Bamboo

Bamboos are a diverse group of evergreen perennial flowering plants in the subfamily Bambusoideae of the grass family Poaceae. Giant bamboos are the largest members of the grass family. Bamboos are distributed in tropical and subtropical to mild temperate regions, with the heaviest concentration and largest number of species in East and Southeast Asia and on islands of the Indian and Pacific oceans.



A few species of the genus Arundinaria are native to the southern United States, where they form dense canebrakes along riverbanks and in marshy areas. Bamboos include some of the fastest-growing plants in the world, due to a unique rhizome-dependent system. Bamboo a good candidate for afforestation, carbon sequestration and climate change mitigation.


Table of Contents


Height(Avg)

10 - 15 cm (about 4 to 6 inches) in the smallest species

more than 40 metres (about 130 feet) in the largest


Approximate pH

about 6.0


Growth Nutrition of Bamboo


In general, bamboo benefit from nitrogen, which is the first of the three numbers on any package of fertilizer. There are many types of fertilizer or plant foods for use on bamboo plants.


The increase of rhizome growth allows the bamboo to store nutrients and therefore, produce larger plants until a mature culm size is obtained throughout the grove.


Types and Varieties of Bamboo


Bamboo can be split into two general types: running and clumping. For example, clumping varieties spread wider at a slower rate, but grow tall faster. Additionally clumping bamboos don’t require root barriers for containment. Runners on the other hand spread wide very quickly to form dense screens, but require root barriers to contain the spread of the plants rhizomes.


Clumping bamboos have a very short root structure, are genetically incapable of expanding more than few inches a year, and will generally form small circular clumps. The dense root system however can exert strong pressure on structures that come in contact with it, and therefore the larger clumping varieties should not be planted to close to fences, paving, retaining walls, etc. In saying that however, the clumping varieties may be shaped and prevented from putting pressure on any surrounding structures by removing new shoots at soil level when they begin to get too close to a structure. It is advisable to plant a clumping bamboo at least 300-500mm (depending on species) from a fence to allow some room for growth of the plant.


Running bamboos spread vigorously, sending out underground rhizomes which sometimes spread far from the parent plant. Runners fill in the spaces between plantings faster, making them ideal for screens and hedges. Most of the running varieties are also very cold-hardy.


Varieties of Bamboo


Buddha Bamboo: Native to the Chinese regions, the Buddha Bamboo (Bambusa ventricosa) variant is widely popular for its lumpy nodes that are strikingly similar to Buddha’s bulging belly. Unlike the common bamboo trees that you’d see outside, the Buddha Bamboo primarily serves the function of an ornamental plant and is stored in small containers. It thrives best in soil that is consistently moist and fertile. The Buddha Bamboo can grow up to a whopping 55 feet in height.



Umbrella Bamboo: Completely non-invasive, this is an elegant and solid bamboo that is adaptable to almost all temperatures. Featuring greenish-yellow canes, these bamboos are best known for their long and slender leaves. Their foliage appears dainty with greyish-green undertones and unlike many bamboos, it doesn’t need to be snapped or stalked. Umbrella bamboos grow rapidly and grow in clumps, most of which spread around 4 to 5 feet in terms of width. They prefer partial shade as direct sunlight might impact the texture of the leaves. This bamboo assumes a height of up to 15 feet and they are both versatile and easy to grow.



Guadua Bamboo: Belonging to the Neotropical genus, the Guadua is a but a type of thorny bamboo that is primarily found in Uruguay. Some species of the bamboo may also be found in Trinidad and parts of Northern Mexico. The biggest concentrations of these species, however, are found across the Amazon basin.



As with many forest-grown bamboos, the Guadua Bamboo plays a vital role in the diet of Atlantic and Amazonian rats. In America, this bamboo is also deemed highly important since it is one of the main raw materials for constructing houses in the coastal regions and Ecuadorian river-banks. As a building material, the Guadua Bamboo performs exceptionally well since it comes with multiple watershed protection attributes. In some instances, people also use it for its mechanical properties.


Japanese Arrow Bamboo: The Japanese Arrow Bamboo thrives best in the Japanese soil. The name of these bamboos was probably coined by the Japanese Samurai who used the stiff canes of this bamboo for making arrows. The Japanese Arrow Bamboo is native to parts of Korea and a couple of Japanese regions like Honshu, and Kyushu.



