Bamboos that can be found in adverse climatic conditions from cold mountains to hot tropical regions are perennial evergreen woody plants of the grass family Poaceae. Poaceae family has around 10,000 species and Bamboo consists of 91 genera and 1,000 species. Bamboos are present in a wide range of size, from small plants to large “Bamboo trees”. Growth habits of Bamboo are very different compared to other grass family plants. Due to a unique Rhizome dependent growth system, Bamboos are one of the fastest-growing woody plants in the world. The bamboo plant is a native of Southeast Asia and some parts of America.
The popularity of Bamboo Cultivation
Bamboo is a boon crop for cultivators in many parts of the world. It is even known as a ‘poor man’s timber’ for its commercially benefiting cultivation by the farmers. China is the largest cultivator of Bamboo plant in the world followed by India. Bamboo is a very popular plant among Asians. Asian people have been using Bamboo for more than thousands of years. It is commonly used as a substitute for wood, as a building material, consumed as food and considered a good nutritional source.
Bamboo Inside Our Homes
Many Bamboo plants are common in cultivation as garden plants. They’re fancied for growing in pots and containers as they give a marvellous look to the surroundings. Bamboos are also preferred to be used as a decorative plant inside our homes, in patios, in balconies and as office plants as well for the fact that they require less sunlight and water for their growth. Since Bamboo plants are easy to maintain, they are being promoted by people as house plants. Because Bamboo plants occupy less surface area and grow longer in height, they can be kept in narrow places like corner of the houses and narrow balconies too.
Types of Bamboo plants based on their Rhizomes
The root system of the Bamboo plant is quite impressive. Rhizomes are the characteristics feature of the Bamboo plant’s root system. These Rhizomes are divided into Pachymorph Rhizomes and Leptomorph Rhizomes.
These are the types of rhizomes that form the roots but also after a certain point, turns upward and form a new culm. The area of rhizome from which the roots arise is thick compared to the part which grows upward. New rhizomes then develop from the older rhizomes (mother rhizomes) and the process goes on. This type of Bamboo plant having a Pachymorphic rhizomes root system is called a Clumping Bamboo. This continuous growth of the new culm from the rhizomes ultimately leads to the formation of a clump and hence the name. These type of Bamboo plant appear to be multiple Bamboos growing together in a clump while it is just a single plant giving rise to multiple culms.
These kinds of Rhizomes also gives rise to the roots under the soil but they’re different from the Pachymorph rhizomes as these do not emerge out of the soil and continue to penetrate the soil horizontally. This leads to the damaging of any other plant’s roots that are grown in the vicinity of this Bamboo plant. This type of Bamboo having Leptomorph Rhizomes is known as running Bamboos. Running Bamboos utilizes all the space available to them and therefore are aggressive invaders.
Selecting the Right Kind of Bamboo
While selecting a Bamboo for your pot or container, there are few things that one must keep in mind.
- It is very essential to have the right information for the types of bamboo and their invasive qualities.
- The purpose of placing the Bamboo plant must be known. For example, if it is for a privacy screen, it is vital to know how much height a bamboo will achieve.
- The location of the placement of the Bamboo plant must be comprehended before selecting a Bamboo plant to know the amount of sunlight and fresh air that a specific type of Bamboo requires.
As studies above there are mainly two types of Bamboo plants based on their growth pattern, that is, Runners and Clumping Bamboos.
- Since Running Bamboos are invasive, they can be maintained in a small pot or container but will soon require repotting as they will root bound much sooner.
- Compared to this, the pot containing the Clumping Bamboo takes much longer time to root-bound as Clumping Bamboos are slow growers compared to vigorous growing roots of a Running Bamboo.
- Also, the Running Bamboos achieve a great height in less amount of time compared to the Clumping Bamboo which is slow growers.
- Both Running and Clumping Bamboos are preferred for growing in pots and containers but mainly Clumping Bamboos are favoured for their long-lasting nature since they do not require repotting as frequently as required by the Running Bamboos.
Height Achieved by the Bamboo in Pots and Containers
Pots and containers are limited in size and therefore the maximum height is never achieved by the Bamboo plants grown in pots and containers compared to those grown on the ground. The boundaries of the pots and containers limit the extension of the roots and hence the culms. The size of the stem of Bamboo plants grown in pots and containers is also thin compared to those grown on the ground.
Taking Care of the Potted Bamboo
The fact that Bamboo plants are planted in pots and containers for decorative purposes and sometimes as privacy screens, make them popular in our society day by day. But it is very important to know the details of the type of Bamboo, its growth habits and root types before selecting bamboo for growing in pots. At the same time, the selection of the right kind of pots or containers is also a crucial step.
- Since the Bamboo plants grow in a decent amount of height, for them not to get blown away by the wind, the pots and containers that are grounded and heavy must be brought and it must be broad than deep for the roots to spread equally.
- Watering the soil is also a very important step in taking care of a potted Bamboo plant. The Bamboo looks its best only when the soil is kept moist.
- The older stems must be cut from the base of the Bamboo in order for the newer ones to thrive their best. It helps the plant to take care of its newer stems and saves the amount of energy wasted to maintain the older ones.
- Nutrient-rich and well-draining potting soil must be chosen for the Bamboo plants.