Watering Bamboo: How Often Should You Do It?

There is an interesting fact that bamboos appear to be the fastest growing plants in the world. Bamboo may be considered a flowering plant from the evergreen family.

Bamboos aren’t growing on a tree, it’s just tall strong grass that gets bigger and bigger and reaches full maturity in 90 days. I assume you didn’t know that bamboos can grow 1.5 every hour and with quick math, we end up with 35 inches of growth in a single day. 

How tall and healthy the bamboo is, strongly depends on how much you take care of it and the breed because there are 4 to 6 inches as the smallest bamboo type. 

How much and when is the question you need to ask yourself before watering.

Strongly depending on the breed of the species and conditions, bamboo needs frequent watering. The root and rhizomes don’t really require extra watering but water the bamboo every day especially if the hot weather is reaching its peak in the summertime.

On normal usual days where the temperature is cool or reasonably warm, you can water the bamboo 2 or 3 times a week or even once a week would be enough for the process. 

If the bamboo is still young and newly planted, give more care and water.

You need to be careful with the soil, make sure that the soil is dried for 2 to 3 inches before you decide to water the bamboo’s soil.

How Much Water the Bamboo Needs? (Let me Guide You)

Today I will be your guide in the stage of watering and give you additional hacks on how to grow the healthiest bamboo. So as the topic presents itself, let me guide you.

Watering Recently Planted Bamboo

A nicely draining soil is a must when you have planted bamboo. The first year is more critical. If proper care is lacking, the beginning stage stays the top reason.

Be careful about weeds, we don’t want the weeds to grow where it’s not wanted, clean as soon as you see any.

To find out if the soil is dried poke a finger and see yourself, if it feels dry then water it. The thumb rule about watering the recently planted bamboo is the average 2 to 3 days in a week. If the weather is too hot, you can water it 3-4 days a week. In winter times, once a week would be ideal.

Watering a Matured Bamboo

It takes more or less 3 years, so the bamboo can grow and glow peacefully. The watering process gradually decreases over time as the plant develops and establishes itself.

In the first year as I mentioned previously, an average of 2-3 times a week is more than enough. As the years pass 7 -10 is ideal for matured bamboo. Check whether the soil is dry, and then act accordingly, if the soil isn’t dry it can go a few more days.

Watering Bamboo in a Pot

Bamboos are very much eye-pleasing when they are grown and to be more aesthetically pleasing, you need to take good care by watering only when is dry.

Just poke your finger a few inches deep to figure out the dryness degree and then water it.

Bamboo Underwatering Signals

If your bamboo is underwatered, it starts to give signals in the body. The signals are usually:

Dry Soil

Dryness is the top reason for your bamboo’s death. So, to not kill the innocent plant, put your finger in the soil to figure out if it’s dry or not. The index finger needs to be a 3-inch deep in the soil.

Leaves Look Curly

By making the leaves curlier, bamboo gives some hints that it cries for water. This case happens occasionally and the reason behind it is too much sun exposure, to be more specific, direct sunlight.

Take a look when the sun is down, this is the best way to figure out if leaves are curly. As an alternative, you can check a picture of healthy bamboos online and figure out if yours look curlier.

Bamboo Overwatering Signals

Brown Leaves

The combination of overwatering and extreme heat can make bamboo look brown, try not to water for a week and see if there are some changes in the look.

If there’s no sign of change, I strongly suggest taking advice from professionals, the experience is speaking now because when the brown leaves grow, the end of the bamboo is knocking on your door. Act cautiously in the beginning stages.

The Soil Looks too Wet and Muddy 

This is the real deal when you start gardening, the same mistake is done here. You think that more watering will cure it and when the opposite occurs, you realize there’s no going back. 

So, not to repeat the mistakes that I did, always check out the soil, it is the bamboo’s mouth that tells you “I need some water”.

What to Do if the Bamboo is Overwatered & Underwatered?

Mulch is a must to add to the soil. It doesn’t matter if the weather is dry, boiling hot, or cold. As you know the physical rule of water is evaporation. The mulch slows the process by not letting the bamboo lose moisture entirely.

Make sure that the soil is completely dry before you add mulch or you can put mulch in the water in a drip hose (it will emit the water evenly in all areas) and let it do the rest of the work. 

During winter times, the added mulch prevents the loss of bamboos’ heat in the rhizomes. Be aware that this part is challenging, you have to push the mulch to find out if the bamboo needs watering.

A Brief Summary

The correct and the healthiest way to water the bamboo is 2-3 times a week. However, that also depends on the type of bamboo but this is the average. During winter times, once a week is enough.

Adding mulch and taking care of bamboo, especially in the beginning stages is a challenge. As the bamboo establishes between 7-10 days is enough.

Please don’t fall into the trick of more watering is better. Put your index finger, the soil will tell if the bamboo needs water or not. If it’s dry it’s ok to water it, otherwise, stay away from water cans.

Further Reading

For those impatient gardeners, you can plant the fastest succulent family plants that need less watering process. 

For more engaging and interesting topics about gardening, read the article what happens if you eat discolored avocado or how many onions grow in one bulb.


Natalia Michalska

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