Being a cold specie, this bamboo can withstand extremely low temperatures. It also thrives well in complete or partial shade and boasts leaves shaped like that of the palm tree. Leaves usually grow up to 5 to 13 inches and have a beautiful yellowish-brown hue. Unlike many other species of bamboo, the Arrow bamboos can thrive in containers and withstand salty air.


Japanese Cane Bamboo: The unique feature of the Japanese Cane bamboo lies in the fact that it is named after Japan even after being primarily cultivated in parts of China. This plant is known for its smooth canes and upon maturing, it emerges with a beautiful shade of dark green.


Hedge Bamboo: Hedges (Phyllostachys glauca)are beautiful evergreens that are known for their strikingly beautiful canes, most of which develop from the vibrant bluish-green culms. However, this bluish tinge is perhaps most pertinent in the younger plants because as the plants start aging, they lose this turquoise hue and the canes appear yellowish-green.



The canes of hedge bamboos are around two inches in their overall width, and they tend to grow upright. They prefer a warm climate as it promotes rapid growth. In case the temperature level drops, the growth will take an instant halt. While Hedge Bamboos aren’t invasive, they can steadily spread to create a tiny bamboo orchard measuring up to 20 feet in width.


Giant Bamboo: At a height of up to 100 feet, the giant bamboo is the tallest type of bamboo in existence. It has chunky, sturdy culms that can measure up to one foot in circumference. These canes start out with a chalky white residue covering them, but as they age, they take on a faded dark blue through to pale green color. It grows incredibly quickly, producing shoots that are able to grow 12 inches in just one day. It is native to Thailand, Burma, and China, and flowers just once every four decades.



Dragon Head Bamboo: This is the type of bamboo which is loved as a primary food source for the Giant Panda. If you don’t have a panda to feed, grow this plant for its graceful aesthetic. It features shiny green canes that arch slightly as they age under the weight of their foliage. Foliage is blue-green, narrow, and glossy, with each leaf measuring around four inches in length. Native to China, this plant can be propagated easily from stem cuttings or division.



It grows in a wide range of soils so long as they retain moisture well and will thrive in a combination of sun and shade. Ideally, the shade would be offered during the afternoon when the sun is at its most intense.


Chinese Fountain Bamboo: This elegant plant features long and slender canes that arch heavily under the weight of their foliage. Canes are medium green with patches of flushed purple, forming clumps of up to five feet across. The foliage of this bamboo is long and narrow, with a matte surface in a dark shade of gray-green. This tough and reliable plant can tolerate severe cold and does not like excessive heat. It fares best in a partially shaded position and requires less sunlight to thrive than most other bamboo plants. It will grow in a wide range of soil types, including poorly draining and soggy soil, making it suitable for planting along riverbanks, near ponds, and streams.


Fish Pole Bamboo: The smooth and straight canes of this plant have earned it the common name of ‘fish pole bamboo.’ The canes are evergreen, starting out bright medium green, but dulling to a pale yellow-green with maturity. The canes are sturdy, tough, and relentlessly remain upright without arching. The plant has a vigorous growth habit, growing up to 25 feet tall and 15 feet wide. It is cold hardy, tolerant of heat and drought, though it prefers to grow in moist soil. When kept in dry conditions, the plant will form clumps; however, in moist soil and warm temperatures, it can become invasive.


Black Bamboo: This unusual bamboo produces slender upright canes, which are olive green when young They quickly start to develop into a marbled brown color before becoming entirely black in around two to three years. All of the canes of the plant will go through color development at slightly different types, giving a multi-colored effect when viewed as a whole. The canes of this bamboo measure approximately two inches across, and have a smooth and glossy surface. Once black, the canes are a stark contrast to the foliage of the plant, which is a bright glossy green. Black bamboo has a vigorous growth habit and could potentially become invasive in hot, humid, and moist conditions.



Moso Bamboo: This statuesque plant is noted for its striking elegance and majestic appeal. It grows to around 60 feet in height, making it the world’s tallest type of hardy bamboo. The culms are very thick and robust, with a width of up to eight inches. These canes, unusually, are blanketed in a fine covering of soft, velvety hair. The canes start out dark green, then becoming yellow-green, and finally settling on orange-yellow. The foliage of the plant is a stark contrast to the great size of its culms, as the leaves are notably small, measuring up to three inches long.



