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A bamboo in a pot is an ideal way to green the balcony or to provide your own property with Asian accents. If you are interested in purchasing the robust grasses, you should know about bamboo care, as the plants in the tub require much more attention than if they are planted outdoors. Especially on the balcony or terrace, the plants can be problematic.

Appropriate species

One of the most important aspects of bamboo care is the selection of the appropriate species, because not every species of the Bambusoideae should be planted in a pot. The potential growth height, the weight and of course the notorious offshoots, which have to be kept in check in the garden with a rhizome barrier, must be taken into account here. With regard to these points, Fargesia species in particular have proven to be excellent for planting in containers, as they do not form runners and therefore do not burst the container due to their growth. The following are particularly recommended:

  • Umbrella bamboo (bot. Fargesia murielae)
  • Fountain bamboo (Fargesia nitida 'Fontäne')
  • Fargesia nitida 'Jiuzhaigou Geneve'
  • Fargesia spathacea

Although all Fargesia that do not grow too large are suitable for this purpose, the species and varieties mentioned have turned out to be particularly decorative in the planter. Especially on the balcony they present their charm. You can also pot runner-forming species of the genus Phyllostachys in a planter, but they will never reach their final size. In addition, they have to be repotted annually, otherwise their foothills will have an easy time. When repotting these species, it is necessary to completely remove the runners so that these taxa do not break through the container. This can even happen with stone models.

Fargesia murielae, umbrella bamboo, Muriel bamboo

tip: A popular design element in Asia is cut bamboo stalks that are stuck in sand. These look appealing on the balcony and terrace and require no maintenance at all.


The location is one of the essential points when keeping a bamboo in a bucket. Choosing the balcony or terrace, you need to pay attention to the following characteristics of the site, so that it has a positive effect on the vitality of grasses:

  • Light requirements: sunny to shaded
  • Partial shade is tolerated
  • high humidity throughout the year
  • sheltered from the wind

In themselves, bamboo taxa are very resilient and can be kept on all balconies as long as they are not too dark or plagued by the wind. Especially if you live on the fifth floor or have a roof terrace, you have to be careful.


Bamboo is quite demanding in terms of the substrate used and you should definitely use good quality soil. The Poaceae does not tolerate compacted soil, which is a typical problem with poor quality. A mixture of the following ingredients is ideal:

  • Clay
  • sand
  • Pine bark (grain size 7 to 15 millimeters)
  • clay granules

Alternatively, use a bamboo or unit soil and enrich it with Seramis and a little rock flour.


Due to the untamed growth of bamboo, repotting is immensely important to provide the plant with sufficient nutrients over the long term and to protect the soil from compacting. Even the choice of pot is essential for healthy bamboo species. You should note the following data:

  • Material: metal, wood, plastic, basalt
  • Shape: square
  • drainage holes are necessary

Square pots are recommended as they better stabilize the weight of the plant outdoors. To ensure that the grass does not get too hot in summer and too cold in winter, you should line the bucket with Styrodur panels that are 3.5 to four centimeters thick. Even the floor has to be clad and for this reason have drainage holes. In addition, the new pot must be about three centimeters larger in circumference. A drainage is laid out on the floor, which must be between five and ten centimeters thick. The following materials are suitable for this:

  • crumbled Styrodur or Styrofoam
  • Seramis
  • expanded clay
  • gravel
  • grit

The smaller the pot, the thinner the drainage can be, measuring as little as an inch. Styrofoam in particular is often used as a drainage layer, as the roots of the bamboo plants like to grow into it and hold on to it in this way.

  • Carefully set the bamboo aside
  • pull out of the pot
  • remove some old soil
  • check roots for rot
  • Just cut away the rotten ones
  • fill fresh substrate in the new pot
  • Use bamboo
  • fill with substrate

Finally, gently press the substrate and then moisten it with a spray bottle. In the near future pay more attention to the water requirements of the plant.

tip: Be sure to repot your bamboo immediately after purchase, as in most cases the substrate has already used up most of the nutrients and significantly restricts the growth of the plant.


