Everything you need to know about Bamboo Bonsai Tree


We know why most of us bring home the feng shui bamboo plant or the bonsai bamboo plant. After all, the name says it all! It’s common for humans to want more prosperity and success in life, and that’s what the bamboo, or Nandina Domestica, does.

In this case, it’s equally important to take care of this unique good luck plant once you have it in your home garden. Since this plant originates from East Asia, it has some unique requirements that must be met in order for it to flourish.

But worry not! in this article, we will provide you with new insights into the bamboo bonsai tree and help you better appreciate your beloved plant.

About Bamboo Bonsai Tree

Scientific nameNandina domestica
Description This bonsai plant is typically known as heavenly bamboo. It is not strictly bamboo; it is a shrub. The plant has a chameleon like a tendency and grows about 6 feet tall. Its young leaves are pink rather than green and with age, they turn red and finally become green. Another transformation happens when the leaves die. They revert to red color and become purple.
PlacementAs the plant is native to East Asia, it needs enough sunshine and warmth. Place them in full sun outdoors or on a south-facing windowsill indoors.
WateringWater the bamboo plant regularly, but make sure that the bonsai pot has excellent drainage. Soil that is kept too wet will cause root rot
FeedingFertilize every other week during its growing period. Use a fertilizer made for bonsai plants.
PruningThe bamboo plant does not need pruning as such. Simply, it needs to be thinned out.
RepottingIt needs repotting every 2 years in the spring. While re-potting prune off the roots extensively to slow the growth rate of the plant. Also, add a mixture of sand and soil for proper drainage.
WiringTrain the branches and the trunk into the desired shape by wrapping them with copper wire.
Special noteBamboo bonsai is an excellent plant for beginner bonsai enthusiasts. They are easy to manage and their color transformation makes them more interesting.

Which Bamboo Species Should I Bonsai?

Basically, bamboo is grass that has a woody and hollow stem. Moreover, you will get more than thousands (about 1662 species) of bamboo species. These species grow in all kinds of climates from warm to cold. However, not every bamboo species is good for bonsai.

As the bamboo plant grows rapidly, it is best to choose dwarf bonsai. Otherwise, your bonsai plant will quickly get out of your hand.

Here are some of the bamboo species that work well as bonsai:

1. Bambusa ventricosa

This variety of bamboo is also called Buddha’s Belly. Additionally, this dwarf variety is highly popular for bonsai. Being grown as bonsai encourages Buddha’s belly to grow bulges and zigzags.

2. Bambusa multiplex

If you want the smallest type of bamboo, choose the dwarf variety called tiny fern or tiny fern striped. These plants are having small leaves that are highly suitable for bonsai. Also, if you are a beginner, it is the right fit for you.

3. Pleioblastus fortune

This species is commonly called Dwarf white stripe. As they are compact, they make a good choice for bonsai. However, you need to prune the roots frequently to keep them in the right size.

4. Pseudosasa owatarii

This bamboo variety naturally grows about a foot tall. Hence, it is easier to grow as bonsai. Also, these species tolerate colds down to 0 degrees Fahrenheit, so you can leave your bonsai outside all year long in most climates.

There are other varieties of bamboo that work well as bonsai. While choosing your variety, think about whether you want tropical bamboo or more hardy bamboo. However, you will have more success if you choose the one that is the dwarf variety or one that is naturally small.

In addition, there are some common indoor plants that have bamboo in their names but are not actually bamboo plants. Though they are not part of the bamboo family, they are still beautiful.

5. Lucky bamboo

This plant looks attractive like bamboo. However, it is a type of water lily. Lucky bamboo looks beautiful, but it is not a bamboo plant.

6. Heavenly bamboo

Even though it’s called heavenly bamboo, it’s not bamboo. Though it is a shrub rather than grass, bamboo does grow in similar conditions. It is easy for heavenly bamboo to grow in a container, and it makes a pretty houseplant. However, if you’re looking for real bamboo, choose a different plant.

Depending on the species of bamboo you choose, the care you provide will be slightly different from one variety to another. Next, we will talk about the general guidelines for growing bonsai bamboo.

How to Bonsai Bamboo

As bamboo is grass rather than a shrub or tree, they differ from other types of bonsai. Hence, they do not react the same way.

However, as long as you are choosing a small variety of bonsai and staying on the top of pruning and trimming, you need not worry much about its styling and shaping.

Bamboo Bonsai Tree Care Guidelines


The bamboo plant makes a great indoor plant as it can tolerate light shade and indirect sunlight. However, your bamboo bonsai will grow larger if you exposed them to bright light. This does not mean you should put your bonsai in full, direct sunlight. Also, keeping them in a bright room can increase their longevity.


Deciding where your plant is from is the key when it comes to sunlight and its placement. In its native environment, the bamboo plant has access to bright light throughout the day, along with some shade from its surrounding plants. Hence, it will expect the same at your home.

So, consider placing your bamboo bonsai outdoor, year-round. They are strong plants and survive in most places. However, more light means denser growth of your bamboo plant.


