Bamboo is a woody grass and it's roots and rhizomes benefit greatly with a top dressing of mulch. Rhizomes are naturally attracted to loose topsoil and thrives when mulch is applied. Applying mulch to bamboo also has many great advantages.
During periods of high heat or drought, the mulch behaves like insulation, preventing valuable moisture from evaporating. In areas of severe winters, the insulating mulch prevents the roots and rhizomes from freezing. Depending on the material used, mulch can also help recycle nutrients back into the soil.
Some suitable mulch material can be bark or leaf mulch, manure, compost, chipped wood and sawdust.
Typically, 2" - 6" (5 - 15cm)of mulch is suffice for bamboo grown in the ground. In areas with severe winters, a 12" (30cm) deep layer of mulch is recommended. Bamboo in containers do not need much mulch unless if exposed to areas of severe heat, wind or cold.
In it's natural environment, fallen bamboo leaves create a natural mulch. The decomposing leaves also recycle useful nutrients, such as Nitrogen and Silica back into the soil.