Bamboo Types

February 12, 2024
Bamboe soorten
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Bamboo is a plant species that belongs to the grasses (Poaceae). This type of grass is hard and, like almost all other grasses, has hollow stems. The bamboo plant is very suitable for making specific sustainable products, but can also serve as a (house)plant. When bamboo is used for human purposes, it is useful to take into account the difference between the different types of bamboo. We distinguish between two types of bamboo: invasive and non-invasive bamboo.

Invasive types of bamboo such as the Phyllostachys, Pseudosasa, and Sasa grow with the help of underground vertical runners, thereby taking up a large piece of land. When bamboo is planted in a domestic environment, it is therefore desirable to install a bamboo barrier. Non-invasive bamboo continues to grow in the same place and therefore causes less to no nuisance to road traffic or neighbors. The most well-known non-invasive bamboo species is the Fargesia Murieliae. This is a suitable bamboo species for, for example, in the garden. Below is the necessary information about invasive and non-invasive bamboo and the planting of it.

Invasive bamboo

Invasive bamboo forms underground runners, also called rhizomes. These runners do not grow very deep into the ground, but they can spread very far horizontally. These runners create new bamboo shoots. In the case of invasive bamboo types even years after the first bamboo shoot has grown, a new plant can emerge from the ground meters away.

In the wild, this is beneficial. Where a first bamboo shoot has to fight for its place in the ground to get all the nutrients, the subsequent bamboo shoots can use the network of the underground roots. So it happens that from a small weak bamboo plant of an invasive bamboo species, new and stronger bamboo plants grow a few years later. Due to the vertically spreading rhizomes, it can happen that a bamboo forest has completely originated from just one underground bamboo rootstock.

However, invasive bamboo is less advantageous to plant in the garden or on the balcony. The bamboo species grows uncontrollably, and is so strong and fast, that it is difficult to keep the bamboo under control. It is therefore wise to purchase a bamboo barrier when invasive bamboo is placed in the garden. An example of an invasive bamboo species is the previously mentioned Phyllostachys. Other common invasive bamboo species are the Pseudo Sasa and the Sasa. The Phyllostachys aurea and the Pseudosasa japonica also belong to the non-invasive plant species bamboo.

Invasive bamboo

Non-invasive bamboo

In contrast to invasive bamboo, non-invasive bamboo species do not get runners and grow from a compact clump. A clump is a u-shaped rootstock that develops upwards. These new rootstocks arise from shoots on an existing rootstock. This encourages the shoots to multiply within the existing surface, causing the bamboo clumps to get a clumpy shape.

In general, non-invasive bamboo species can better withstand drought than invasive bamboo species. Compared to invasive bamboo, non-invasive bamboo species can dig quite deep and therefore also live in shady conditions. This root system develops in a compressed clump and grows gradually, usually no more than a few centimeters per year. With non-invasive bamboo species, there is therefore no need for a root barrier to keep the bamboo together.

Non-invasive bamboo species grow from a clump into the height. This clump grows as the bamboo also gets bigger and older. This means that when a non-invasive bamboo plant grows, the clump under the ground also gets bigger in a concentrated spot. This is roughly comparable to the growth of trees: as the bamboo gets older, the concentrated clump under the ground also gets bigger. There are different types of bamboo that are categorized as non-invasive bamboo species, such as the Fargesia Murieliae, Bambusa and Borinda for example.

The Fargesia is the most commonly used bamboo species. There are few plants that can so quickly and effectively hide unwanted views and intrusiveness. Fargesia is a fine-leaved bamboo species that grows in stakes and does not invade. Moreover, it is a bamboo species that can be used along the pond, as a beautiful hedge, and in pots.

Non-invasive bamboo

Planting bamboo

Bamboo is a popular garden plant, mainly due to its rapid growth and long thin stems. Some bamboo is suitable for planting in a more tropical climate, while others are suitable for a more urban environment. Non-invasive bamboo, for example, works well as a natural partition. Invasive bamboo is harder to control and if no use is made of a bamboo barrier, they quickly outgrow their jacket. When the invasive bamboo gets out of hand, it is very difficult to remove.

Most types of bamboo thrive in moist, well-drained soil. Most types of soil are sufficient for planting bamboo, but some do better in acidic soil. Also, most types of bamboo love sun, but some non-invasive bamboo plants like the Sasa, can be grown in the shade. It is most beneficial to plant the bamboo in the spring to stimulate the development of strong roots and sticks before the bamboo goes dormant in the fall.

There are several reasons to plant bamboo: to create height, to lay a beautiful hedge, to form a partition, or to cover a wall. The advantage of planting bamboo over, for example, (ornamental) grasses, is that bamboo generally retains its fresh green color all year round. Grasses only stay green in exceptional cases, in a mild winter. After this, they have to be cut back in length, causing a loss of privacy. Bamboo does not need to be pruned: it is only desirable to occasionally remove some dry leaves from the plants.

All in all, all types of bamboo can be divided into two categories: invasive and non-invasive bamboo. These two types of bamboo differ in the way they grow. Invasive bamboo does not grow very deep into the ground and vertically, so that from one bamboo rhizome several bamboo plants can grow for years to kilometers away. Non-invasive bamboo, on the other hand, grows deeper into the ground and is concentrated in one place, creating a concentrated group of bamboo stems. Non-invasive bamboo is therefore the most beneficial when you want to plant bamboo yourself in the garden or on the balcony.

Bamboi toilet paper is made from the Neosinocalamus affinis, a non-invasive bamboo plant. Our bamboo toilet paper has many advantages and is produced in China, where large bamboo forests can be found. Order our bamboo toilet paper here! Also read everything about our co2 footprint.

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