Growing Bamboo

Growing Bamboo

How to start your own bamboo farm and what are the best climate and soil conditions for growing bamboo? Learn everything from flowering cycles to propagating techniques and how to plant bamboo.


Annie wrote:

Bamboo Leaves Turning Yellow

I live in Hawaii and want to know if yellowish leaves on my bamboo plant are normal or if it's lacking something?



Stephane from Guadua Bamboo replied:

When bamboo leaves start to turn yellow it can be caused by several things. The most plausible cause is usually a lack of water or nutrient deficiency. Another reason for bamboo leaves to turn yellow is when bamboo starts to flower.

To fix the problem you may want to irrigate the bamboo clump during dry season or add nitrogen in the form of granular or liquid urea. Fertilizer may also be required depending on your soil fertility level. Of course it is be best to take soil samples and have it analyzed in a local lab to give your more accurate advice.

Melinda wrote:

White and Orange Striped Bamboo Leaves

I hope you can help me with this problem, all my bamboos have got white or orange stripes on the leaves and fall off. I have looked for mites but not seen anything on them. I hope you can help me with this problem, all my bamboos are of the giant variety and mostly grown from seed. I would hate to lose them now!

Nelson wrote:

Growing Bamboo on Denuded Poor Quality Land

I have read that bamboo can be grown on denuded land of poor quality. Surely this would affect the quality of the crop for sale (furniture or flooring). What is the optimum type of soil? I also wonder why bamboo has not taken off in the rest of the Caribbean? Any ideas?



Stephane from Guadua Bamboo replied:

Bamboo does grow on almost any type of soil but that doesn't mean it will grow vigorously! Generally speaking loamy and sandy loam soils are best in terms of soil texture as the rhizomes can spread well opposed to clay soils. Much more detailed info can be found here.

Cultivating bamboo commercially, requires resources, experience and skill. Furthermore, you will need a business strategy to sell all of the bamboo once it is ready for harvest. This is usually a problem as there are not many local manufacturers that use bamboo in value added products.


Jairo Acero replied:

There is usually at least one type of bamboo that will fit the nature of your soil from more than 1000 species. Testing the soil by lab analysis will help to know what kind of minerals it has, together with its acidity or alcalinity to make corrections. There is a pretty long trial and error time for you to learn, but after a while you will be sucessful. If you do not have immediate buyers at hand you will at least help to restore your land ... Good luck!

Jack wrote:

How Much Water is Needed to Grow Bamboo?

I live in Hawaii on one of the drier islands and wondered what amount of water would be needed per acre to grow Guadua bamboo and typically speaking other species such as Gigantochloa atter, Phyllostachys pubescens, Dendrocalamus asper, Dendrocalamus giganteus and Bambusa oldhamii.

We are planning to start a bamboo plantation and would appreciate any helpful advise, comments, and or information offered. Our project total space is 100 acres. For example, how much water would be needed to irrigate 1 acre of Bambusa oldhamii planted at 12'x12' spacing or 302 plants per acre per year?



Stephane from Guadua Bamboo replied:

Guadua bamboo requires an annual precipitation of about 2000-2500 mm. I do not have exact precipitation values for the other species mentioned as we do not grow them on a commercial level. As a general rule though, the most important fact about watering bamboo is not so much the volume but that it happens frequently throughout the year because unlike regular trees, bamboo doesn't like a marked dry season.

Abasi wrote:

Can Bamboo Plantations Produce Quality Timber?

I am a Kenyan and I have just come across a farm selling bamboo seedlings that produce solid bamboo trees. I have searched for more information and it has led me to your website which has inspired me more. In the next 1 or 2 months I plan to plant 150 seedlings of bamboo. I plan to produce poles for fencing and building purposes.

The bamboo concept is new in Kenya and I believe it will bring a lot of change in this country if it is embraced. According to the research I have done, I have learnt that bamboo can give me good returns.

I am however skeptical about the ability of bamboos to produce quality poles and timber. Kindly advise me on the ability of bamboos to produce quality poles. How many shoots can form a clump if planted in an ideal climate?

I will appreciate your input as I begin the journey of transforming our country. Kindly give me more information of how bamboo trees are used in your country. Thank you.



Jonas replied:

Bamboo has the same uses as timber, it can be chipped and made into paper and boards. The fibres can be used and if one goes to woolworths one can see the socks, towels and other garments made from bamboo. It produces more cotton per hectare than regular cotton using less pesticides and weedicides, it uses less water than forestry and writings in china say that where it is planted the streams start flowing again!

A lot of scaffolding going up many storeys in the East are from bamboo. Houses can also be made from bamboo and furniture. Once planted bamboo can supply a yearly income since after 5 years culms or stems can be harvested yearly. I have planted a hectare to prove to myself that the yield is higher than I can achieve using forestry having heard that it can produce 200 ton annually.