Prickly bamboo (Bambusa arundinacea)

The Bambusa arundinacea has thorns

Image - Flickr / Dinesh Valke

Normally, when we think of a bamboo we imagine a plant with many stems, more or less thick, that reach impressive heights and that, yes, can have very invasive roots. But, what would you say if I told you that there is one that also protects itself with thorns? Its scientific name is Arundinaceous Bamboo, better known as thorny bamboo or bamboo with thorns.

This plant, despite its appearance, has some other use in traditional medicine. So let's see What are its characteristics and how should it be cared for?

How is the Arundinaceous Bamboo?

The Bambusa arundinacea is a type of giant bamboo

Image - Flickr / Dinesh Valke

Our protagonist is a plant native to Asia, especially China and India. It can reach 30 meters in height in a matter of a few years, developing relatively thick bluish-green stems or canes, about fifteen centimeters. The leaves are elongated and green. Its spines sprout from some nodes, and are about ten centimeters long or so.

The flowers arise in inflorescences, that is, in a floral stem that are also terminal; that is to say that when the flowers wither, it will die. These are very small, whitish in color. And as for the seeds, they look like peeled pipes but somewhat more elongated, since they measure approximately 1,5 centimeters.

In popular language it receives the following names: thorny bamboo, bamboo with thorns, Indian bamboo, and giant bamboo.

What uses is it given?

La Arundinaceous Bamboo it is a type of bamboo that is used for various things. For example:

  • Since it grows fast and has thorns, it is interesting to have it as defensive hedge.
  • Their canes are used for make scaffolding, furniture and the like.
  • In their places of origin they also have medical uses. In fact, according to Ayurvedic medicine, it can be used to relieve the symptoms of rheumatism, or even in case of brittle nails, fragile or brittle hair, or even in case of fatigue or back pain.

What are the care of the Arundinaceous Bamboo?

Prickly bamboo is a giant plant

Image – Wikimedia/Adbh266

The giant bamboo is a plant that you might think does not need any kind of care, but the reality is quite different, especially when you have it in a place where the climate is very different from that of its place of origin. In this sense, it is very important that you know that the colder it is in your area, the slower it will grow, since low temperatures not only slow it down, but can also endanger its life.

Starting from this, we are going to comment on the care that must be given to this bamboo so that it is well:

Where do I put it?

If we start from the basis that it is a plant that can become huge, we may think that it would be best to plant it in the garden as soon as possible. Nothing could be further from the truth. It's more, It can only be planted in the ground if there are never any frosts in your area. And even so, you have the option of keeping it in a pot for a period of time, which will be more or less short depending on the climate and the care you give it.

But in any case, it is necessary to put it in a place exposed to the sun directly, so that it can grow more or less straight and not crooked.

What soil do you need?

La Arundinaceous Bamboo is not demanding in this aspect: can grow in virtually any type of soil. But if you are going to have it in a pot, we advise you to plant it in one with a quality universal substrate, such as the one from these brands: weedness, fertiberia o Flower.

When can it be transplanted?

the giant bamboo can be planted in the ground or in a larger pot in spring. You have to do it when the roots come out of the holes, since if it has not yet rooted well in the pot, then it will be more difficult for it to resume its growth once it is in the garden or in a new container.

How many times do you have to water it?

Not many. We are not talking about a plant that resists drought, but neither is it one of those that have to be watered frequently. It's more, with about 3 weekly waterings in summer, or 4 if we see that the soil dries quickly, it will be fine.

When the temperatures begin to drop, we will begin to space out the watering more, as this will be when the soil will remain moist for longer and longer.

Should prickly bamboo be fertilized?

There may be more than one and more than two who disagree with me, but if it is going to be in a pot, I do recommend paying it. Why? Because the roots absorb the nutrients that the soil contains, and if we don't fertilize it, in the end it will run out and its growth will stop.

For this reason, it does not hurt to give it a little fertilizer once a month, so that it can continue to grow without problems. For that, we can pay it with guano (for sale here!) for example, following the instructions for use.

What is its resistance to cold?

The Bambusa arundinacea is a huge plant

Image - Flickr / Dinesh Valke

La Arundinaceous Bamboo does not support temperatures below zero. As soon as we see that the thermometer drops below 5ºC, we can protect it with a anti-frost fabric or inside the house.

What do you think of this type of bamboo?

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