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Bamboo Potting Mix & Silly Questions

Hi all, I’m really new to gardening and have bought an old water trough that I am going to plant some bamboo in.

I’ve bought 4 160cm Phyllostachys aurea to plant but am not sure of what exactly to plant in.

My plan was to mix 6 bags of John Innes no.3 with a bag of composted manure and some perlite but I’m getting really confused and not sure if I should be using a mix of topsoil with the John Innes?

Another question I have is about drainage holes. The trough is 1200x400x400mm. When considering drainage, is it a case of the more the better?

please help!


  • philippasmith2philippasmith2 Posts: 3,490
    If the trough is of metal construction, you will need to be careful where you site it.  Unless you insulate on the inside, it could heat up fairly quickly.

    Bamboos on the whole dislike hot or cold drying windy conditions and require a great deal of water - this is even more obvious when planted in a container.

    JI 3 combined with some good MPC would be a reasonable bet provided you realise that you will need to either top up or re pot every couple of years.

    You will need drainage in your container.

    P aurea are fast growing in the right situation and your container size does not sound adequate  - particularly the depth.

    If you have time, look at the various "Bamboo " threads on the forum - you can hopefully pick up some useful info and advice.
  • Blue OnionBlue Onion Posts: 2,987
    edited June 2021
    Consider putting your drainage holes about two inches along the backside of your container.. then filling the bottom two inches with gravel before adding your soil.  That way it acts as a bit of a reservoir for the bamboo, but excess water drains away easily.  Make holes about the diameter of a pencil so they don't get clogged up, about six inches apart along the back.  

    Use one of those silver bubble wrap windshield reflective things that people buy to keep their cars cooler on a sunny day.  Ask around your family and friends, someone may have one sitting around.  Or buy yourself a new one and retire the old one for your bamboo pot.  Put it against the inside that will be hit by the sun, to help insulate.  
    Utah, USA.
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