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Top 6 best bamboo for containers and pots
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If you are a fan of bamboo and looking for a way to plant in a smaller, contained fashion, you can find varieties that can be well grown in containers. Bamboo roots as you probably know can break even the strongest pots but try and plant in a good strong pot, metal containers are perfect long term and remember to drill plenty of drainage holes if needed and crockery in the bottom.
In terms of compost, bamboo, like lots of nourishment, we this in mind get your self a bag of potting compost and mix this with a bag of soil improver as your bamboo will be better for it and remember to water regularly as bamboo will start to show signs of being dry very quickly. Now that we have what to plant it in sorted, let’s look at some of the best bamboos for pots starting which Fargesia nitida.
Fargesia nitida (Chinese fountain bamboo)
Otherwise known as the blue fountain bamboo, this type of bamboo reaches between 3-4 metres at its maximum height so needs a large heavy pot to keep it upright. It differs from other varieties as it forms in an umbrella shape. It is a very hardy bamboo variety with leaves that take on an iridescence only adding to the appeal of the plant. When grown together it will produce a large umbrella of tall, thin canes with leaves that lean outward and upward. Also though it can be grown in exposed sites we recommend growing it in a sheltered area when grown in pots to stop it getting blown over. It also grows well in full sun or partial shade. It will benefit from being feed monthly during the growing season with a balanced fertiliser.
Phyllostachys nigra (Black bamboo)
This black bamboo is a stunning specimen with jet black mature stems and green leaves, as well as delightfully colourful canes that are rife with black and yellow. Such a variety is one of the most sought after varieties that can reach up to 4 metres in height so if another variety that needs a large heavy pot. There is always delightful contrast of the dark and light colours not just on the canes but on the leaves. Although it does well in poor soil we still recommend a mixture of potting compost and soil improver. We particularly like that it grows in tight clusters. For decorative woodworking, these canes can be dried and integrated into the home. Don’t forget that this variety needs to be planted in a sheltered position even for those who don’t grow it in a pot.
Phyllostachys flexuosa (Sinuate bamboo)
This spring beauty will produce canes upwards of 10cm in thickness and heights of 4 metres. The canes are smaller than other bamboo varieties and take on a yellow-reddish maroon colour before turning back. It produces yellow and yellow-green culms and does benefit from cutting back after flowering.
Semiarundinaria fastuosa (Narihira bamboo)
This green temple bamboo is also known as Narihira bamboo is one of the largest bamboos but they can be somewhat controlled when grown in pots. With a height upwards of 10 metres but usually a manageable 4 meters in containers. It grows well in shade or sun and brings to the table dark green cane and leaves. It will spread quickly too resulting in short branches which form in a columnar design which looks amazing in a pot. If you grow this bamboo be sure to prune it and thin it regularly so that it doesn’t grow out of control.
Fargesia murieliae ‘Rufa’ (Umbrella bamboo)
This evergreen bamboo is a fully hardy bamboo that enjoys the partial shade. It does well in all soil types and pH levels but stick to what we have advised when growing in pots with a good mix of potting compost and soil improver. It’s also ideal for planting in large troughs and used as a hedge or screen. If you are looking for something unique, this variety has shrimp pink canes when producing new growth that matures to yellow and narrow green leaves atop.
Phyllostachys vivax Aureocaulis (Golden chinese timber bamboo)
If you are looking for an illuminating piece of sunshine in your garden, you want to grow this bamboo. With its bright golden yellow canes, lined with hints of green stripes each cane grows up to 8 metres tall and 15cm wide. This is truly a majestic bamboo that offers culms dotted with green strips of various thicknesses and it will enjoy the sunniest part of your garden.
With each of these varieties listed above, you can contain the growth with regular pruning and thinning. While there are maximum heights listed for these, it will take them upwards of 10-15 years to reach that point and they are usually very restricted when grown in pots anyway. In the interim, you can cut them back and maintain the shape/size that you want.