Grow Lush Bamboo in Pots

Bamboo is a beautiful, tough plant that can add a touch of a lush tropical vibe to any space. While bamboo is often associated with warmer places, it can actually be grown in almost any climate. And best of all, bamboo is very easy to care for.

In this blog post, I will show you how to grow bamboo in pots so that you can enjoy this lovely plant without any of the headaches.

I love the relaxed tropical look that bamboo brings to my back deck and in my garden. It grows fast and makes a great privacy screen. But because it can become a problem in the garden, I grow bamboo in pots.

Bamboo is a fast-growing plant that can reach heights of up to 60 feet (18 meters) in its natural habitat. However, when grown in pots, bamboo typically reaches heights of 6-12 feet (1.8-3.6 meters).

golden bamboo growing at the San Diego botanical gardens

There are two main types of bamboo: running bamboo and clumping bamboo. As their names suggest, running bamboo spreads rapidly through an underground system of roots while clumping bamboo grows in tight clusters.

Today I am going to share how I grow bamboo in containers to avoid what most folks dislike about bamboo and how I use it in the garden safely.

We will talk about:

  • Does bamboo grow well in pots?
  • How do you care for a potted bamboo?
  • How long can bamboo grow in pots?
  • Can you Grow Bamboo Indoors?

Does Bamboo Grow Well in Pots?

Yes, they grow exceptionally well and I have been growing them in pots for well over 10 years!

The first step in growing bamboo is to choose your pot. I have planted bamboo in smaller 1-gallon nursery pots when I am first dividing and giving away some to friends.

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But if you give your bamboo a larger-sized pot it will soon fill in and be big and beautiful. I like to use 5 gallons or larger. This gives the bamboo plenty of room to grow and really create a statement.

Once you’ve selected the perfect pot, partially fill it with high-quality potting soil and make sure the drainage holes are clear.

Plant your bamboo into the pot and fill it with more quality potting soil.

If I am going to put my potted bamboo out in the garden I make sure it has a catch tray. This creates a barrier between the pot and the soil.

bamboo growing in a large pot beside deck rail

If you do not create this barrier bamboo will send roots through the drainage holes of the pot and root into the ground. Since we are avoiding the problems that can occur with that we want to avoid it.

Potted Bamboo Care

Water your bamboo regularly, making sure to keep the soil moist but not soggy.

Bamboo loves sunlight, so place your pot in a location that receives full sun throughout the day. I have also grown bamboo in a shadier area and it does well, it just does not grow as fast as in the full sun.

In winter, you most likely will need to water your bamboo less frequently since cold weather slows the plant’s growth rate and the rains do the watering for you. There is a wide range of bamboo and the hardiness zones they grow in vary.

I am in zone 8 with cold, snowy winters and my bamboo weather it just fine. I just have to knock heavy snow off them when it piles up. When you get a bamboo check the tag for where it will be hardy for you.

You can bring bamboo into the house during the colder months if you need to. Just give it the brightest location possible.

Fertilize your bamboo once a month with a balanced fertilizer during the growing season (spring and summer).

Bamboo is relatively pest- and disease-free, but before bringing it into the house give it a quick shower with a high-pressure spray of water and treat with a triple action insecticidal soap.

close up of black bamboo at San Diego botanical gardens

How Long Can Bamboo live in pots?

Mine have lived for several years (10+) in containers but I do divide and repot as necessary. Clumping bamboo will grow slower than the running type even in containers.

Can you Grow Bamboo Indoors?

Yes, you can grow some varieties of bamboo indoors but they need a lot of bright light, humidity, and patience. It isn’t easy but it can be done.

Bamboo is a lovely addition to any patio, garden (in pots) or deck. With just a little bit of care, you can have beautiful bamboo plants to enjoy all year long.

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