Have you ever tried to grow bamboo as a houseplant? Do you know hydroponically growing bamboo is possible?
Imagine the attraction of the clean, upright stalks of your bamboo plant standing regally in a clear container, visible from root to crown.
Can you grow bamboo hydroponically?
In principle, bamboo can be grown hydroponically, as it does not easily rot in water. It also has strong vertical growth, which gives it an advantage without the anchor that soil offers. However, not all varieties of bamboo are suited to be grown hydroponically indoors.
Growing Bamboo Hydroponically
Bamboo has an advantage over many houseplants, in that it will not rot when grown in water. This means that it’s possible to grow bamboo hydroponically quite successfully.
However, using hydroponics to grow bamboo in your home is not necessarily a quick alternative, as not every variety of bamboo is suited to this type of cultivation – mostly because they are quick-growing and not suited to being grown inside.
This means that, in principle, bamboo can be grown hydroponically, but not all varieties are suited to this method.
What Species of Bamboo Grow Best Hydroponically
By far, the most amenable and popular variety of bamboo to grow inside is Lucky Bamboo, although Malay Dwarf can also be grown hydroponically quite successfully.
‘Lucky Bamboo’ is easy to grow and is very hardy, which also makes it an attractive alternative for a houseplant.
To be correct, ‘Lucky Bamboo’ is not actually bamboo, but it is described as such – and resembles bamboo plants, with the clump of straight stems growing close together.
It is adaptable and grows well in a variety of locations.
How to Grow Bamboo Hydroponically
Growing bamboo hydroponically begins the same way as cultivating the plant in soil.
With both approaches, the plants can be grown successfully from cuttings: a section of a growing stem that is taken and kept in water until roots begin to grow.
Taking a Cutting
When taking a cutting from a bamboo plant, don’t just take them from anywhere. Firstly, make sure that the plant you choose is healthy and growing strongly.
Then, only select stems that are growing. Each cutting should be about 10 inches (25cms) in length and have 2-3 nodes.
Cut the stem at a 45° angle, using clean pruning shears or a sharp knife.
Putting the Cuttings into Water
As soon after being cut as possible, the bamboo cuttings should be put into water. In this container, the bamboo cuttings should stand upright, which means that you will need to use something to help them.
You can use stones (or something equivalent) and place them in the container’s bottom half.
Because bamboo grows upright and quite straight, it may be more effective to use a frame across the container, with holes that are just large enough for the cuttings to fit through.
Choosing the Water for Hydroponic Growth
When you are setting up the hydroponic system to grow bamboo, it is important to use water that is as pure as possible. Try to use borehole water or water that has not been chlorinated.
It may be distilled, but should at least be filtered.
If you use normal household water, then let it stand for at least 24 hours in the sun before using it. This can help to break down some chlorine.
Making the Nutrient Solution
To make sure that the bamboo can get all the necessary nutrients, you should add a nutrient solution to the water.
Bamboo is not a particularly fussy plant, so you can simply add a few drops of plant food to the water. You can also visit your local garden shop or nursery to purchase a specific nutrient solution.
Growing the Bamboo Plants
Once the hydroponic system for your bamboo is set up, the plants will grow quite happily on their own. However, to replenish the oxygen, you’ll have to change the bamboo’s water once every few days.
Don’t let the plant stand in the same water for too long.
Growing Bamboo In and Around the Home
Bamboo is an attractive plant and can be grown quite successfully in your home. It has a huge advantage over other houseplants in that it increases the oxygen levels significantly.
Some bamboo varieties grow quite quickly, but a slower-growing plant can be an ongoing feature in your home.
What it Means to Grow Plants Hydroponically
Growing a plant hydroponically means to grow it directly and only in water, not using soil.
Without soil to provide the anchor for the roots, plants grown hydroponically need something for the roots to hold onto in the water, such as pebbles, glass beads, or marbles, which will not absorb the water and will not disintegrate.
Another function that soil performs is to hold the water and nutrients the plant needs, which are absorbed by the roots.
Again, hydroponics has to simulate this, so the cuttings are grown in a nutrient solution, not plain water.
Advantages of Hydroponic Growth
Hydroponics is becoming a popular alternative method for growing crops, particularly those that have a high demand for food.
The spin-off effect of this on domestic gardening is that hydroponics is an interesting alternative to growing plants.
It needs fewer elements than soil-growing and the weather and other external factors are less of a factor.
Hydroponics is also ultimately more water-wise and takes up less space than traditional methods of plant growth.
Things to Remember When Growing Plants Hydroponically
Plants get most of their food from photosynthesis, but also absorb water, minerals, and other nutrients through their roots from in the soil.
Plants that are grown hydroponically can only get the minerals and nutrients from the water, so there should be some form of nutrient solution, rather than just plain water.
It’s crucial to ensure that this contains the correct nutrient amounts.
If the nutrient uptake of plants is improved, this will affect their growth. On the other hand, some elements that a plant may encounter can actually retard growth.
Adding nitrogen to the growth medium of bamboo inhibits the uptake of nutrients. The plant no longer receives what it needs to grow efficiently and the effects of this can be seen in the way the plant grows.
Bamboo is quite suited to be grown hydroponically, but not all species are slow-growing enough to suit being grown indoors.
Perhaps you should seek out Lucky Bamboo to grow hydroponically, which will also help to improve the Feng Shui of your home.
Taking care of houseplants and gardening are my greatest passions. I am transforming my apartment into an urban jungle and am growing veggies in my indoor and outdoor garden year-round.