How to Care for an Indoor Bamboo Plant

Two Methods:Getting Started with BambooCaring for Your Indoor Bamboo

The addition of bamboo to your houseplant collection will bring a certain "wow" factor. Aside from their striking appearance, true bamboos plants can be quite tricky to grow indoors and require particular care in order to maintain a healthy appearance. This article will teach you how to care for a bamboo plant of your own.

Method 1
Getting Started with Bamboo

  1. Image titled Care for an Indoor Bamboo Plant Step 1
    Learn about and select a type of bamboo. Put simply, there are over 1,000 true species of bamboo. They are adapted to a diverse number of environments, and you cannot assume that what is good for one species is good for all. Identify what you are able to provide in your home and make a selection based on the qualities of the plant.[1][2] In particular, you should think about the amount of sunlight required, the degree to which the plant is sensitive to moisture changes, and the plant's rate of growth. Here is a description of a few sample species to demonstrate the diversity of bamboo.
    • Red margin bamboo (Phyllostachys Rubromarginata) is a species that does best when kept wet but out of direct sunlight. It tends to grow quite densely and, outdoors, has been known to reach heights of well over 30 feet. It will stay smaller in containers but is still known for height.
    • The species properly known as Bambusa multiplex is shorter (rarely does it grow above 20 feet outdoors, and will stay much shorter as a potted plant) but prefers high sunlight areas.[3]
    • Bambusa ventricosa (as a potted plant, sometimes referred to as Buddha Belly bamboo) requires more water than most other forms of bamboo. It tends to stay fairly small when kept in containers.[4]
    • Sasaella ramosa, a common groundcover bamboo, is known as a vigorous grower. It is considered generally sunshine tolerant, but can grow well in partial shade as well. It stays quite short, but its outward growth can fill small containers quickly.[5]
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    Find an appropriate pot for your bamboo. Especially look for one which is wider at the top than the bottom. This makes potting much easier on your plant and means you are less likely to damage the roots or the pot when you put it in. [6]
    • You must find one large enough to maintain at least a two-inch gap between the root ball and the sides of the pot.
    • Containers really should have large drain holes. Most varieties of bamboo are highly sensitive to over-watering, and maintaining drainage is a key to the survival of your plants.
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    Plant your bamboo correctly. Bamboo does not need to be planted deeply, and the stem is very sensitive to overly moist environments. If you pile the soil too high you risk rotting out the stalk of bamboo and killing the plant. [7]
    • Use a potting soil of light to moderate density--that is, not too sandy and not too heavy with clay. It needs to allow for adequate drainage, and thicker soil densities would choke or drown the root of the plant.
    • It may be advisable to place gravel in the bottom of the container, in which case you can maintain a higher level of water for the plant. The main root will not reach down into the gravel, but small feeder roots will descend into the gravel and absorb moisture.

Method 2
Caring for Your Indoor Bamboo

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    Get the temperature right. The appropriate temperature is based upon the species you are growing, but a good temperature for most varieties is around 70°F, or 21°C. Being in a pot makes a bamboo more sensitive to temperature than bamboo planted in the ground would be. [8]
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    Water your bamboo carefully. Most indoor varieties of bamboo really should be watered regularly, but the amount of water a bamboo needs varies with the species. Most will thrive with relatively little water, as long as you water daily or almost daily. Find out how much you need to water your bamboo and stick to those guidelines.
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    Lightly spray your bamboo plant daily using a spray bottle. This mimics the humid conditions that most bamboo plants grow in naturally.[9]
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    Fertilize your bamboo plant at least once a year. You should find a fertilizer that has a high-nitrogen content but a slow release rate. As mentioned earlier, bamboo plants are known for their growth. While indoor varieties tend to grow slower, they still grow at surprising rates by the standards of indoor plants. As they do so they will strip the nutrients from the potting soil. You must fertilize in order to ensure that your bamboo plant does not lack any essential nutrients.[10]
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    Re-pot or divide your bamboo plant every two to five years. As they grow, they may outgrow containers or, just as commonly, sprout new runners. Bamboo does not have to be seeded to reproduce, but in fact can sprout new stalks up to a foot or more away from the original. If left to their own for a few years, a once-spacious container can become overrun with plants. Trim them and separate new plants to keep the originals healthy.[11]


  • Some varieties of bamboo plants do best if kept with more than one to a pot. They don't flourish as well growing alone. This is not true with all--again, know your plants.
  • Understand that there is a notable difference between actual bamboo--some varieties of which can be kept indoors--and the relatively easy to keep plant known as "lucky bamboo." The latter, more appropriately called Dracaena sanderiana, is more closely related to the vegetable known as asparagus than it is to actual bamboo.[12]

Things You'll Need

  • Bamboo plant.(small one for inside)
  • Water
  • Fertilizer
  • Spray bottle

Article Info

Categories: Indoor and Patio Plants