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How do I control the height of my bamboo plants growth?

 

If you want to encourage your bamboo plant to grow as tall as possible:

1) Cut out any of the small, old or overcrowded canes.

2) When your bamboo plant is shooting, break off some of the smaller shoots so that more of the plants energy can be focused on growing the remaining larger shoots.

3) Maintain your bamboo plant with the optimum fertilizer, water, soil and sun.

Note: Maximum height ratings are rarely achieved in an urban sized planting.  Like a fish that grows 2 feet long in the Ocean but only 2 inches in your aquarium, most bamboo plants will grow smaller in a urban sized planting.  

If you want train your bamboo to grow shorter:

1) As you grow your bamboo grove, you will learn quickly how to estimate the height of your new shoots by looking at the diameter of them when they emerge in the spring.  Break off any shoots that are of a thicker diameter than your desired maximum height culms and only allow the thinner shoots to grow up.

Bamboo is a grass so it can be topped, hedged, legged and trained however you choose.  A bamboo cane can live for many years, but once it is topped, it will never grow taller for the rest of its life.  

Note: It's usually better to grow a bamboo rated taller than you need because it's so easy to control its height. If you choose a bamboo that ends up maturing at a shorter height than you want, there is less you can do about it.