How Much Do Bamboo Plants Cost?

Written by: Staff

Bamboo plants come in different varieties, and bamboo is a well-loved plant, especially by those who want to add views to their garden and/or home.  On the market, there are more than 1,000 species and some can grow to more than 100 feet.

Bamboo by barsen, on Flickr
Bamboo” (CC BY-SA 2.0) by  barsen

How much do bamboo plants cost?

Timber bamboo, which has a diameter of two to four inches, can grow up to 35 to 50 feet.  This type of plant will cost anywhere from $110 to $150.  A mid-range bamboo plant that has a diameter of one to two inches can grow 22 to 38 feet, and something like this will cost anywhere from $50 to $90.

Clumping bamboos have a growth habit of only spreading out an inch or so each year.  A stalk that ranges a half inch to a full one inch in diameter that matures at eight to 15 feet in height can cost an average of $50 to $150.  Common clumping varieties include Alphonse Karr, Giant Buddha’s Belly, Murray Island, Chinese Dwarf Bamboo, Timbor Black and the Golden Goddess.

A 15 to 25-foot bamboo plant can cost $250 to $500.  A bamboo in a 15-gallon container will cost anywhere $150 to $275.

There are also bamboo plants sold in 1,5, 15, and 25-gallon containers with a varied number of culms per gallon. The cost can range anywhere from $10 to $400, depending on the variety and size of the plant.  Bamboo Garden, for example, offers the prices for its bamboo plants that range anywhere from one to 25+ feet tall.  Prices, depending on the species, can be as little as $25 to more than $400.

Smaller bamboo plants that are a few inches tall designed for desks can cost anywhere from $4 to $25.

Bamboo plant overview

Bamboo is used as a privacy screen, as a windbreaker, as a hedge or as ground cover.  It can also be used as a simple house plant.

Standard nursery sizes may include the following:  a one-gallon, two-gallon, three-gallon, 15-gallon and 25-gallon.  Each gallon should have one to three culms per plant.

With more than 1,000 bamboo species on the market, it’s important to note the plant’s light tolerance and running/clumping key.  Each species will need a certain amount of light and some can only handle certain temperatures.  This can range anywhere from no sunlight to a full day of sun.  Clumping bamboo will be slower to form and are picky to climate zones while running bamboo will be fast to screen and can be suitable for just about any climate.

Depending on the species, some roots can go down two to three feet.

Some nurseries may include start-up feed, a care kit, and other accessories to ensure the plant is able to grow to a full, healthy size.

What are the extra costs?

A rhizome control barrier is recommended to stop shallow bamboo from spreading.  If this barrier isn’t buried, the bamboo can spread similar to an unwanted weed.  A 60-mil barrier with a 30-inch depth will cost anywhere from $2 to $3 per foot.  An 80-mil barrier with a 30-inch depth will cost anywhere from $3.50 to $4 per foot.  This barrier will have to be buried at least 18 inches into the ground to be effective.  As long as you control the root expansion, you will be able to control the spreading.

Purchasing bamboo online can often incur additional shipping fees.  This is pretty common since most local nurseries won’t sell it.  Some nurseries may ship for free if a certain amount is spent.

Hiring a landscaper to plant larger trees could cost upwards of a few hundred dollars.  This will all depend on the size of the tree and the contractor you choose.

Tips to know:

To keep the plants alive and healthy for an extended period of time, try to water them daily.  Fertilizer is also a good idea to help promote growth.

If the leaves start to turn yellow, it may mean that the plant is either getting too much sunlight or the plant is getting too much water, particularly tap water that has fluoride.

Lack of water is going to be the most common problem when it comes to an indoor bamboo plant.

The height of the bamboo does not indicate its maturity.  It is always important to choose the plant based on the maturity of the rhizome stock.  For example,  a one-foot tall five-gallon bamboo plant that has been in a pot for two years with healthy active rhizomes will always grow taller and faster.

Some species can grow more than 12 feet in a year and can often spread like a weed in neighboring areas.  With more than 1,000 species, it’s important to research its growth rate.

To create a privacy fence, plant at least three to four feet apart for a quick, dense screen.

On the market, black bamboo tends to be the highest in demand.

This type of plant isn’t toxic to animals; in fact, it can contain up to 20 percent protein, making it a great plant option.

In cooler areas, it’s best to plan in the spring, summer or the early fall.

If an area has standing water, such as a swamp, it may not do well since it needs drainage.

Mixing varieties will be more than okay since they will grow together fine; however, if you’re planting in a smaller area, it’s recommended you stick to one species.

Regardless of where you live, there’s a species that should work in your climate zone.

Deer and rabbits are known to eat bamboo, but it will be limited.  If you plant smaller bamboo plants, it’s best to cover them and apply it with hot sauce to avoid pests.

Is bamboo a grass?  Yes.  Bamboos are evergreen plants that are part of the grass family, Poaceae., making it by far the largest member.

How to grow bamboo

How can I save money?

With any plant, the smaller you purchase, the more you’re going to be able to save.  If you have the patience to watch it grow, consider a smaller one to five-gallon plant.

The Internet is filled with hundreds of nurseries who specialize with bamboo.  Consider browsing and getting at least three to five price estimates before purchasing.  Before purchasing, however, be sure to check the nursery’s reputation.

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