Watering or watering a bamboo in a bucket is a difficult issue because the plants need a lot of water. At the same time should not be watered too much, since waterlogging is very dangerous and can quickly lead to the death of the plant. The following tips will help you with watering:


When caring for bamboo, it is important to water it all year round, since Bambusoideae are evergreen plants. Especially during the summer months, you should wipe the substrate with a finger test check and water accordingly. You should never water at midday, otherwise the water will evaporate too quickly, especially in the pot.

shower off

Instead of administering irrigation water over the substrate, you can shower the plant sufficiently. Because bamboo species absorb a lot of moisture through their leaves, the spray bottle is the ideal tool for watering. This alternative is particularly recommended over the summer, as the leaves dry out quickly when it gets hot, even if you take good care of them.


Although bamboo tolerates hard water, it is much more happy about soft water. Just rainwater is very popular, which you can take advantage of outdoors on the balcony. A small rain shower does not harm the plant.
Make sure that no waterlogging forms. If the substrate is too wet, it is essential that the excess water is used by the plant first.


Fertilizing is not as difficult a part of care as watering. Bamboooideae need a special one in Germany bamboo fertilizer, which you administer via the irrigation water every four to six weeks from the end of March to the end of June. Alternatively, use a liquid fertilizer with a long-term effect and lots of nitrogen.


Overwintering Fargesia and other bamboo species has its own pitfalls. Above all, the water supply is to be mentioned here. Water regularly and check the substrate beforehand using the finger test. You should never spray the leaves during the cold season, as this could cause them to freeze. If you have covered the pot with Styrodur and the location is right, it does not need winter protection. Otherwise, pack the crop in the following way:

  • place in a wind-protected location (keyword: house wall)
  • Tie straws together
  • Wrap buckets with coconut mats or bubble wrap
  • Cover the stalks with fir branches or garden fleece
  • Fleece must be breathable

Alternatively, place the bamboo plant in a conservatory or an unused, cool room. The location should be bright but protected from the winter sun. Normal bamboo care can be taken up from the end of March.


Bucket bamboo is propagated like any other bamboo by division. To do this, the plant must be removed from the pot and the entire plant divided in half. Even the sections can be divided into more specimens, increasing the number of specimens you can pot. To share, use one of the following tools:

  • Axe
  • spade
  • bow axe

You can simply dispose of damaged straws. However, only use disinfected and sharp tools.


Diseases are quite rare in bamboo species, even in pots. The sweet grasses are not really susceptible to bacteria, fungi or viruses, but pests can really get to them. These attack the plant juices and the green, which is important for the vitality of the Bambusoideae. The following four pests are typical and must be combated:

bamboo mite

The bamboo mite occurs mainly in southern Germany and can be recognized by light spots that emanate from the petiole and can be seen on the upper side of the leaf. The affected leaves must be removed, the humidity increased and, if necessary, chemical agents used.


Aphids do not stop at bucket bamboo and can be recognized above all by a dark coating. In addition, the lice can be seen on closer inspection. You should remove heavily withered parts and treat the rest of the plant with a broth made from horsetail (bot. Equisetum).

Mealybugs and mealybugs

Even these pests do not stop at the sweet grasses. They get stuck under the culm sheaths and can weaken the plant in the long run. As soon as you find greasy-looking lice, you must collect them and apply a spray made from canola oil and water. If that doesn't help, unfortunately the chemical mace is used.

scale insects

Scale insects can be recognized by their shields, which the arachnid uses as protection. They mainly appear during the winter and are carried indoors from the balcony. They have a good chance of surviving indoors. Cover the pot with cling film and gently brush off these lice. Then use a rapeseed oil spray and if that is not enough, you have to use chemicals.

If you need to use chemical agents against the pests, you should contact a bamboo expert beforehand. They know exactly which means are suitable. This is important, because they should not be too aggressive, since bamboo often reacts more sensitively to chemicals in the bucket.

tip: In rare cases, an infestation by Botrytis fungi, the gray mold rot. come when the bamboo has to endure waterlogging. If the stalks are wilted, you should remove the affected parts of the plant and repot immediately so that the plant receives fresh substrate and no longer suffers from the unfavorable conditions.

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