Moso bamboo enjoys warm and moist conditions, where it can grow aggressively to the point of becoming a problem species. However, in cooler climates, its growth spread will be stunted. This plant is native to East Asia, and it is cultivated throughout Japan and China for the production of paper.


Planting Bamboo


Soil requirements


Bamboo will grow in most soil types, whether it be clay-based soil or sand. They have a very shallow root system (about 30cm for smaller bamboos and about 50cm for larger ones), thus the type of soil is not all that important (though good top soil obviously helps). What is important rather, is 'feeding' the bamboo on-top of the soil with a good thick mulch layer and regular fertilising.


Most bamboos like reasonably well drained soil and they don't like to be growing in swampy areas or areas that get inundated with water for longer periods of time.


Planting

  • Dig hole twice as wide as the diameter of the pot/planter bag and to about the same depth as the pot/bag. There is little need to dig deep holes due to the shallow rooted nature of bamboo - roots will want to grow out horizontally, rather than downwards. Any improvements to the soil are therefore best focused on the topsoil.

  • Improving poor soils by digging in manures, compost, mushroom compost, or garden soil will ensure the bamboo is off to a good start.

  • Clay soils may need to be broken up a bit with some good compost or organic matter worked into it. Use Dolomite or Gypsum to break up any particularly hard clay soils.

  • Very sandy soils will benefit from adding compost or heavier garden soils to improve the water holding capacity of the soil.

  • Most of our bamboos are sold in plastic planter bags. The best way to remove the bags is to cut the bag open and pull off. The roots should NOT be teased out - teasing the roots will just cause damage to the root system.

  • Back fill the soil around the root ball and then give a really good flooding with water. The water will cause the loose soil around the root ball to settle, removing any air pockets around the roots. This step is VITAL. Poorly backfilled soil or air pockets around the root ball can cause the root balls to dry out and cause stress to the bamboo.

  • There is no need to mound up the soil around the plant so just plant it at ground level, leaving a bit of a moat around it to collect water. The exception to this is if the area where you are planting is wet, swampy or heavy clay soils, in which case its a good idea to mound up the area around where you are planting so as to avoid water logging.

  • Sometimes, the bamboo plants that we sell can be fairly tall and culms may not remain perfectly upright after planting and exposed to wind. This is nothing to worry about as the original culms (stems) and foliage that is on the plant at time of purchase is not going to grow anymore, rather new growth is going to be from new shoots growing from the ground up. You can put a stake in the ground and tie the bamboo to it if you want to, but this would be more for just visual appearance rather than out of necessity.

  • Planting bamboo can be done any time of year, with the exception being if you are in an area with heavy frosts, in which case its best not to plant during winter. Planting in Spring and Summer will produce very quick visible results - since its the main growth period of the bamboo. Since growth is much quicker during Spring and Summer, the time it takes for the bamboo plants to get established is much shorter during this period. Spring and Summer is therefore the ideal time to plant. Planting during winter is also possible, but you just have to be a bit more patient - the bamboo plants will still be growing roots and getting established but visible above-ground growth will be quite minimal. As soon as Spring arrives along with the warmer temperatures, the bamboo will start growing new side branches and foliage from existing culms, which is then followed up by new shoots coming up from the ground.


Planting in Pots or Containers


If you are planning to grow your bamboo in pots or containers, make sure to use a good quality premium potting mix. The soil you use should both drain well and retain moisture.

It would be advisable, dependent on pot size, to remove the bamboo from the pot every 3 to 4 years to avoid becoming pot-bound. Once you have removed the plant you may either re-pot it into a larger pot or divide the plant into 2 or more plants. The use of an annual drenching with a soil wetter is also beneficial to ensure that the mix does not become hydrophobic.


Bamboo Care


Fertilizers for Bamboo


Bamboo in the Ground: For large bamboos or areas I like to use foliar fertilizer during the growing season, something that is high in nitrogen and spread all over the leaves, this should be applied at least once per month during the warmer months for maximum benefit.


Also highly recommended for plants in the ground is composted animal manure. This can be dug into the ground during late autumn to allow time for nitrogen conversion.

Another type of fertilizer we recommend is a good quality ‘Slow Release’ type. This should be added to the hole upon planting and then (depending on the type) at the start of every season.

Bamboo in Pots and Container Beds: For bamboo contained in pots and container beds I recommend a liquid fertilizer that is high in nitrogen. Depending upon the product brand and the concentration levels, this can be applied every 2-4 weeks for best results. You can also foliar feed potted bamboo.


