should be farmed.

Between 1,200 and 1,500 species of bamboo have been discovered around the world so far, growing depending on the climate the particular species can tolerate. There are bamboo species that can survive winter weather down to -6 degrees Celsius and still grow again in spring during normal germination periods. Typically, tall bamboo grows in places with tropical, subtropical or temperate weather climates. These are places like Southeast Asia, South America and the southeastern part of the United States. Some bamboo species are known to grow well indoors in less temperate parts of the world such as Europe.

Bamboo in the home

Bamboo is also an ideal plant for the garden or balcony. The woody grass can be used along the pond, as a hedge or in pots. Bamboo has unique growth characteristics compared to other plants. Because of its annual life cycle and because it is in full bloom in the spring, bamboo is an inexpensive plant to place in the garden.

The only problem sometimes experienced when planting bamboo in the garden is the plant’s rampant roots. These can grow so quickly that it is difficult to prevent the bamboo plant from taking over the entire garden or landscape. The rhizomes are also difficult to remove; usually the rhizomes must be dug up and then cut apart. Bamboo has a wide range, as evidenced by the vast amounts of bamboo forests still standing in Southeast Asia.

Do you need to prune bamboo?

When the bamboo plant reaches mature height after one to three years, it is advantageous to prune the bamboo once in a while. Pruning the bamboo plant prevents excess culms from taking up unnecessary space at the end of their life cycle. These culms usually last about ten years. Removing old and other unwanted culms helps encourage new growth and create space for new culms. Pruning is usually not necessary until the bamboo is established. This is usually after the third to fifth growing season. The time bamboo takes to establish depends on many factors such as the planting area, species, climate zone, water, sunlight and soil.

Pruning can be done almost year-round. However, it is not wise to prune during the growing season because of possible damage to new shoots. When the bamboo is pruned, however, at least one-third of the healthy bamboo culms must remain, otherwise the bamboo plant will be permanently affected. It is also possible to top the bamboo. When the bamboo is topped, the top portion of the bamboo plant is removed. Once topped, the bamboo plant will never grow vertically again. Once the bamboo is topped, it remains at the same height throughout its life cycle.

It is desirable to leave some viable stems and cut off only half an inch above the node when the bamboo is topped. Without these viable stems, no new stems can grow and the bamboo plant will not survive. It is usually best to leave three or more groups of culms for health and appearance. These tall bamboo culms will grow more leaves to compensate for the height loss. This gives the bamboo a very different appearance with a spiky “topping.

When does bamboo grow?

Bamboo reaches new height each year by growing new and larger shoots each spring. New shoots usually emerge from the ground between April and July and reach full height in about two to three months.

The reason bamboo grows so fast is that bamboo shoots have all the nutrients they need at a young age. Whereas a first young bamboo shoot has to fight for its place in the soil to get all the nutrients, subsequent bamboo shoots can use the network of underground roots. So it happens that from a small limp bamboo plant of proliferating species new and stronger bamboo plants grow several years later. Because of the vertically spreading rhizomes, a bamboo forest may be created entirely from only one underground bamboo rhizome.

Types of bamboo

There are two different types of bamboo: proliferating and non-proliferating bamboo. The above species is proliferating bamboo. This species spreads easily and quickly due to its vertical root system. The other category is non-growing bamboo. This species grows horizontally deep into the earth and clumps all the roots together. This variety of bamboo does not grow as fast as proliferating bamboo because the roots are not so much scattered but concentrated in one spot. Weedy bamboo can be considered ineradicable because it can take over a large area of land in a short period of time.

It is crucial to properly care for the bamboo plant in these early years to extend its life and help it grow quickly. First of all, proper care includes adequate watering. It is almost impossible to overwater bamboo, and on hot, dry days, a bamboo plant needs almost twice as much water as usual to grow fully. In addition, it is important to give the bamboo plant sufficient, preferably direct sunlight, and adequate nutrition. Bamboo likes to be in full sun.

Bamboo grows in different parts of the world, in many shapes and sizes. The bamboo plant can either fill entire bunches or be planted in small numbers in the garden. In order for bamboo to grow optimally in a home environment, it is important to prune bamboo helms once in a while, preferably after the growing season. How the bamboo grows depends on the species of bamboo, but usually bamboos reach their full height two to three months after they emerge from the ground in the spring. Shop our bamboo toilet paper here!