A customer wrote:
Hi Sherry, it was great meeting you and Ralph yesterday. Dianna was so right to get different varieties to plant around the property! The giant timber looks so cool.. I love it. We have a spot for every one of the bamboo we got and planted 3 of them last evening. I dug a huge wide and deep hole to plant the big bamboo and filled it with 2 large wheel barrels of mulch. Here is a pic of it.

I poked out the piece of dry bamboo and made a didgeridoo it sounds good but i think i need to get the tube cleaned out a little better to make it sound louder.

Thanks, Doug and Dianna

My response:
I'm glad it worked out so well. Remember that even after the bamboos are planted, you can always apply top dressings of organic matter (a good use for all of your horse's manure) around the bamboos. You will be seeing lots of new shoots emerge over the next few months so take pictures now when they're relatively small or you won't remember how they looked. Thank you for choosing Beautiful Bamboo and have fun watching your baby 'boos grow!


How fast does bamboo grow?

People are always asking us how quickly bamboo grows. Below are photos sent from customers in the Orlando area whose objective was to create a perimeter privacy barrier in front of existing fences. See for yourself how quickly a landscape can change less than a year after planting bamboo.

Green Hedge clumping bamboo (3-gallon size) planted 4' apart in May 2008.

11 months later...where did that fence go?

Same property - another location. Same type of bamboo, same size container planted the same distance apart.

11 months later - after only one growing season - the white fence is beginning to disappear behind a screen of green bamboo.


A visitor to our website writes:
Hello Sherry, I am working on a project in which the homeowner found your website and loves bamboo. She wants to use it along a chain link fence to block the neighbors unsightly landscape, the width between the chainlink fence and the house is only 6 ft wide, she would still like to use the area as a pathway from the front of the house to the back yard. Which variety do you recommend to use? The length of the fence to cover is 40 ft. How much would you recommend to use for this length as well?

My response:
I would suggest Graceful, a very upright growing clumping bamboo. In a 40' length she would need anywhere from 4 to 10 plants depending on how quickly she wants to form a solid hedge. If she went with 3-gal size plants planted 4' apart in enriched, irrigated soil the fenceline will be completely blocked by the end of the summer. If she went 8' to 10' apart, it would take two to three years worth of growth before a solid hedge formed. Graceful is a delicate looking bamboo with canes a bit over 1" in diameter that will grow about 25' tall at maturity. By the end of summer expect the 3-gal plants, which are now about 6' to 8' tall, to just about double in height.

From our webpage:

After only one growing season, these two Graceful bamboos planted 4' apart are now touching. When first planted, each bamboo only had one cane and were half as tall as they are now.

GRACEFUL BAMBOO Bambusa textilis gracilis

Can grow 20-25 feet with 1¼" diameter canes.

A very handsome plant with few branches on the lower part of mature culms so the beautiful canes are visible without pruning. Graceful Bamboo has a soft, gentle look that is never overpowering. It is an excellent choice for narrow spaces or smaller yards because of its upright growth pattern. Proven to be one of our most popular bamboos, Graceful works well in city as well as country settings.


See for yourself how fast bamboo grows!

The three Seabreeze clumping bamboos above were planted 5' apart in May 2008 from 3-gal size plants. The hedge is now approximately 14' tall. When the bamboos were first planted in May, each plant was about 6' tall and only had one cane. When they were planted, the three Seabreeze looked similar to the two Seabreeze on either side of the sign pictured below (click on image to make it larger and easier to see):

Keep in mind that the bamboos in the top photo have only gone through one growing season. As the weather warms this spring, summer and fall, many new shoots will emerge growing to be taller and larger diameters than the existing canes. By the winter of 2009 our demonstration hedge will have formed an even more solid wall of green than it already is. By the same time, the bamboos in the photo below (which were planted in January 2009) will have gone through one growing season and will look just like the hedge pictured in the top photo.

How much is too much fertilizer and mulch?

A customer in Orlando asks:
I’ve been reluctant to put down a lot of pine bark so as not to interfere with new canes coming up. Am I being too careful? Inasmuch as I planted the bamboo November 1, am I being too careful in waiting til May 1 to apply Dynamite again? I don’t want to over-fertilize.

My response:
About the Dynamite, there's no need to fertilize again until May since the beauty of a time-release formula is that it emits a slow but steady amount of fertilizer over a six month period. As for the mulch, you can place a light mulch around the plants at any time. The new shoots will push through the mulch with no trouble. As the plants mature, you can add a thicker coverage. Mulches help plants retain moisture while reducing competition from weeds and adding some nutrients to the soil.


When will my individual bamboo plants look like a hedge?

A customer writes: Hi Sherry, Back in the fall my husband and I purchased four clumping bamboo plants. We bought two green and two yellow thin stalk kinds that are supposed to grow about 20-30 feet. You said that by the end of the summer we will have our beautiful privacy bamboo fence. I am forwarding you two pictures of the bamboo. The two green ones have grown taller but are very spindly and have not branched out at all. The two yellow ones are full but have hardly grown any taller. None of the plants have had any new canes growing out from their center so there is much space between them. As you will see in the pictures we have a very unattractive view from our side back yard.

My response:
Thanks for the photos. It helps to see what you describe.

The main thing you have to realize is that plants bought in the autumn of 2008 have not yet have gone through their first season of above-ground growth. That's why you haven't seen any new canes yet. All autumn, winter and into the spring they have been establishing their roots in what hopefully was soil enriched with manure, compost, peat or our own Bamboo Booster mixture. From now through summer and into the early fall, the roots will be sending out new shoots. Those shoots will be this year's growth. The canes that emerge over the next few months will grow taller and be a larger diameter than the original canes in your photos. Assuming you irrigate regularly - especially during this very dry period when the bamboos need water to grow - by the end of this summer your bamboos will have many more taller, thicker canes and the area along your fence line will begin to look like the hedge you imagined last autumn.

To encourage more growth this summer now is an excellent time to apply top dressings of any or all of the following: Compost, manure, peat, topsoil. Mulch your plants with leaves, pine needles, wood chips, pine bark or, my favorite mulch - grass clippings. You can also add fertilizer around the plant base - we recommend Dynamite time-release but a regular formula will work too. The important thing is to give your plants food - fertilizer, soil amendments, mulch - so they can eat and grow. If you don't use Dynamite, look for a formula with high nitrogen, the first number, because bamboos are heavy feeders.

Now's also a good time to check your sprinklers to make sure the plants are getting adequate water. And be patient. If you do these things, by the end of summer you're existing bamboos will be surrounded by bunches of new larger, thicker, taller canes.