Bamboo Bonsai Care guidelines
Bamboo should be kept outdoors, year-round. They are strong plants and can survive in most places, but more light usually means denser growth.
Use a mild and balanced fertilizer for basic plant health, speeding up growth is not our goal with this plant. Best is to fertilize the Bonsai bamboo during the entire growth season, usually from early spring til late fall.
Forget about wiring and focus all your attention to pruning. Regular pruning will aid in creating a more dense and delicate growth. The warmer your climate, the faster your Bonsai Bamboo will grow and hence the more pruning you will need to do. Some species of Bamboo grow incredibly fast, which means pruning becomes even more important to maintain the shape and size of your Bamboo forest. Continue reading about pruning Bonsai trees.
Most Bamboos grow roots rather fast, which means you might have to repot yearly. Check the root system in spring, when you see roots crawling around the inside of the container it is time to repot your Bamboo Bonsai tree. Use a well draining soil mixture, like Akadama, Pumica and Lava rock in equal parts. Continue reading about repotting Bonsai trees.
Most bamboos can be grown from cuttings quite easily. You might also be able to buy young bamboo plants in local nurseries. Again, try to get your hands on dwarf species which are most suitable for Bonsai purposes.
When healthy the Bamboo is a strong plant, not very susceptible to pests. With enough light and proper watering you should not experience too many problems with the health of your Bamboo bonsai. For more detailed information on these techniques, check out our Bonsai tree care section.
Bonsai forest at the Bonsai San show in France.
Bamboo bonsai in Baihuatan Park, Chengdu, China, photo by Felix Andrews.
Bamboo Bonsai tree by Swindon Bonsai.
A Bamboo forest Bonsai on display at the Bonsai San show. Photo by Mario Komsta.
Lucky Bamboo is in fact the Dracaena sanderiana - strictly speaking not a bamboo species.
General information about the Bamboo Bonsai tree
Bamboo is a diverse group of evergreen plants in the grass family - with internodal, hollow and very strong stems. Some species grow incredibly fast but there are plenty species that grow slower and hence are more useful for Bonsai purposes. When selecting a bamboo variety try to get a dwarf cultivar, like for example the Bambusa multiplex. You also want to make sure to select a 'clumping' bamboo rather than a 'running' bamboo. The growth of clumping bamboos (such as the Bambusa) is easier to control. If you need help identifying your tree, take a look at our Bonsai tree identification guide.