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Soil For Bamboo

Bamboo is a very versatile plant and can grow in almost any soil type. However, having the ideal soils will encourage healthier root systems, promote accelerated growth and grow more attractive plants.

Bamboo grows best in soil that is aerated, light in structure and rich in organic nutrients. The soil should allow good drainage but still retain moisture. Bamboo grows best with ample water but the roots must not become soggy and waterlogged. Having soil that is constantly over saturated with water will suffocate the roots from air and can cause the roots to rot. So it is very important to have well drained soil.

If planting bamboo in the ground and the soil is heavy, it can always be improved. Sand or any other granular material can be mixed to improve drainage. If the soil is too sandy or light, then organic material such as compost can be mixed to help retain moisture.

Growing Bamboo On Raised Bed
Growing Bamboo On A Raised Bed

Bamboo is a shallow rooted plant, so any soil preparation need only be done to the first 20" (50cm) below the surface. If the area has poor drainage, tilling down to 24" (60cm) should remedy the situation.

Another solution for areas with poor drainage is to plant the bamboo on a raised bed 12" (30cm) above the surface. Planting bamboo on a raised bed is also an effective method of controlling bamboo spread. See Controlling Bamboo Spread.

Over time, the soil may become washed out and impoverished of nutrients. An annual top dressing of fertilizer, compost or rotted manure will help replenish the nutrients in the soil below. See Fertilizing Bamboo.