Bamboo enjoys great popularity as an exotic giant grass. It can be kept both in the garden and in a container on the balcony or terrace. Important in the cultivation is regular fertilization. This is what you should pay attention to.
Regular fertilization of bamboo is essential if you want to enjoy the giant grass from the family of sweet grasses (Poaceae) for a long time. This is especially true for plants that are kept in tubs. But even if the bamboo is planted out as a screen, hedge or simply as a special eye-catcher in the garden, it needs consistent fertilizing.
The right fertilizer for bamboo
Sweet grasses like bamboo need adequate potassium and nitrogen to thrive and maintain their fresh green appearance. With regular applications of fertilizer, you can keep the giant grass healthy and ensure it grows lush and dense. To do this, use special bamboo fertilizer, available at specialty stores or garden centers. Whether in liquid form or as granules is up to you. You can also use long-term lawn fertilizer. The commercially available mixtures with nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium are ideal for fertilizing ornamental grasses such as bamboo. But be careful: the nitrogen content should not be too high. This reduces the frost hardiness of the plants.
If you like it more natural, you can also prepare a plant broth from nettles or comfrey to fertilize your bamboo. A mixture of horn meal/corn shavings and compost also provides the plants with nutrients very well.
If you have access to it, you can spread horse or cow manure on the beds towards the end of winter. However, it should be stored for at least half a year. Horse and cow manure contains a lot of nitrogen and is therefore very healthy for bamboo plants. Important: Over-fertilization leads to too high a concentration of salt in the soil and causes the leaves of the bamboo to burn and become straw-like. If this occurs, do not cut off the withered leaves immediately, but wait until the plant has shed them on its own and new leaves have formed.
The best time to fertilize
It is best to apply a layer of compost and horn meal about five centimeters high right at planting. Otherwise, bamboo is fertilized in the period from about April to August. Especially in gardens with potassium-poor soils, fertilizing with lawn autumn fertilizer in August helps the bamboo to become more frost-hardy and robust, because it contains plenty of potassium. Thus, the bamboo comes through the winter better. However, do not apply the fertilizer later than August, otherwise the new shoots will become soft and usually survive the winter temperatures worse.
Fertilize bamboo in a pot
Bamboo that is cultivated in a pot needs a particularly consistent supply of nutrients – otherwise it becomes susceptible to plant diseases. In addition to regular applications of fertilizer, also in the period from spring to summer, it has proven useful not to remove fallen leaves immediately, but to leave them on the substrate. They contain valuable ingredients such as silicon, which benefits the bamboo.