How fast does bamboo grow and can I grow it even taller than the average height?
Bamboo is an evergreen perennial plant that belongs to a grass family. It is only considered or named as a tree based on the fact that it grows as tall as a regular tree. Varieties fall under two types of categories, running and clumping.
Two Varieties of Bamboo
1. Running Bamboo
For running varieties, how fast does bamboo grow? On average, this type of bamboo grows from to 5 feet tall within a year, which is a considerably moderate to fast rate. Although rare, it may even grow as high as 15 feet in a span of 10 to 12 months. Depending on the species and genera of this type, it may grow up to 80 feet tall once maturity is reached.
Running bamboos contain leptomorph rhizome system, in which their rhizomes don’t turn up. Rather they become new rhizomes or canes after the lateral buds have developed. This variety usually grows on hardiness zones 5 to 11.
2. Clumping Bamboo
In contrast, clumping bamboo is a variety that spreads much slower. This one features a pachymorph rhizome system. Unlike leptomorph rhizomes, pachymorphs stimulate the development of canes and buds turning upward.
What also makes them different from running varieties is that they only grow as tall as 10 to 15 feet. On average, the height is between 1 foot and 3 feet a year. Since it’s also non-invasive, this is a more ideal type to plant around home gardens.
In addition, there are only 40 species of clumping bamboo, while over 100 in running varieties.
On rare cases, amphimorph rhizome system is another form that can how fast does bamboo grow. This type is both clumping and running. Based on records, there are only 3 bamboos with this rhizome system known so far.
Shooting and Growing Seasons
Aside from how fast does bamboo grow, you may be also wondering how this tall grass actually grow.
Both varieties of bamboos typically grow up during the spring season, while they grow out in fall and summer. The increase of their heights solely depends on the new canes. New shoots fully grow within a short 2 to 3 months, usually around April until June, again spring season.
The old canes, once maturity has reached, do not increase in height anymore. They can only produce new leaves every year and can last for over 10 years.
During summer or fall, which is off the shooting season, bamboo growth is processed under the soil. It’s interesting that the grass itself is able to pump water that helps stimulates the growth and production of leaves as well as expands its root mass that produce new shoots. What’s even more incredible is the fact that most species grow in shallow root, about 20 to 24 inches deep only.
Remember that how fast does bamboo grow is not always accurate. For instance, you plant a running variety and expect it to grow as tall as 3 feet or at least faster. It may happen to be taller or shorter than 3 feet within a year. It may not also grow fast as you thought. It all depends on the species and other factors, such as care, soil type and temperature.
Care and maintenance are absolute influences of how fast and tall a bamboo grows in a certain period of time. Some grow best in full sun, while others in partial shade. There are also types in which they grow much faster in the dry summer.
Space is somehow a big factor to the growth speed and height of bamboos regardless of the species and varieties. The more space it is the better and faster they grow. You surely want to reach the expected full height so start choosing a good location.
Edging, which includes the cutting back of rhizomes that expand, is recommended to do two times a year. This helps control their growth and essentially benefits the health of the plant.
It is also required to use some root barriers around your bamboo. Running varieties, for example, spread really quickly. To keep this under control, you place a root barrier to prevent spreading and over growing. A good tool is putting a baby bamboo shoot in a large pot. If on the ground, you may use a polyethylene sheet, which is effective in preventing penetrations in the roots.
How fast does bamboo grow is based on a few factors from variety to climate to care. You must not forget this fact when growing a series of bamboos.