How to Grow Dwarf Buddha Belly Bamboo (Bambusa Vulgaris Wamin) in the Edible Landscape

While Dwarf Buddha Belly Bamboo is easy to grow, there are a few tips in order to speed up the growth of this beautiful bamboo and several ways to maximize its usefulness in a food forest or food garden.

Why should anyone add Buddha Belly Bamboo to An Edible Landscape?

Bamboo shoots are edible and the Buddha Belly Bamboo is no exception.

In case that wasn’t enough, bamboo itself provides a fast-growing shade to protect young, sun-sensitive trees, its robust root systems create soil-stabilization that prevents erosion, and its upward growth acts a trellis for vining plants like tomatoes and grapes.

The roots of the Buddha Belly Bamboo

Planting Your Buddha Belly Bamboo

Bamboo has an amazing ability to absorb water. You can use this ability, especially if you ordered your Buddha Belly Bamboo online and have just removed it from a box where its had apt time to dry out, to allow your bamboo to soak up enough water into its root system for quicker and faster root establishment in your edible landscape.

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After unwrapping your bare root Buddha Belly Bamboo, place it into a shallow tub of water or a pond and let it sit for a few hours. This gives the bamboo roots plenty of time to rehydrate and soak up some additional water for storage.

Of course, if your bamboo plant arrived to your edible landscape already planted in soil, you can still allow it to soak up some additional water to smooth the root establishment process wherever its new home will be.

How to Keep Your Buddha Belly Bamboo Moist Until The Roots Get Established

Although some bamboo plants are relatively drought tolerant once established… they have to survive long enough and grow enough roots to tolerate a lack of water. Until that point, it falls to you to keep the soil moist and soft for your Buddha Belly Bamboo.

The easiest and less labor intensive way to do this would be to plant during a rainy or cool season, i.e. fall, winter, or spring. But for those of us who just could not wait until a cooler season to get our Buddha Belly Bamboo into the ground, there are multiple methods to ensure your beautiful bamboo will survive the summer heat.

The olla is a terracotta pot that is either buried or placed on top of the soil to water plants. It uses osmosis to deliver a consistent, slow watering to whichever plants are in its near vicinity. It is refilled by pouring water into its open mouth, as it is generally shaped like a bottle or gourd.

The “Tree Diaper” is an absorbent ring that can be soaked in a pond or bucket of water and then placed around the trunk or base of a newly planted bamboo to deliver a consistent watering in a similar way to the olla. Tree Diapers can be “refilled” by either removing and re-soaking in your pond or water bucket, or by waiting for it to gather rain.

Regular Hand Watering using a watering can is usually the most inexpensive and most available method to keep your Buddha Belly Bamboo properly hydrated until it can thrive on its own, but of course, it is more labor intensive and requires you to check on your bamboo at least once daily to see if it needs water.

Mulching your bamboo can help retain water by reducing evaporation. Mulching your bamboo will still require you to water the bamboo at least once to give the mulch some moisture to hang onto. Additional benefits of mulching include the nutrient release as the mulching materials break down, the natural attraction of composting and earth worms to aerate soil and add more nutrients to the soil, and to prevent other weeds from popping up and competing with your bamboo.

Another method is to simply plant your Buddha Belly Bamboo in a shady location. Plants that are not exposed to full sun throughout the day do not need as much water to survive. Water also evaporates less in the shade so whatever water your bamboo plant receives from you or the rain will go a lot further than if your bamboo was planted in full sun.

Buddha Belly Bamboo Literally 2 Days After “No Dig” Planting

For more on growing bamboo in the edible landscape:
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