Bamboo, an evergreen plant that can be found growing in the woodlands of South and Central America as well as Africa and Asia. The Chinese see the Bamboo as a symbol of honesty, of eternal youth and Buddhist use Bamboo to help them achieve inner peace.
In our more modest climates (if you call -5 modest) we tend to grow Bamboo for fancy looking and expensive hedging, and in some cases as bonsai. So what varieties are available for your bonsai for inner peace.
- Bambusa multiplex (hedge bamboo). A half hardy species native to China, has fine stems with elongated mid-green leaves
- Bambusa ventricosa (Buddha’s belly bonsai) Named after the swollen internodes that appear on the canes. This is a tender plant that is native to south China.
Caring for your indoor Bamboo bonsai is not that difficult if you follow some basic guides.
Bamboo bonsai care guide
- The Container. A brown or reddish-brown deep pot is best suited. If your doing a group of Bamboo then use a flat bowl.
- Ventilation. Keep away from draughts, just as you would treat any tender household plant. Remember air-circulation is important as Aphids like the Bamboo delicious leaves.
- Sunlight. Needs plenty of light but keep away from direct sunlight as this can dry-out the pot too quickly and damage the growth.
- Temperature. Requires humid conditions throughout the year, with a min temperature of 18 deg Celsius.
- Maintenance. Remove any leaves that turn yellow and make sure to also remove any off shoots in the base of the plant.
- Growth. It is a fast growing plant in the spring, so keep an eye on the desired shape.
- Soil. Use a mixture of the following – 2 parts loam, 1 part sharp sand and 1 part leaf mould. These plants prefer damp to slightly damp soil.
- Watering. Water frequently and make sure the water penetrates to the roots. But don’t let the soil get waterlogged as the roots will drown.
- Misting. Mist daily if you can as Bamboos like humid conditions.
- Food. Feed using a slow-release organic fertilizer in spring and autumn.
- Pruning. Based on your desired shape this can vary.
So the above are some basic tips on maintaining your inner peace Bonsai. If you have ever grown a Bamboo bonsai, then share your experiences with us.