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  Greentop - Planting & Care



Bamboos are a giant, woody, evergreen grass. They prefer a soil neutral in pH much like other members of the grass family. They appreciate a well drained humus soil rich in organic matter. We recommend the generous use of organic materials high in nitrogen. Well-composted cow or horse manure (2 years old) is an excellent soil additive or fall fertilizer and mulch.

  • Dig the hole 2 times the root ball diameter and 1.5 times the depth of the root ball. Add 6” of well composted manure beneath the root ball as a planting base to feed the bamboo.
  • Make sure the bamboo is at the same planting depth as it was in the container.
  • Use a soil mix around the base of the bamboo of 2 parts topsoil, 1 part well-composted cow or horse manure, and 1 part compost or peat moss.
  • Build a soil water retention ring just outside the planting hole.
  • After planting water deeply to remove air pockets. Water again to fill the water ring.
  • Mulch with 3” of pine bark or composted manure.
  • Water on a weekly basis or as environmental conditions dictate.

During the first year, watering is critical to a successful planting. When you water, water deeply! The amount and frequency of watering depends upon exposure to wind and sun as well as temperature. Do not let your plants dry out during their first year. Leaf curling indicates plant stress and a need for water. Some plantings require daily watering while others may need less frequent watering.


We do not recommend the application of commercial fertilizers during the first year. Well-composted cow or horse manure is rich in nutrients and the best source of organic matter for your bamboos. Do not use dehydrated manure. After the first year, when your bamboo is established, commercial fertilizers can be used if desired. As a member of the grass family, bamboos appreciate a fertilizer high in nitrogen. We suggest two applications of 50% organic 10-6-4 fertilizer, once in April and again in June. One application of 50% organic 5-10-5 in September will stimulate root growth. If you are using soluble fertilizer, apply every month during the growing season (April through September) to provide adequate nutrients for your plants.


Most bamboos remain evergreen throughout the winter. The foliage of some will “beige” to a degree in temperate areas depending upon the severity of the weather, exposure, and degree of winter protection. Bamboo planted in marginally hardy areas, or where exposed to a high wind-chill factor, will often die back to the ground but are usually root-hardy and will send out culms in May or June.

  • Adequate mulching is most important for winter protection of your plants – a 4” to 6” layer of well-composted manure, or pine bark mulch is recommended for the first two years. Add 2” each year thereafter.
  • Anti-desiccant spray applied to the foliage is a good way to prevent damage from drying winter winds.
  • In extreme cold winter conditions, bamboos may be bent over out of the wind and covered with over-wintering fabric or pine boughs to prevent desiccation.