Buying bamboo plants can be a confusing adventure. For one thing, you have to figure out what species you want and then you need to know where to buy the bamboo plants from.
The good news is I want to help you with this task. The bad news is that it’s not a linear process like you would have when picking a new cell phone. Picking a specific species before even knowing what’s available at the shop doesn’t work. That’s why it’s so important to know where you are going to buy the bamboo from before you make your final decision on what bamboo species you want to buy.
Ok, so where can I buy bamboo plants?
That’s probably what you are asking yourself right now. Here are your two choices:
- Local nursery, botanical institute, or commercial garden center
- Online shop
There are pros and cons to both options so I want to point that out briefly.
Why buying locally is a good idea
- Whatever they offer will grow in your local climate (then you just have to check for your specific purpose, sun conditions, etc)
- You can check the plant’s health and look for signs of diseases or pests before purchasing
- Not much stress by shipping the plants around
- You would support a local business
When buying locally may not be the best option
- There is no place near you (maybe longer drive)
- May not carry the species you picked
The pros and cons for shopping online for bamboo plants
- Larger variety
- You can shop from home
- Delivery to your house
- Shipping stress for plants
- You are unable to check the plant’s health before purchasing
- Need to do more research on your own in order to pick a good species
If you choose to buy online, make sure it is a reputable grower.
Great, so how do I find a reputable grower?
Good question, the best place to start is with the American Bamboo Society (ABS) . However, their website seems to not function properly but they moved the sources to a different place so that people can still benefit from them. Click here and search with this (super old) feature. They can tell you what places ship withing the US or worldwide. They also can tell you local nurseries and growers.
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.
By the way, it is not a bad idea to pick a nursery that is still somewhat close so that the plants aren’t put under much stress from shipping.
Buying bamboo in the UK
The ABS mostly works with US businesses. So, what about the UK you may ask? There actually is a Bamboo Society of Great Britain. Unfortunately, they don’t have a list of reputable growers and nurseries.
One of the most reputable bamboo nurseries that sell online is Scottish Bamboo. The website is easy to navigate and not 100 years old and they have a great variety. UK-Bamboos has a good variety too but you have to know what you are looking for and the ordering is via email. It’s a quite old website…
If you are specifically looking for privacy screens or hedges, check out the bamboo species at Grasslands Nursery. Although not specialized, they seem to be a good place to buy plants at. The same goes for Paramount Plants.
Buying bamboo in Australia
Australia has its own Bamboo Society (BSA) and they actually arrived in this century with their website (yey!). They provide plenty of information and resources, for example, a list of nurseries. Just a heads up: It’s a long list.
Three of the most popular online shops & nurseries are Bamboo Australia, Bamboo Down Under, and Bamboo Land. They are all located in Queensland, so I’d recommend checking out the list if you live far away from that.