Bamboo Bonsai


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.


3 comments » Write a comment

  1. I never would have thought that bamboo could be used for bonsai. How do you limit it’s growth? Does it need tending more frequently than other trees?

  2. I’ve always grown my bamboo in water, not in soil.

    Also, I think it is important to mention that distilled water works best. We live in the country and have our own well. The hard mineral water really doesn’t work well wit the bamboo.

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