Watering


Following the planting of bamboo, it is crucial that they be well watered for the first month or two, by this we mean a good deep soaking every couple of days. If planting in the middle of summer, and ground is dry, daily watering may be required. Once they are established (after a couple of months), watering requirements become less stringent. It is important to realise that it takes time fo the bamboo roots to ground out into surrounding soil, so water should be concentrated directly on the root ball. Roots will grow out quickly during summer, but quite slowly during winter. Bamboo plants (once established) are very hardy and will not die if left unwatered, though having said this, they do like a regular watering and will definitely give more rewarding results if watered on a regular basis.

Don't be fooled by thinking just because you have an automatic irrigation system set up, that the newly planted bamboo is getting enough water. Check daily whether there is any signs of wilting foliage. If there are any signs of dry plants, then remove mulch and dig down the side of the rootball to see how far the water has made it down. If the bottom of the root ball is still dry, then increase your watering time or amount of water applied. Drippers directly onto each rootball are alright to use for the first few months after planting, but as the bamboo roots grow out, you want to actually water the entire ground area around the bamboo which is best done with above ground sprinklers. Even from the start, above ground sprinklers are best as it wets the entire topsoil area, which encourages roots to grow outwards from the initial root ball.

Bamboo thrives if watered with grey water (household wastewater) or growing on top of infiltration beds or areas utilising pump-out soaker systems.


Mulching


As mentioned above, bamboo loves a good mulch layer - 50 to 100mm deep. By mulching the soil around the bamboo, you're doing 3 things:

  • Reducing moisture loss

  • Providing organic matter to the plant (which decomposes and 'feeds' the bamboo).

  • Preventing grass / weeds from growing up around the plant.

The best types of mulch is basically anything organic that can decompose to enrich the soil and thus providing the bamboo with nutrients. Raking up leaves around the plants is a good start. Some other options are sugar cane mulch, hay or straw. Even green grass clippings will do the trick if composted a bit first, or spread thinly around the bamboo.

Don't worry about keeping the mulch away from the stems of the bamboo (as is the case with trees) - this does not affect bamboo. New shoots emerging from the ground will find their way through the mulch layer.


Pruning


Once your bamboo is a couple of years old we recommend that you give it a good thinning out towards the end of winter. By removing the oldest canes at ground level, these will be the ones that look tired and discoloured. By doing this you will ensure that your bamboo always looks happy and healthy. Additionally, by removing the old canes you will allow more airflow into the plant which in turn will reduce the likelihood of pest and disease problems. There is nothing nice about an unmaintained bamboo that has a heap of old dead canes in the centre of the culm, this really does reduce the overall beauty of the plant.


Pests and Diseases


Bamboo Mites


Bamboo mites should be your biggest concern. Not only are they difficult to see with your bare eyes, they are also hard to eliminate.


They live in colonies on the underside of leaves, sucking fluids like chlorophyll from the plant. As the mites pierce the underside of the leaves and drain the bamboo of its liquids, the leaves’ photosynthesis is affected, causing the leaves to discolor. Look for yellowish-pale coloration on your bamboo’s leaves.


If you don’t act quickly, bamboo mites will spread to surrounding bamboo plants. The increase of bamboo mite infestation is very alarming and has become a big problem, especially in hot and dry areas of North America.


Appearance of pest: Usually too small to be seen with the naked eye. They may be noticed as tiny specs, within fine webbing on the underside of leaves.


Aphids


Several species of aphids feed on bamboo, sucking the very life liquid from the plant. Not only will they damage your plant they can also spread disease. Aphids reproduce quickly and, left unchecked, they can cause tremendous damage.


Aphids are tiny, soft-bodied insects. These winged pests pierce the bamboo with their slender mouthparts and suck out the fluid the plant lives on. Over time, the bamboo leaves wilt and the bamboo growth becomes stunted. As they feed on the bamboo, aphids secrete sticky honeydew. This secretion presents the opportunity for a secondary issue for your plant: sooty mold, which begins to grow in the sweet, sticky substance.


Appearance of pest: Tiny, winged, soft-bodied. Their color is most often green, but they can also be tan, brown, red, yellow, grey, or even black, depending on location and time of year. They are tiny but can usually be seen with the naked eye.


