Does Bamboo Need Light? - Bamboo Bootcamp

Just like any other plants bamboo needs light to make its own food. Bamboo grows best in a full sun environment.  Source of light is very critical before making decisions on where to plant your bamboo plantation. In unlimited light environment the leaves of bamboo turn yellow although there’re other factors that affect health of bamboo plants.

Does Bamboo Need Light?

Different varieties of bamboo require varying amounts light for optimum growth. All giant bamboo varieties like Phyllostachys genus require a lot light to grow. However some varieties of bamboo like Thamnocalamus and sasa Fargesia will readily grow in minimal lighting conditions.

Before buying bamboo seeds or culms ask about the light condition of the bamboo varieties available or check in the seed bag as indicated to avoid planting variety of bamboo that is not the best for your light conditions.

However you should not be worried about bamboo because it grows with little care at home and in the farms as compared to other ornamental plants or commercial trees. Find below in details the impact of light to a bamboo plant and how it affect its growth.

Can Bamboo Grow Without Light?

For any effective growth of bamboo there must be enough light and other basic requirement. However different varieties need different intensity of sunlight. For example large varieties like golden bamboo (phyllostachys aura) that is highly preferred for outdoor because of its ornamental value need partial to full sunlight.

Why Does Bamboo Need Sunlight to Grow Strong?

Sunlight help bamboo plant to recharge its energy every day for its continuous growth and plant feeding. This process is called photosynthesis (photo indicates light). When the plant gets sunlight it mixes it with carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and water via roots to produce oxygen as a bi product.

Can Bamboo Grow in Low Light?

Lucky bamboo do well in low light and grow slowly but this not a real bamboo plant. Some varieties of bamboo can grow in doors in low light but others do best as outdoor plants. Some of the bamboo varieties you can grow indoors include:

  • Semiarundinaria fastuos
  • Bambusa multiplex (all varieties)
  • Pseudosasa japonica
  • Chimonobambusa quadrangularis

How to Choose Grow Light for Indoor Bamboo Plants

Grow lights are designed in such a way they can be alternative to natural light for indoor gardening to help grow healthy plants. They facilitate photosynthesis and provide the right color spectrum for plant growth. By making the right choice of your bulb or fixture, it’s possible to grow your bamboo plant in any climate year-round.

Choose your grow light according to your plants needs and your budget. Common grow light for small garden are incandescent (regular bulb) or fluorescent bulbs. However, if you want to do large scale you can use led lights, halogen lights and traditional horticultural grow lights.

Place your bulb at distance that you feel the warmth is okay for your hand. If it can’t heat your hand it won’t heat your plants. If you’re growing your bamboo from seeds it’s advisable to use hanging tube fixtures with reflectors which you can hang on top of your seedlings.

If you see your bamboo growing tall and leaves turning yellow, that’s a sign of inadequate light.

Can Indoor Bamboo Affect Pets?

No bamboo is not known to affect animals. Its foliage contains about 22% protein making it a great green house plant. However beware of plants bearing the name bamboo like the lucky bamboo which is not a real bamboo. It is toxic to dogs, cats and horses.

What Other Plant Can Be Grow Together With Bamboo For Landscaping?

African blue lily and Agapanthus africanus are ornamental plants that can be grown together with bamboo. That’s because they do not outgrow or obstruct bamboo plants. It’s advisable not to grow your bamboo plants that will outgrow them. Such plants grow fast thus depriving your bamboo of sunlight.

How to Make Your Bamboo Grow First?

Bamboo grass is known to be the fastest growing plant in the world but its growth rate varies with different species. Running bamboo grow first than clumping bamboo by spreading underground. To have your bamboo grow first ensure you set conditions that accelerates its growth.  Below are some of the proven ways that make bamboo grow fast.

  1. Grow your bamboo in area that you can control the sunlight or source of grow light. Bamboo if not exposed to the right sunlight condition can have stunted growth. Too much direct sunlight will make some of bamboo varieties too hot and have slow growth. These type of bamboo needs partial shade but ensure they have at least 5 hours direct sunlight in a day.
  2. If your bamboo variety gets affected by sunlight when exposed all day, create a barrier or something that can produce a shade. This is the reason most of bamboo naturally grow in the river backs close to tall trees that can cover it with shades during hot day.
  3. Bamboo growth is determined by the soil conditions not type. It does well in moist soil at all times although there’re types of bamboo that grow in dry soil. As long as they get enough water and the soil is not soggy, you bamboo will thrive well. It’s advisable you do soil tests before planting for health soil and plants.
  4. If you live in area with string winds and hail storm, your bamboo will tend to bend and have a slow growth. Thus there’s need to create a wind breaker or a means for supporting your bamboo.
  5. Feed your bamboo with fertilizers containing high-nitrogen fertilizer to make it grow quicker.