Miniature bamboo, indoor bamboo or pogonaterum – whatever you call this delightful indoor plant that creates strikingly beautiful dense turf, it will not be possible to describe its ideal appearance. Pogonaterum is one of the most grateful decorative leafy soloists in any room collection. And he is one of the rare herbaceous perennials from among the cereals with a successful indoor career. Its unpretentiousness and endurance are considered no less virtues than the beauty of greenery. And although today pogonaterums are perceived rather as plants for Japanese-style interiors or as a green addition to bamboo decor, in practice they do not justify their narrow specialization and are able to successfully fit into the decor of almost any room. And the friendly nature of this non-standard evergreen cereal is able to conquer any grower.
Perfect cereal with vibrant greens
The eastern appearance of the pogonaterum, which in everything resembles a reduced copy of a bamboo, is often misleading. Confusion with popular nicknames “indoor bamboo” and “miniature bamboo” often leads to the fact that the pogonaterum is perceived almost as a relative of the bamboo of happiness from the Dracaena genus, in extreme cases – as a selective, miniature form of real bamboos. But this plant, despite the appearance of a full-fledged shrub and the similarity of parts with bamboos, is by no means a relative to them. However, it is difficult to associate Pogonaterum with garden representatives of the family of cereals with their musical greenery and airy panicles of inflorescences. But it is precisely to the number of ornamental grasses that this amazing mini-bamboo belongs, representing in room culture the family The bluegrass (Poaceae). Pogonaterum is a plant that is really special both in its character, in the required conditions, and in its decorative qualities.
It is not for nothing that Pogonaterum is considered one of the best plants for introducing Japanese style into the interior or for complementing bamboo decor and accessories. This plant belongs to rather tall evergreen grasses, forming a very dense turf with strong, straight, arcuate curving thin stems. Only with age do the shoots begin to lignify and branch out strongly, lengthen, the curtains become more and more sprawling, due to which the pogonaterums hang from the bush along the edge of the pot. The foliage of the pogonaterum is very delicate, with a classic lanceolate shape for cereals, in combination with strawy stems, it really resembles a reduced copy of bamboo thickets. And the bright green, dazzling grassy color gives the pogonaterum a special catch. True, the basic bright green color is found today no more often than the most diverse variegated variations – varieties of pogonaterum with light yellow, white and green color in a wide variety of asymmetric spots on one bush.
In room culture, the pogonaterum is represented by two species. Pogonaterum millet (Pogonatherum paniceum) is considered a large cereal, but in room culture it is limited to a height of about 60 cm.At the same time, the diameter of a bush with arcuate shoots and bright lanceolate leaves, as a rule, directed upwards and hugging the stem, can exceed 1 m.More compact and much more split plant – Pogonaterum shaggy (Pogonatherum crinitum). It resembles a flat shrub, flaunts with wider and more delicate leaves, limiting in height to only 30 cm.This is an ideal miniature plant that is capable of being effective with bonsai.
Whatever pogonaterum settles in your house – tall millet or compact shaggy – the plant will invariably give the impression of an almost perfect bush. Pogonaterum looks impressive even from afar, forms a dense turf, somewhat reminiscent of boxwood bushes at a distance. The similarity with miniature bamboos and their dense thickets is striking only up close. But despite its striking appearance and the ability to use pogonaterums in interior design as unique accents, this plant conquers primarily with its unpretentiousness. Hardy and not requiring any unusual conditions, this indoor mini-bamboo deserves much more distribution, since even an inexperienced grower can grow it.
Pogonaterum is one of the houseplants most loved by cats.
Caring for the pogonaterum at home
Lighting for pogonaterum
Mini bamboo prefers good lighting, but can grow in light shade. Strong shading has a detrimental effect on the beauty of the plant’s shoots, which begin to stretch out. And the beauty of the leaves with poor lighting suffers significantly. But any location in partial shade, in diffused lighting or in a sunny place with protection from direct sunlight at noon for indoor bamboo will be quite comfortable.
Installing screens or placing the plant so that the sun’s rays do not directly fall on it is necessary in order to prevent leaf burnout, which will completely ruin the attractive neat appearance of the pogonaterum. But if the plant was accustomed to southern locations before the purchase, then it will feel great in sunny places. It is better to ask about the most comfortable lighting for the plant when buying. The plant tolerates artificial lighting well, but it is still advisable to keep mini-bamboo in full natural light.
