If you’ve got bamboo taking over your backyard, you may be wondering what to do with it to make it work for you. Is it possible to turn a profit with the invasive plant that just won’t stop growing?
While backyard bamboo may not be worth much, other bamboo species sell for $30 per plant on average at nurseries. Some of the rarer species may sell for hundreds of dollars per plant depending on the size and trained shape.
In this article, we will review how much you can sell bamboo for, what the most expensive species of bamboo is, and if bamboo is worth more as a live plant or as lumber. Additionally, we will cover where you can buy bamboo as well as if there are regulations for selling bamboo.
How Much Can I Sell Bamboo For?
If you have a bamboo species that is in demand or package the plant for individual sale in a particularly attractive way, you can sell bamboo plants for as little as $30 each up to hundreds of dollars per plant. If you are looking to sell an entire grove for use as lumber, most buyers in the United States will pay around $10 per stalk.
If you are smart about the way you set up your bamboo, choose the right species, and care for it, you can turn your acreage into a lucrative bamboo nursery that could bring in tens of thousands of dollars per year.
If you have stalks to cut down and dry out, you can bundle them and sell them as lumber or even material for making fencing, plant ladders, or natural irrigation pipes. Dead bamboo may not sell for as much as live; however, you may be able to sell more in bulk this way.
What Is the Most Expensive Species of Bamboo?
There are over seventeen hundred different species of bamboo and those that are less common tend to be worth more. Rare collector’s species of bamboo can sell for hundreds of dollars from nurseries. However, one of the most expensive species of bamboo is Fargesia demissa also nicknamed Gerry bamboo.
Gerry bamboo can sell for as much as $400 per young plant about one to three feet high. This bamboo is hardy when it comes to cold weather but does not fare well in hot and humid climates. If you are going to spend that kind of money on bamboo, make sure you take good care of it!
Other rare finds that can sell for at least $100 per plant include Chuquea coronalis with small ornamental clustered leaves, berry bamboo with edible pear like fruits, Chusquea delicatula a vining bamboo native to Peru, and Kawadana bamboo with golden pin-striped shoots.
Is Bamboo Worth More Alive or as Lumber?
While you can sell individual bamboo stalks for lumber at $10 per plant, live bamboo plants for collectors and plant enthusiasts start at $30 per plant. In order to sell bamboo as lumber, you typically need to grow some of the larger varieties that can be easily turned into building materials once they are cut down.
Growing bamboo for lumber also takes time and space; you need to wait until the stalks are tall enough to harvest and you have enough to sell in bulk because most lumber purchasers will not buy just one shoot at a time. On the other hand, live bamboo plants are typically sold when they are young so there is not a lot of growing time invested.
Additionally, the older the bamboo plant, the more it is worth. Live plants can also be trained to make intricate designs which people will pay more for. Different species can cost different amounts as well with rarer varieties selling for hundreds of dollars. Hand over fist, you will make more money selling live plants than dead lumber.
Where Can I Buy Bamboo?
You can find bamboo plants at almost any nursery that sells ornamental and house plants. Your local nursery may have some unique varieties and know how to source them if you ask. Bigger box stores such as garden centers and home improvement stores like Lowes and Home Depot also sell bamboo plants.
These stores may have some specialty bamboo plants and carry necessary supplies such as pots, potting media, and bamboo fertilizer. If you are looking for a particular species or a rare find, check out specialty plant stores online or websites for bamboo collectors.
If you are looking for bamboo lumber or other bamboo products, you may have to contact a specialty store or look for manufacturers online. Bamboo lumber is becoming more popular for building decks and furniture so it may also be available at some local or chain home improvement stores as well.
Are There Regulations for Selling Bamboo?
There are no federal regulations in the United States regarding the selling of bamboo. However, some states have laws against growing certain species that are known to be highly invasive. If you are looking to plant a bamboo grove for profit on your property, you will need to check with your state and local laws first.
Otherwise, you can sell bamboo plants at your local farmer’s market, a nursery, online, or however else you please without any restrictions on how and to whom you can sell bamboo. Bamboo lumber and products likewise have no restrictive regulations when it comes to selling.
Bamboo may be worth more than you think with some live plants selling for at least $30 each and other rarer varieties priced at $400 per plant. If you grow larger bamboo varieties to sell as lumber, the stalks typically sell for $10 apiece.
There are no regulations when it comes to selling bamboo but there may be local and state laws restricting the growth of certain species. Overall, bamboo can be a lucrative business if you find the right market to sell to and specialize in less common varieties or specially trained plants.
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.