Bamboo is one of the fastest growing plants in the world which helps support a rich jungle ecosystem in many parts of Asia. Even in your backyard, invasive bamboo can grow seemingly overnight.
The rate of growth for bamboo differs among species but, on average, most bamboo species will grow about three to five feet in a year. Of course, some species grow slower while others grow faster than this and environmental conditions will also impact growth rate.
In this article, we will review the fastest growing bamboo, how to make bamboo grow faster, and whether or not growth slows down in the winter. Additionally, we will cover if planted or potted bamboo grows faster as well as how long it takes for bamboo to grow twenty feet tall.
What Is the Fastest Bamboo Can Grow?
While the average growth rate of most bamboo species is about three feet per year, the fastest growing variety known as Moso bamboo grows up to three feet per day. Given the right growing conditions, this subtropical species of bamboo can achieve a height of one hundred feet in just over a month.
Because of its fast growing nature, Moso bamboo has become the ideal species to harvest for lumber. As soon as the shoots are cut down, they begin to regrow for a whole new crop. Forests of Moso bamboo can literally spring up overnight and become invasive if not kept in check.
One of the advantages of bamboo’s extreme growth rate is the speed at which it is consumed by its top forager – the giant panda. Bamboo needs to be able to grow fast because the average panda bear can eat as much as 85 pounds of the plant in a single day.
How Do You Make Bamboo Grow Faster?
If you have bamboo growing in your yard or even in pots in your indoor garden, you may be wondering if there is any way to speed up the growth process. The secret to increasing your bamboo’s growth rate is really very simple and only involves the basic needs of any plant.
Bamboo thrives in full sunlight so make sure your bamboo is in a sunny place. Cut down any overgrown plants that may shade the bamboo and hinder growth. Bamboo also needs to be watered regularly. This plant is used to tropical conditions so moist – but not soggy – soil is necessary to keep your plant healthy.
The final ingredient of a fast growing bamboo plant is food. Fertilize your bamboo to give it a boost of extra nutrients. Use a specially formulated bamboo fertilizer or a seaweed based food for optimal growth.
Does Bamboo Growth Slow Down in the Winter?
Unlike a lot of flowering plants that have a growing season and then die off, bamboo is considered an evergreen and will grow all year round if given the right conditions. Just because the seasons change doesn’t mean that bamboo’s growth will slow down.
Bamboo is native to tropical and subtropical regions and thrives in warmer climates. During the summer and warmer months, bamboo will take advantage of the long hours of sunlight and reach peaking growth rates. As long as bamboo remains in warm temperatures with lots of available sunlight, growth should not slow down.
However, if you live in an area where the winters get very cold, bamboo will go into dormancy and cease growth until the weather warms up again. Some cultivars of bamboo are very cold hardy and will survive the winter, while others may be more fragile and die off when the temperature drops.
Does Planted Bamboo Grow Faster Than Potted Bamboo?
As long as you have the proper soil conditions for bamboo growth, planted bamboo tends to grow faster than any counterpart living in a pot. Most likely, potted bamboo plants are kept inside where they are exposed to artificial or filtered sunlight which is not as optimal for growth as full sun.
Additionally, their roots can only spread out so far within the pot so they are bound by the confine of the pot when it comes to determining their growing abilities. On the other hand, bamboo planted in the soil has access to unlimited full sunlight and can spread its root virtually without end into the ground.
If you compare the growth of a potted bamboo to a planted bamboo, you will find that the planted bamboo tends to grow faster, healthier, and more much vibrant than the one confined to a pot.
How Long Does It Take for Bamboo to Grow Twenty Feet Tall?
Depending on the species of bamboo in question, it could take less than a week for bamboo to reach twenty feet or it could take several years. Most bamboo grows an average of three to five feet per year so the typical time frame of a twenty foot tall plant would be between four and seven years.
However, some species, such as the Moso bamboo variety, grow at a rate of one to three feet per day so these bamboo plants can reach twenty feet within seven to twenty days. The larger varieties are usually harvested for lumber so cutting down a crop of twenty foot stalks every month is an ideal harvest rate for economic gain.
Bamboo is one of the fastest growing plants on the planet. With over 1700 species grown all around the world, the average annual growth rate of bamboo is three to five feet. Some bamboo species can grow even faster than that at three feet per day – that’s one hundred feet tall within a month!
If you are looking to increase the growth of your bamboo, consider planting it in the ground to allow for maximum sunlight and root growth. Fertilizing your bamboo will also help it to grow faster since it will readily take up nutrients provided by the food. If your bamboo growth slows in the winter, don’t worry – it will pick back up again when the weather warms up.
Hi, I’m John Stephens, chief editor and writer for Totalgardener.com. I’ve been gardening and raising animals for over 15 years starting with a small backyard plot in Northern Virginia where I grew corn, potatoes, squash, and using a high mulch technique called the Ruth Stout Method. I also raised ducks and small mammals for meat and eggs in a movable pen similar to the ones used by Joel Salatin. I later moved to Colorado where I experimented with growing greens using aquaponics inside. I eventually added a microgreens setup and home sprouting operation. I’m excited to share everything I’ve learned plus more from the other local gardening and animal raising experts I know.