Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Is bamboo a tree?
No, bamboo is a grass, fast growing, and typically woody.
Are bamboo and rattan (cane) the same?
No. Rattan and bamboo belong to disparate botanical families, have different properties, and are propagated and grown in dissimilar ways. Rattan is a palm, normally a climber and solid, while bamboo is a grass, and typically a hollow cylinder. Bamboo grows easily, and very quickly. Cane is a climber, requires a secluded environment, and has long gestation periods. All of the bamboo plant, from root to culm and leaves is utilised in diverse ways. Essentially only the stem of the rattan plant is used.
How can I prevent bamboo from spreading?
Bamboo is a natural spreader since rhizomes tend to move towards nutrient sources. A simple containment method is to dig a trench, preferably at a distance of at least 3-4 metres from the core of the clump. The trench should be deep enough to thwart the spread of the rhizome, normally at least 90 cm for medium diameter species. For home gardens, polythene sheet can be used to encircle the rhizome, or a metallic barrier.
What is a bamboo shoot?
A bamboo shoot is a young culm harvested at the time, or shortly after it appears above the soil surface. At this stage it is soft enough to be eaten. Left alone, it will develop rapidly into a woody culm. Bamboo shoots are a valuable source of nutrition and fibre, and are relished all over the world.
Does bamboo grow everywhere in India?
Yes, bamboo grows naturally in every State in the country, and in every region, except the extremely hot and cold deserts, for example in Western Rajasthan and in Ladakh.
What is lucky bamboo?
'Lucky bamboo' is a popular plant, increasingly available in shops and stores. The plant is probably of West African origin. It is easy to maintain. It thrives without soil in a few inches of water, and requires only a little sunlight to grow. It is however not bamboo. It is Dracenia sanderiana, a member of the lily family.
Can I grow a bamboo hedge?
Yes, bamboo has traditionally been utilised to create screens and hedges, and even windbreaks. Bambusa multiplex is a good bamboo for hedges. It is a medium sized bamboo with closely spaced thin culms, and a very dense growth habit. It is easy to grow and maintain, and responds well to pruning.
Bamboo shoot - Dendrocalamus asper
Lucky Bamboo - not bamboo at all !
Bamboo Hedge - Bambusa multiplex