Frequently Asked Questions
Why should I choose bamboo?
Bamboo is a great choice for adding a tropical/oriental feel to your garden. Bamboo is actually a member of the grass family and is evergreen with leaves all year round. It is also one of the fastest growing plants on the planet! This makes it a great solution for screening/privacy needs as plants can reach significant heights in a comparatively short period of time. If it does get too tall, bamboo can be easily pruned (lopped) to a desired height. Lower branches can also be pruned (pleached) for aesthetic benefits. It also looks great a night with some garden spot lights!
Clumping bamboo, running bamboo…what’s the difference?
Clumping bamboo varieties have a dense, slow spreading, non-invasive root system. Many clumping bamboos will only grow around one meter in diameter. This is ideal for common backyard scenario. Running bamboo has a quickly expanding rhizome root system which is invasive and can cause problems in the garden. At Zen Bamboo we primarily focus on clumping bamboos. The only running bamboo we sell is Black Bamboo (Phyllostachys nigra) which is suitable for pots.
How big will the bamboo grow?
Here at Zen Bamboo we stock a variety of bamboo that grows from as small as four meters to as high as 20 meters! Please talk to Jason or Justin about the bamboo that will best suit your needs, as well as considering your garden/planting situation.
Will bamboo grow in cooler climates, like Canberra?
Yes, we stock a number of bamboo varieties that are very hardy and can tolerate from near drought conditions to the depths of a Canberra winter. The main varieties we stock were originally introduced to Australia from cooler climate areas of China. Please Speak to Jason (Canberra) or Justin (Newcastle & Central Coast) for advice on the most suitable bamboo for your needs.
What soil preparation do I need to do?
The more ground preparation you do the better. It all depends on your current garden/soil situation. If the soil is less than optimum (i.e. clay or sand) it is best to add some soil conditioner, available from most nurseries. When digging a hole, it’s best to dig a hole as deep as the pot depth and twice as wide. For sandy soil, it can be beneficial to dig a slightly deeper hole, so the plant’s root ball is buried 30mm deeper than it was originally. Ideally mix in a small amount of compost/aged manure into the soil – approximately 30 percent compost/aged manure, 70 percent soil. Mushroom compost from your local landscape supplier usually does the trick.
When is the best time to plant my bamboo?
The sooner your bamboo is in the ground, the sooner it can establish roots and take best advantage of the next growing season. If planting in the hotter seasons, be extra mindful to ensure the adequate water and nutrients are provided.
Can I talk to someone at Zen Bamboo?
Absolutely, we are happy to chat anytime! We have an online chat function on our website, or you can contact Justin (0466 719 444) for Newcastle/Central Coast enquiries and Jason (0466 398 776) for Canberra enquiries.
How do I get my bamboo plants home? It won't fit in my car!
We can arrange delivery if required. We also offer free delivery options (subject to a few conditions). Beyond this, we will happily provide a quote for delivery.
Do I need to fertilise my bamboo plants? And with what?
Bamboo is a resilient plant (a grass) and needs little care once established. For optimim results, normal, high nitrogen content fertiliser that you are throwing on your grass will suit bamboo just fine. Alternatively, adding some poultry manure can help – used sparingly.
How much space do I need to plant bamboo?
This depends on the variety of bamboo plant. Please speak to us for further information.
Can I hedge my Zen Bamboo?
Yes, bamboo makes a great hedge or screen. Planting in the recommended way for your variety can create a great block out screen for nosey neighbours! Hedging of bamboo is a breeze as well. Once the culm (stem) has reached the desired height, it can be lopped off. Some of our varieties (i.e. Gracilis), can gently bent over to be lopped. The culms you cut won’t growing any higher and it will actually encourage new shoots! You can also trim to lower branches (pleaching), which can create a striking look.
Do I need to install a root barrier for my bamboo?
It depends on the variety of bamboo your purchase and your garden situation. Most our bamboos are clumping varieties, which means, the roots will only grow to certain size. For running bamboo, yes, we recommend root barrier. In fact, we actually recommend all running bamboo varieties be planted in pots/troughs to ensure it is contained.
Can I plant my bamboo indoors?
Hmmmm. Bamboo really isn’t suited to being an indoor plant. Your bamboo really needs access to clean, circulating air with plenty of sun and water when in pots.
What size bamboo do you sell?
We generally stock a range of pot sizes from 200mm to 400mm pots. When it comes to height, that’s a little tougher, depending on time of year and variety of stock. It is not unusual that we have 4m tall plants in stock! We can always source other bamboo stock if you have something in mind that we don’t have.
Can you help me plant mybamboo?
Yes, we will provide you with a step by step “Planting Guide” to get you bamboo in the ground and off to the best start. We also offer a planting service for those people lacking the time, or desire to plant themselves. Please talk to Jason or Justin about this service.
Where are you located? Can I come and have a look at your stock?
Of course, we welcome a visit anytime:
Newcastle Retail nursery
Rear of 970 Hunter Street (enter via laneway)
Opening hours: See details on Locations page
Contact: Justin – 0466 719 444 e:
Nursery in Forde, Gungahlin
Opening hours: See details on Locations page
Contact: Jason - 0466 398 776 e: