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Bamboo House Plants

Written by Jessica on June 30th, 2011

People looking to add a touch of the oriental to their home d├ęcor should consider growing bamboo indoors. This highly evolved form of grass can make a great and fast growing house plant. Bamboo can be either tropical and temperate. Tropical bamboo plants adjust to indoor growth best, because it naturally grows in areas that keep a constant temperature. Unlike tropical bamboo, temperate bamboo will go through a dormant period every year.

Bamboo plants come in many sizes. The size of the home should be considered when choosing a bamboo plant. Small apartments offer ample room for small bamboo plants, like pygmy bamboo that gorws only to 6 inches tall. Medium sized plants, like Mexican weeping bamboo, can grow 8 to 12 feet high, and can look great in home with slightly high ceilings. If room is available the 20 feet tall black bamboo can be a very impressing houseplant.

When planting bamboo a wide container that is larger at the top than the bottom should be used. The roots of bamboo grow out more than down, and are very sturdy. The bamboo plant should be placed in an area that receives at least six hours of direct sunlight every day. Watering the plants can be a little tricky. Bamboo can easily suffer from too much water. Many plant owners will give a pale plant more water, thinking it is suffering from drought stress. This should not be done. Owners should research the species of bamboo to learn the correct amount of water. To help hydrate the plant owners can mist the foliage daily with a water bottle. Temperate bamboo plants will need less water during dormant periods.

When growing bamboo indoors some pruning is advised. To maintain the health of the plant droopy and weak stalks should be pruned away from the base of the plant. To shorten the height of stalks prune them away at the junction where stems branch out. Bamboo that grows too tall for their area should be topped. This is done by removing the upper most part of the stalk.

Two common pests of indoor bamboo are mealy bugs and scale insects. Both pests are very small, only growing to a fraction of an inch, and can be hard to spot. Damage can appear as unexplained dropping of leaves and excessive drought stress appearance. Plants can be washed with warm soapy water to remove the pests. Highly infested plants should be quarantined from other houseplants, and may need to be destroyed.

 



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