Bamboo plants are not typically cheap. In fact, they can be downright expensive! Knowing this, I thought it would be fun to put together a guide for finding and obtaining cheap bamboo plants!
What you should know before you go cheap
Cheap and free always sound good, but buying cheap plants does come with some risk.
First, there is an issue of bamboo mites. These mites make the plants appear unsightly and they can be hard to get rid of. Bamboo mites are transported from place to place by growers who are unknowingly or irresponsibly selling or giving away their infected plants. Spreading mites is not something you want to be a part of! The only way to completely get rid of them (supposedly) is cutting the stalks down, burning the debris and spraying the new shoots as they come up.
If you choose to get a cheap or free plant, look at the leaves carefully, especially the bottom of the leaf. If they appear variegated but are supposedly not a variegated leaf bamboo, then I would make the assumption that there are mites.
Another issue is that you might not know the exact type of plant you’re getting or anything about it. This will make it harder to plant it and care for it. You may also end up with a running species instead of a clumping species. This scenario could end up being a headache.
To control running species a barrier is often installed around the plant. This obviously costs more money and takes more time! If running bamboo is allowed to grow freely it could grow under or through cement causing problems or even onto neighboring land. Getting a plant from a bamboo nursery will ensure you get the right plant for your circumstance and the support you need to plant and grow it!
With that being said, many nurseries will be kind enough to help you ID your plant without having bought it there.
Finding cheap bamboo
Cheap plants can be found in a variety of locations. The safest place to look though is your local ABS chapter. In some cases members will list plants for free or cheap just because they have too many.
The second place I would look is Craigslist. Craigslist will often have cheap or even free bamboo plants. I would be extra careful of mites with these growers!
Third, you can always check out your local hardware-type store such as Lowes or Home depot. These types of stores will frequently have a species or two of bamboo in their plant section. Plants shouldn’t have mites as they are heavily sprayed, but there is still a possibility.
Lastly, I would recommend you give the internet a search. Places like Ebay and Amazon frequently have good deals on plants and you just might be able to find the bamboo you’re looking for. Once again though, you will have to check the plant for mites upon arriving.
Well, I hope this was helpful to anyone looking to get a cheap plant. Like I said, there are some risks, but you can end up with some great cheap bamboo plants!