In bonsai care, the most important aspect is watering. It is critical to remember that over-watering is the major cause of death of bonsai. Also, under-watering is another way to kill the bonsai. Hence, it is important to walk a fine line.

While growing bonsai it is important to know about that plant. You need to be aware of its likes and dislikes. When it comes to bamboo bonsai, it likes to stay outside. However, in a cold snap, it prefers indoors for a few days. But irrespective of indoor or outdoor, it is important to keep them moist all the time. Bamboo bonsai grow fast and just like grasses they are thirsty.


Bamboo prefers moderately moist soil that isn’t excessively wet or dry. In addition, it is vital for the soil to have good drainage so that the roots can absorb new nutrients. Lastly, the soil, and sometimes the bonsai, will need misting with water every 2-3 days.


The ideal temperature for a bamboo plant depends on the type of plant you are growing. Generally, bamboo bonsai handle the high temperature. However, it needs extra shade and watering during this time.

It is mostly assumed that bamboo is a tropical plant and its others varieties are from a tropical area. However, there are bamboo varieties that can grow well in moderate and even colder climates. These varieties of bamboo go dormant during winter to handle the cold temperature. 


Most of the time, your bamboo bonsai will not need much fertilization. Just pure and high-quality water is enough. In fact, overfeeding can cause yellowing leaves. So, whenever you are thinking to fertilize do it every couple of months.

Apply a mild and balanced fertilizer for the basic health of bonsai. And the best time to feed bonsai bamboo is during its growing period, which is from early spring to late fall. 


Regular pruning will help in creating a more dense and delicate growth of bamboo bonsai. The warmer your climate, the faster your bonsai plant will grow. Hence, more pruning will be needed. 

Some of the bamboo species grow incredibly fast, which means pruning becomes even more important to maintain the shape and size of the bamboo plant.


Bamboo grows its roots rapidly; this also means you might need to repot them yearly. So, always keep checking the roots of the plant for repotting. If you notice roots crawling around inside the pot. Then it is time to repot your bonsai bamboo. 

While repotting, use a well-drained soil mixture. For best results, use a mix of Akadama, Pumice, and lava rock in equal parts.


Most bamboos can be easily grown from cuttings. Also, you can buy young bamboo plants in local nurseries. Again, try to get your hands on dwarf plants that are suitable for bonsai.

Steps to Propagate bamboo plant

  • To propagate a bamboo plant, firstly, identify a healthy parent stalk (Select the one that is having more than two bamboo segments) with an offshoot. 
  • Trim the offshoot at the point where it connects to the parent plant stalk and remove its bottom layer of leaves to form an independent stalk.
  • Place the new stalk in a small pot of water. 
  • Nurture the plant the same as a larger one. Repot it as needed. 

Pests and Diseases

A healthy and strong bamboo plant is not susceptible to pests. With enough light and proper watering, you will not experience too many problems with the bamboo bonsai.

However, some of the common pests that affect this plant are mealybugs, mites, and fungal infections.

If you see the grey fuzz on your bamboo, it could be a fungal infection. To get rid of this, remove the infected growth, keep the stalk and leaves dry, and increase air circulation. 

Mealybugs are small white insects that you can remove manually or with rubbing alcohol. Although mites (presented as white webbing or fuzz) don’t typically affect bamboo bonsai, they can be caught by other household plants. They need to be got rid of with water and dish detergent.
Problems: Ideally, bamboo bonsai should be green, but if any part of the bamboo stem or leaves is yellow, this is a sign that your plant is sick. Cut off the yellow part of the stem or the leaves completely so it doesn’t spread to the rest of the bamboo plant.

Bamboo Bonsai Tree Styling

Typically, bonsai bamboo is styled in forest or group planting style. Given that they tend to grow naturally this way. There are no practical ways to style them.

Bamboos are the colony plant. It means they produce new shoots each year. So, you can remove some of the shoots. It will eventually grow a new one. Also, one more nice thing about this bonsai plant is that if you mess up the styling (we all do at the beginning stage) it will grow more shoots anyway. They are not delicate. Hence, you are less likely to hurt them permanently.

In addition, unlike other bonsai, there’s no need to wire bamboo plants into any shape. Pruning and trimming are enough to maintain their shape.

After 5-10 years, bamboo shoots will die. When this happens, remove the dead culms. There should be enough other stems that losing a few each year won’t dramatically affect your bamboo appearance.


Although bamboo is one of the fastest-growing plants in the world, it is still extremely popular as bonsai. Because bamboo bonsai are much easier to care for than other types of bonsai.

In styling bamboo bonsai, it is a little tricker compared to other types of bonsai. You do not have many options as bamboo does not have real branches.

That being said, this bonsai looks attractive and is styled in group planting to resemble a forest. Also, they tend to be very resilient, making them a great choice for beginners than other more delicate bonsai options. 

However, Bamboo is not just for beginners. Bonsai enthusiasts enjoy adding bamboo bonsai as accents in their collections.

So, isn’t it a great idea to add this feng shui plant to your other bonsai collection?

Let us know your experience with bamboo bonsai in below comment section.

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