Buying bamboo plants can be a confusing adventure. For one thing, you have to figure out what species you want. The best way of doing this is to determine the plants purpose. Do you want timber bamboo, a hedge, groundcover? Knowing this will allow you to pick the right height. You will then need to decide clumping or running. From this, you can narrow it down to bamboo plants that will grow in your area and from there you can look at the specific care that’s needed for the plant and make sure it will survive where you intend to plant it. This may seem to be overwhelming, and to tell you the truth- it is. The good news though is that if you buy your plants from reputable sources they can, and will, gladly help you sort through the mountains of information to find the best species!
“Great, so how do I find a reputable grower?”
Good question, the best place to start is with the American Bamboo Society (ABS) . On their site you will be able to (hopefully) find local bamboo growers. The easiest way to navigate their site is to click on the search sources on the second menu below the “bamboo species source list” banner. Once on there you should be able to find local growers, or growers that will send plants through mail order. These growers should have the experience necessary to help you pick out a plant that suits your needs.
Tip: If you are really interested in bamboo it is a great idea to join the ABS, this will give you access to things happening in your local chapter along with plant auctions and in some cases access to free plants.
It is my suggestion to buy your bamboo (especially your first few plants) from a member of the ABS, this ensures that they’re serious about what they do and will most likely provide you with a healthy plant.
If the ABS doesn’t pan out for you (a rare thing in my experience) then you can also check into other online sellers. A quick Google search will reveal the most popular online sellers, but you should still buy from them cautiously. Two that seem to be great are www.bamboogarden.com and www.lewisbamboo.com.
If however you just don’t have the money and want a couple of plants for enjoyment sake, there are several places you can find cheap (and even sometimes free) bamboo.