Bamboo has become a very popular ornamental grass for gardeners all across the nation. Growing bamboo seems an obvious choice in some parts of the US as the golden sunshine and warm winters are a natural environment for bamboo to thrive.
If you’re located in Colorado and want to use bamboo for natural screening or to add a touch of tropical charm to your yard, you may be asking yourself, ‘can you grow bamboo in Colorado?’ Bamboo fans may be concerned about the cold winters in Colorado; the good news is that you can grow bamboo in Colorado.
Can You Grow Bamboo In Colorado?
It is a common misconception that bamboo can’t be grown in Colorado. Bamboo can cope in colder areas or even places with high altitudes. But, it is crucial that you choose a suitable species, as not all varieties of bamboo can make it through the harsh winter and clay soils we have in Colorado.
Local nurseries can be a good source of advice for your bamboo growing needs. We have researched the most important information about growing bamboo in Colorado.
There are six bamboo species that can survive the harsh winters of Colorado. They are ‘Green Panda,’ ‘Yellow Groove,’ ‘Clump Bamboo,’ ‘Spectabalis Yellow Groove,’ ‘Black,’ and Heavenly Bamboo. Denver Zoo grows a plentiful supply of bamboo as part of their Plant Asia garden and Primate Panorama and Tropical Discovery.
Bamboo is recognized as the fastest-growing woody, perennial plant in the world. Most bamboo species that can survive in Colorado’s cold winters are running varieties. This means that they grow extremely vigorous root systems, and they can even begin sprouting new bamboo shoots some distance away from where you planted it. This can cause problems with sheds, fencing, decking, and patio’s and it could cause you problems with your neighbors if it starts invading their space.
Therefore, it can be a good idea to either grow bamboo in pots or contain in using concrete foundations in the ground to stop the plants from spreading.
It is also advisable to check with your homeowner’s association or local municipality before planting bamboo. Some areas are not keen on you planting bamboo due to its invasive nature.
Even if you choose one of the six varieties, it is vital to take action to help your bamboo survive through the harsh winters.
Some careful planning before planting you bamboo can make a big difference to the way it grows. The cold weather isn’t the only challenge bamboo has to face growing in Colorado.
As with most plants in the state, mixing the clay soils with good quality compost is important. This will help bring vital nutrients to your bamboo but also add air to the soil.
Give the bamboo roots a good mulching with up to 6 inches of bark and wood chips before the cold winter sets in, can help keep the roots warm and help the bamboo survive. If you are growing bamboo in pots, you can even consider bringing them inside over the winter to keep them warm.
Bamboo doesn’t like too much water, so don’t plant it in excessively wet areas.
It might surprise you to learn that bamboo doesn’t like full sun. In its natural environment, it grows under the protective canopy of a forest. This means that it is normally protected from direct sunlight. Therefore, bamboo prefers partial shade.
Whilst bamboo makes an excellent all-year-round natural screen; it is important to protect bamboo from strong winds, which may upset its root system or damage its stems.
Bamboo also has poor resistance to fungi. This is an issue for gardeners.
Can You Grow Bamboo In Colorado?: Conclusion
Bamboo adds a truly exotic and tropical feeling to your garden. It makes a great natural screening, and the sound of wind rustling through its leaves can make a really relaxing sound, away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.
Running your hand through bamboo leaves can make you feel more relaxed and at ease with the world.
It is also excellent for the environment, as bamboo takes in more carbon dioxide and releases more oxygen than any other species. With a bit of extra care and attention, there is no reason why your bamboo won’t be successful in Colorado.
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