Recently, I have been looking for alternatives to glazed pottery for my running bamboo plants. Glazed pottery works fine with bamboo, the only issue is that the running bamboo's root mass will eventually get so woody and dense, that it exerts enough pressure to break the ceramic. This usually happens after about four to five years after the initial planting in the ceramic pot.
A month or so ago, I wrestled a couple of running bamboo from their ceramic containers. One came out of the pot with alot of effort but the pot survived the ordeal. The second was not so lucky as shown above.
This prompted me to start think outside of the usual. Here are some unique containers that work well for running bamboo and add some style to any yard
This was a homemade creation of mine made from an old rubber horse trough that I had gotten free from a co-worker. I took some bamboo edging and secured it around the perimeter of the container with copper wire. So, got the benefit of the container and it looks great.
This is a favorite of mine - a metal horse trough. You can often find these used on places like Craigslist or you can buy them new at your local horse supply shop. This is one I bought last Summer and contains my rare Phylostachys aura 'Dr. Don.'
This is a company I was recently introduced to - BILT Products . They make beautifully designed steel planters that are made from steel sourced in the San Francisco Bay Area, made with no less than 50% recycled steel, designed and produced in the United States. I will be getting two of these containers soon (larger custom sizes for bamboo) and will share photos of bamboo planted in them soon. With colors like "Retro Green," "Safety Orange," and "Blood Red," what's not to get excited about. Modern and practical, I love it!
Finally, I am all about reuse. This was an old wash basin that I found at a house my relatives just moved into. The previous owner left it and had used it as a plant container (holes drilled in the bottom). I cleaned it up and planted a bamboo plant in it. Looks rustic and is functional.
These are just a few ideas. These ceramic pot alternatives can withstand the strong push of bamboo rhizomes and allow you to enjoy running bamboo without worrying about the invasiveness. Bamboo plants in containers do need to be cut back and maintained over time, but at least you can rest assured that the plants won't bust your container. Have any good container ideas? Share them here or send me an e-mail with photos and I'd be happy to share them.