Bamboo Mealybug – Palmicultor lumpurensis


These mealybugs are sapsuckers. Like aphids and mites, they damage the plants by feeding on the fluids the bamboo needs to live. Like aphids, mealybugs leave behind a honeydew secretion, which leaves the plant primed for rot. Leaves and stems of the bamboo become unhealthy, distorted and discolored.


Appearance of pest: You might find this insect surrounded by sticky white webbing, resembling a cotton fluff. If you peel back the white substance, the mealybugs themselves are tiny and pink.


Termites: Subterranean and Drywood


As their name implies, subterranean termites attack bamboo on the ground, by emerging from the soil in tube-like channels. Once they get into the plant flesh, they’ll gnaw on the inside of the bamboo stem, or culm. Some colonies have more than one egg-laying female, so subterranean termite nests can grow quickly into the thousands.


The nests can often exist and infest undetected. Looking for early warning signs is key to preventing the most serious damage. Watch for the presence of winged swarmers, mud tubes and evidence of damaged bamboo.


Drywood termites don’t need mud tubes. They build their nests right inside the bamboo culm parts that they are chewing on. By the time the attack is noticeable on the exterior of the plant, the bamboo often is already in late-stage deterioration.


Appearance of pest: Swarmer termites resemble flying ants but are smaller and have straight antennae. They have four wings, all the same size. Worker termites have no wings, are less than ¼ inch (6 mm) long and are creamy-white in color.


Scale


Scale are tiny insects with a waxy, shell-like covering on their backs. They too, suck on the bamboo, deprive it of nutrition, and cause the plant tissue to deteriorate. Scale clump together and can be difficult to notice until their pile is so dense that it covers the culm, making the surface appear brownish-gray.


Scale also secrete honeydew, attracting insects and ants and setting the scene for the growth of sooty mold on bamboo.


Appearance of pest: Scale looks like little, flat cones on branches and leaves. They are light-colored when young, growing darker and more visible with age.


Wildlife


Tasty bamboo is not only for insects. Plenty of animals find the tender new bamboo shoots or the rhizomes underground a delicious treat. Watch out for:

  • Gophers

  • Squirrels

  • Deer

  • Tropical animals love bamboo: gorillas, elephants, giant pandas, and chimpanzees are a few.

Fungal Spots


As bamboo ages, especially in humid environments, fungal spots can appear on the shoots. Indoor bamboo plants tend to be particularly susceptible, as the fungal spots are often related to poorly drained soil, as well.


Fungus usually appears in a circular pattern. Oftentimes, it can be a consequence of age and not particularly harmful to the bamboo.


However, some fungus can cause root rot or be a symptom of other issues. And some dangerous molds or pest leave a residue that has a fungus-like appearance, so it is important to identify what is happening in order to know how to handle it.


Appearance of issue: a circular pattern of brownish spots on the culm.


Decay Rot


Some fungal diseases affecting plants in soil that is overly moist or poorly drained. The Armillaria fungus, also known as oak root fungus, is one such disease. It causes leaves to discolor and drop – and oftentimes, die. The plant will eventually decay if left untreated.


Appearance of issue: A root fungus is evidenced by mushrooms around the base of the plant. You may also notice that your bamboo is crumbly or spongy.


Bamboo Mosaic Potex Virus – BaMV


In some instances, humans can unknowingly transmit diseases to plants via improperly cleaned cutting and pruning tools. The virus known as BaMV is transmitted when a tool that trimmed an infected plant is used to trim a healthy plant. While rare, BaMV is untreatable, so it’s best to keep tools clean as a precaution.


The first symptom of the incurable virus is a mosaic pattern of discoloration on the leaves. Next will be a progressive death of twigs, branches, shoots, or roots, starting at the tips.


Appearance of issue: Mosaic pattern of discoloration on leaves.


Black Sooty Mold


Thanks to many insect pests, such as aphids and scale insects, black sooty mold is likely the most common blight of bamboo plants. Insects generously create the perfect conditions for mold to grow when they feed on the bamboo plant and leave behind a sticky honeydew substance. This secretion accumulates on the branches and a sooty mold begins to grow within it.


With time, the mold becomes an infestation of unsightly black spots. And because the plant also has an insect infestation at the same time, the bamboo will continue to deteriorate unless both issues are resolved. While the mold may not kill the plant on its own, the insects eventually will.


Appearance of issue: Black sooty spots with an ashy appearance.

