Why choose the best fertilizer for bamboo?
Bamboo was once considered an exotic plant only grown indoors as an ornamental accent and rarely thought to be planted outside in gardens or landscapes. T
his opinion has slowly evolved and bamboo is now seen by gardeners as a versatile, robust addition to their planting designs. Bamboo is a fast-growing, woody grass that can quickly add a lush element to any garden.
With some simple care, you too can enjoy beautiful bamboo in your garden.
An easy way to make your trees look great that sometimes gets overlooked is…choosing the right plant food. Not only is it important to choose the right food, but you also need to apply it correctly.
That is the overall purpose of this post, to help you find the best bamboo fertilizer and give you a few tips along the way so that you can enjoy the results of your hard work and have nice-looking plants.
Let’s get started…
What is the best fertilizer for bamboo?
The answer: Fertilizers that are high in nitrogen work best for bamboo. Look for a fertilizer that has a nutrient ratio of 20-5-5 as an example. There are many bamboo-specific fertilizers on the market today, but if you are having difficulty finding one, good lawn fertilizer can be a great substitute.
Here is a quick preview of my top picks.
- Green Green Plant Food Lucky Bamboo Fertilizer
- Lewis Bamboo – Biochar Fertilizer
- Miracle-Gro Water Soluble Lawn Food
- Age Old Grow Natural Based Liquid Fertilizer
- Bamboo Special Control Release Plant Food
Before we take a closer look at each one, let’s talk about what to look for in a good fertilizer for bamboo.
What to look for in Bamboo Fertilizer
Fertilizers high in nitrogen (20-5-5) are best suited for bamboo.
These numbers found on a fertilizer label are the N-P-K (nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium) ratio; this ratio defines the percentage, by weight, of nutrients in the product.
In a 20-5-5 fertilizer formula, a 10-pound bag would contain the following amounts of nutrients: 2 pounds of nitrogen, 0.5 pounds of phosphorus, and 0.5 pounds of potassium. If a bamboo-specific fertilizer isn’t available, any fertilizer marketed for grass/lawns would be suitable to use for bamboo.
For best vegetative growth, apply fertilizer to plants once in the early spring and then again during the summer.
All plants have essential nutrients required for growth.
Nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium are the most important three, hence why fertilizers labels are required to list the amount of N-P-K present.
Nitrogen is one considered the most important nutrient needed for plant growth, with its main responsibility being the control of vegetative growth.
It is assimilated in the plant into amino acids, the building blocks for plant proteins; it is a major component of chlorophyll, helping to make the foliage green; and nitrogen is necessary for many enzymatic reactions within the plant.
Phosphorus is a component in DNA and RNA (the genetic building blocks within plant cells) and is needed for root growth and flowering.
Potassium works more indirectly than nitrogen and phosphorus. It is not a component of any plant parts but activates many enzymatic reactions that occur within the plant, making it imperative for overall plant health.
Choosing an appropriate fertilizer for bamboo plants is important for optimum plant growth. The following products are excellent products that meet the needs of bamboo to keep it growing strong and maintaining beautiful, dark green foliage.
Green Green Plant Food Lucky Bamboo
- Bamboo Specific
- Nutrient Ratio: 5-10-20
- Easy Application
A great fertilizer to use on your indoor plants is Green Green Plant Food Lucky Bamboo.
With an N-P-K ratio of 5-10-20, this formula will keep plants beautifully dark green while encouraging growth and new shoots.
How to apply: This liquid fertilizer doesn’t need to be mixed with water prior to feeding. Just add a couple of drops to the bamboo water when it gets changed out and your plant gets the nutrition it needs.
It is important to note that you don’t want to use any more than a few drops otherwise you will see your beautiful plant starting to have fellow leaves.
Lewis Bamboo Biochar Fertilizer
- Bamboo Specific
- Includes biochar- helps to improve the quality of the soil.
- Nutrient Ratio: 18-5-12
- Apply twice a year for best results
Lewis Bamboo – Biochar Fertilizer – A great, all-around granular fertilizer for outdoor bamboo plants.
Lewis Bamboo Biochar Fertilizer is a coated, time-release, granular fertilizer that includes bamboo biochar, agricultural charcoal that contributes to better soil quality and improved growing conditions for plants.
Biochar has a high surface area and is incredibly porous; nutrients and water are held for longer periods of time in the soil when used as an amendment.
This also minimizes nutrient leaching and runoff to lessen negative environmental impacts.
The nutrient ratio of Biochar Fertilizer is 18-5-12 making it a great source of nitrogen for bamboo plants.
How to Apply: For best results fertilize plants twice a year with this product, early in the spring to encourage new growth and once again in the middle of the active growing season to replenish nutrients that have been absorbed by the plants.
Miracle Grow Water Soluble Lawn Food
- Lawn fertilizer – great substitute
- Nutrient Ratio: 36-0-6
If bamboo-specific plant food isn’t available to use, bamboo plants respond well to fertilizers marketed for use on grass.
Miracle-Gro Water Soluble Lawn Food (36-0-6) is an easy-to-use option if you are fertilizing larger stands of bamboo.
When it comes to conventional plant foods, Miracle-Gro is a proven winner at successfully fertilizing plants to optimize their health.
Their Water Soluble Lawn Food works in conjunction with the Miracle-Gro Garden Feeder, making application easy; drop one packet of granular into the feeder and water as usual.
One packet will feed up to 1000 square feet. Apply twice a year for optimum results: once early in the spring and again mid-growing season to replenish soil nutrients.
Age Old Grow
- Nutrient Ratio: 12-6-6
- Great for the indoor gardener
- Not limited to bamboo
A premium, naturally based fertilizer, Age Old Grow supplies plants with fast-acting nutrients essential for plant growth.
With a nutrient ratio of 12-6-6, this fertilizer is high in nitrogen and encourages vigorous vegetative growth and greening of foliage.
In addition, it is an odorless, concentrated liquid fertilizer that can be used on a variety of plants within a range of growing systems.
With its formulation of fish, seaweed, and naturally occurring nutrients, this liquid fertilizer can be used safely in both outdoor and indoor bamboo gardens.
How To Apply: For indoor plants add approximately 1 ounce of fertilizer per gallon of water; outdoor stands should be fertilized using a hose-end applicator at the rate of 6 ounces per 1000 square feet.
Bamboo Special 12 Month Control Release
Realgrower’s Bamboo Special 12 month control release plant food have what it takes to be considered the best fertilizer for bamboo? We think so.
For one, it provides bamboo plants with a high source of quality nitrogen. The nutrient ratio of this product is 13-5-11 to promote vegetative growth and foliage green-up instead of a flower or root formation.
One of the best things about this particular plant food is that it is relatively maintenance-free. As mentioned in the title, it is a 12-month control released plant food.
This means that you only have to feed your plants once a year. Once you have fed them, you can kind of just forget about it.
Even if your plants get a lot of water, this slow-release fertilizer is designed in a way to give your plant the perfect amount of food throughout the year.
With proper care, bamboo can be grown both indoors and out.
To provide plants with essential nutrients make sure to fertilize early in the growing season to promote new growth and then mid-season to replenish nutrients leached out of the soil or taken up and utilized by the bamboo roots.
The aforementioned products are all well-suited to meet the nutrient needs of bamboo plants.
What do you think is the best fertilizer for bamboo? Please share with us your thoughts in the comments section below.