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Learn About Bamboo


Fertilizers for Bamboo

Bamboo plants bought at our nursery have been fertilized recently, so don’t worry about feeding your bamboo right away. After about 6 months however, you may want to supplement your soil fertility.

We sell the chemical fertilizers listed below as a convenience to our customers, but really, any fertilizers with similar n-p-k numbers are just fine. Follow the packaging directions to know how much and how often to apply them.

If you are growing bamboo in pots or planter boxes, (indoors or outdoors) a balanced, slow release fertilizer (such as Osmocote 16-16-16 for example) works well.

Ground plantings have different needs. During the spring and summer (March to September), high nitrogen fertilizers will promote above ground growth and green leaves (Turf Supreme 16-6-8, for example).  During the fall and winter (October to February), the task is to encourage the growth of roots and shoots, which is best accomplished with more p and k…. (Apex 6-24-24 for example).

Composted horse manure (ideally seed free) is the bamboo fertilizer of choice in Asia and is a great choice for fertilizing ground plantings. Every other year spread it about 4″ deep in late fall to allow time for nitrogen conversion and use during the rest of the year. For exceptionally tall growth, two applications per year may be used (early spring and late fall). During manure application years, additional chemical fertilizers are unnecessary. Use other manures if you have them available, but avoid nitrogen-hot ones, such as chicken and steer manure.

Here are directions for the fertilizers we carry:

Ground Plantings

Mar-Sep: Turf Supreme Fertilizer, 16-6-8. Use one cup per 64 sq. feet (8 oz per 8′ x 8′area), applied once a month.

Oct-Feb: Apex Fertilizer, 6-24-24.  Use two cups per 64 sq. ft. (8 oz per 8′ x 8′ area), applied every 6 weeks.

After plants in the ground reach the desired height & density, maintain with a high nitrogen fertilizer (as in 16-6-8) twice a year in March & June.

Container Plantings

Year-Round, Indoors or Outdoors: Apex or Osmocote Fertilizer, 14-14-14 or 16-16-16, four to six month slow-release. Apply the following amounts once every four to six months:

  • 1-gallon planter – 1 Tbsp
  • 5-gallon planter – 2 Tbsp
  • 15-gallon planter – ¼ Cup
  • 25-gallon planter – ½ Cup
  • 3′ x 3′ planter – 1 Cup