Benefits of Bamboo


Lower Cholesterol


With high levels of fiber and very few calories per serving, bamboo shoots are a great way to lower your levels of “bad” LDL cholesterol. This, in turn, can reduce your risk of heart disease.


Stimulates Appetite


From digestive disorders to pregnancy-related nausea, there are plenty of reasons you might want to increase your appetite. It’s not just the mildly sweet taste and crunchy texture of bamboo that gets your stomach rumbling though. The high concentrations of cellulose in bamboo have been shown to stimulate the appetite, prevent constipation, and improve digestion.


Supports a Low-Carb Diet


Low-carbohydrate diets have been shown to help prevent or improve some medical conditions, including diabetes, high blood pressure, and cardiovascular disease. Bamboo supports a low-carbohydrate diet by providing plenty of nutrients with very few carbohydrates. This can help people on low-carb diets get the vitamins and minerals they need.


Uses


Food


Most well-known for being the Panda’s main meal, one of the top uses for bamboo plants is as food. Pandas, in particular, have to consume 25-50 lbs of the plant in one day, just to survive. Even after consuming this much crunch, green stalk, giant pandas are lethargic due to a lack of nutritional value. Other animals that munch on bamboo plants include red pandas of Nepal and bamboo lemurs in Madagascar.


When it comes to the sprouts and the shoots, a handful of species of bamboo are edible for humans as well. Bamboo shoots are known for their health benefits. This includes weight loss, balanced cholesterol, and anti-inflammatory properties. Bamboo shoots also contain high amounts of vitamins and fiber. Traditionally, this food is consumed in the regions of the world it is native to India, China, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, Philippines, Indonesia, and Nepal. In Japan, bamboo is known as “The King of the Forest Vegetables.”Humans are able to consume bamboo shoots canned or fresh. If you’re cooking fresh bamboo shoots, be sure to boil them partially or soak them overnight to remove any cyanide. It’s probably best to be wary of any pickled varieties.


Construction


Because of its combined strength and light-weight, bamboo is one of the most used building materials, particularly in areas of the world where it is found in abundance. Historically and today, is an important resource to build bridges, houses, scaffolding, falls, floors, roofs and other structures. Part of its popularity is due to the plant’s flexibility – you can bend it, split it or shape it depending on your needs. It is important to treat the plant before using it as a construction material so as to avoid rot and insects.


If you’ve got a building project in mind, bamboo definitely provides some distinct advantages. Its elasticity is especially important in areas at risk of earthquakes. It is fire resistant. And because its fibers run axially, it has a stronger tensile strength than steel.

Fuel


When compared to wood, bamboo has some important positive aspects to consider. Because bamboo can grow on slopes and other areas where it would otherwise be impossible to grow trees, it allows communities to better utilize space. This is especially true when looking at the high speed of bamboo growth compared to other plants. Bamboo products have less eco-cost than hardwood and the yield of bamboo for biofuel is very high. Also important, using bamboo as fuel can provide support to local economies in less developed countries.


Textiles


It’s true – another one of the top uses for bamboo plants is for textiles. Manufacturers shape the fibers into cloth, yarn, and clothing. It’s a popular material in boutique shops in the fashion world. But not so fast – often a garment is advertised as a “bamboo product” when it is actually rayon. Rayon is reconstituted cellulose fibers. It is a production process that is toxic and releases pollutants into the air. Extracting fibers from bamboo is time-consuming and expensive as well. It’s not the green solution many retailers would like you to believe.


Cultural Arts: Writing, Music and Martial Arts


While the arts may not have the same tangible “usefulness” as other areas, the role of literature, music, dance, and martial arts have played an incredibly important role in humanity’s continued evolution and understanding. Not surprisingly, these artistic traditions and explorations involve bamboo. Bamboo slips are one of the earliest examples of writing in China, pre-dating paper. In India, kalams were pens made of the plant. It is often used in the construction of musical instruments including flutes, rattles, drums and the marimba. This useful plant is a weapon in martial arts practices. It has been used to craft bows, staves, arrows, and swords.


Don’t despair, however. While textiles might not be the answer on a massive, global scale, there are ways to use bamboo products in sustainable ways. Consider using bamboo toothbrushes instead of plastic ones. You can also keep bamboo cutlery in your bag and avoid wasting single-use plastic utensils when on the go. Ultimately, bamboo is a lot more sustainable than products like hardwood and cotton. When purchasing products, do some research to make sure your choices do indeed have a positive impact.

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