One of the exciting aspects of bamboo is that so many species make wonderful
bonsai. For instance, the Lucky Bamboo, also called Lotus Bamboo or Pachira is a
favorite among bonsai growers. In addition to making a beautiful choice for
bonsai, bamboo, especially “Lucky” Bamboo is also said to bring good fortune to
its owner. With this plant, you can plant a single stalk or 40, bundled up and
displayed. In either case, the bonsai is simply mesmerizing.
Other great species to consider for bonsai include Pseudosasa, Sasa,
Phylostachys, and Arundinaria. If you plant Bamboo as a bundle, what happens is
that rhizomes are produced that coil up in the bottom of the container. With
this, the soil is pushed up, meaning the rhizome must be cut back every year.
In most cases, Bamboo produces immature stems during the first year of growth.
Then the following year, the Bamboo reaches its full height and maturity. The
stems then last one to five seasons, which depends on the type of Bamboo being
grown. To keep your Bamboo bonsai healthy, it is important to have a succession
To maintain Bamboo, you want to provide it with dappled light and partial shade.
If kept outside, the Bamboo must have adequate protection from frost. As far as
watering, Bamboo enjoys moist soil. However, to avoid root rot, you want to make
sure the plant is never left standing in water. Then about every two weeks
during the spring, you would need to feed it fertilizer that is high in
nitrogen. In late spring and during the summer months, the Bamboo should be fed
to help build up strength for the long stems.
To prune Bamboo, you want to remove all the old leaves in the fall and winter.
Then occasionally, the stems would need to be thinned although you want to leave
a few alone. If you have a dwarf species of Bamboo, cut the stems back in early
spring prior to new growth appearing. For the larger Bamboo plants, peel back
the higher leaf sheaths to control height.
Bamboo can be propagated simply by dividing clumps in early spring just prior to
new growth. Then, repotting should be done every one to two years, using a good
but basic bonsai soil. Best of all, Bamboo is primarily trouble free. The only
problem is an infrequent slug, which can be controlled with an organic