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Calhoun County Gardening: Taming Bamboo – How One Gardener Turned an Invasive Threat into a Beautiful Potted Oasis

Garden Pottery Utilitarian & Arts

Calhoun County, AL –If you hear the rumor about bamboo being invasive, which it can be, consider potting bamboo. In 2018 I decided to get permission to stomp through a wooded bamboo grove near a creek. I was seeking 7 foot tall bamboo canes because the 12 foot root systems are deep and requires a lumber Jack type digging to get the roots out of the earth.  The farmers that own the massive grove said I would regret it! We laughed. However, I located the shorter canes. In an hour I managed to dig out two large bundles of rooted cane bamboo. I loaded the bundles on a pick up truck. The next issue was making sure my two giant seafoam green pots were deep enough. After researching on the computer that the wind blowing during storms could topple the younger bamboo canes, I devised a solution. I placed my twin pots exactly where they would stay for the life of the bamboo. I realized this project was not going to be a change of mind or relocation of the pots. I placed the twin pots in the full shade section of my shade garden. I used concrete blocks in the bottom of both twin pots, to weight the pots from toppling. I hoisted the cane bundles into these twin pots. I filled each pot with soil. I watered the pots heavily, to force air pockets out. The soil settled deep into the lower concrete blocks. I added additional soil, with a top dressing of a 4 inch layer of red lava rocks. I used wire to force the bamboo canes to stay together vertical until their roots in six months were stable. I watered the pots weekly until the first winter. Once established the bamboo only needs watering twice a month. Over five years later I am still enjoying those bamboo pots as decorative in my shade garden. They rarely grow new canes, and I can prune out the young flimsy canes to control how many canes I need per pot. This project voided any chance of invasive ground bamboo traveling into other areas unwanted. Consider the many types of bamboo available in nurseries or in the wilderness. I enjoy my potted bamboo!

Bamboo In Pots

Bamboo In Pots

Bamboo In Pots

Bamboo In Pots

Bamboo In Pots

Bamboo In Pots


Betty Clark is a contributing writer. She is an organic gardener since 1998. Signature flower she grows are Dahlias. She has a straw bale garden, raised bed garden, and in ground garden. Both her surnames are agricultural farming families (8 generations). Her hobbies include ancestry research, antiques, continued education classes, and workshops. She also has a background in marketing & promotions including expos. To contact Betty Clark with gardening questions: bettyclark2151959@gmail.com

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