When choosing locations, no less attention should be paid to space than to lighting. Pogonaterums are plants that are more suited to the role of a soloist. Since indoor bamboo tends to grow rapidly, it needs to be allocated more space initially than regular indoor plants. Perhaps it is only in splendid isolation that the unique beauty of the pogonaterum is revealed.
It is also very easy to choose the temperature of the content for this plant. Pogonaterums perfectly put up with any room conditions and perfectly tolerate a hotter environment. As a matter of fact, pogonaterums simply adore elevated temperatures and consider 30-35 degrees Celsius to be the optimal indicators for growing them. So this miniature indoor bamboo feels the most comfortable in summer. The minimum permissible temperature for the pogonaterum, even during the winter, is 18 degrees Celsius.
Keeping in cool conditions has a detrimental effect on the plant and can lead to its death. But on the other hand, the pogonaterum does not suffer at all from the influence of heating devices, it reacts well to temperature changes from medium to high, it can be grown even in rooms that are characterized by a sharp change in conditions (for example, in the kitchen). Of course, the plant should not be placed directly near the battery, and even more so under the air conditioner, but on the windowsill above the battery and in the rooms in the winter heating mode, the pogonaterum feels quite comfortable even if there are no additional measures to humidify the air. Moreover, this indoor culture is not afraid of drafts, loves airing and feels good in any living space.
Indoor bamboo will not refuse to move for the summer to the open air, to the garden or to the balcony. True, in the open air, the bushes should be placed exclusively in partial shade: bright lighting will be too traumatic for him.
Watering and air humidity
The only thing that makes Pogonaterum related to real bamboo and distinguishes it from the rest of the Myatlikov family is its love for high soil moisture. This plant needs access to a large amount of moisture, active growth and unusual density of greenery require regular abundant watering, even during the winter. For the pogonaterum, the potted substrate should not be allowed to dry out completely. Any drought leads to problems with pests and diseases, depression and impaired growth. But waterlogging of the soil will cause no less harm. For the pogonaterum, you can use the bottom irrigation method, pouring water into the sump and maintaining its level stable (water in the sump, unlike many other plants, for mini-bamboo must be constantly present, but this technique requires laying a very powerful drainage and adding perlite to the substrate ). But more often they use the classical method. Pogonaterum always requires especially active watering in the summer, when the watering procedure sometimes needs to be carried out daily. In the rest of the year, watering is carried out as soon as the topsoil dries slightly, focusing on the rate of drying of the substrate.
The quality of water for this plant also matters. Indoor bamboo prefers watering with warm, soft water.
Hydroponics or growing in containers with auto-irrigation will help to solve all the problems with watering this plant. Thanks to the use of these planting options, the pogonaterum will actually turn into the most unpretentious houseplant.
Pogonaterum is not a plant that cannot survive or look attractive in low humidity. When needed (or rather, if circumstances so require), indoor bamboo easily adapts even to the driest conditions, looks good enough and does not suffer too much during the operation of central heating systems. But, like any plant of oriental origin, Pogonaterum will not refuse conditions with high humidity. The higher the air humidity, the more actively the plant develops and the brighter its color. And the less problems arise when growing it. At the same time, the air humidity for indoor bamboo can be increased both periodically, according to the situation, and regularly. Installation of humidifiers, and placement in rooms with high humidity, and simple spraying, and installation of pallets with water of a larger size, which will play the role of not only bottom irrigation, but also a humidifier, are suitable for the pogonaterum.
Top dressing for pogonaterum
The need for pogonaterum for fertilizers is more modest than that of most indoor plants of the decorative leafy type. Fertilizers are applied for this plant in spring and summer with a frequency of 1 time in 15-20 days. For pogonaterum, it is advisable to use not complex universal fertilizers, but special fertilizer mixtures for decorative deciduous crops.
Transplant and substrate
Miniature bamboo is traditionally transplanted every year, in early or mid-spring. Only very old plants, which occupy large containers and have grown to extremely voluminous clumps, are transplanted 1 time for 2-3 years. For indoor bamboo, when transplanting, it is important to resort to the transshipment method with full preservation of the earthen coma and to avoid even the slightest contact with the roots of the plant, injuries of which can lead to the appearance of ugly brown spots on the leaves. At the bottom of the container for the pogonaterum, a sufficiently powerful drainage is always laid, which helps the plant to more efficiently absorb water from the sump. If necessary, loosening drainage additives are mixed into the substrate.
The selection of capacity for the pogonaterum is not an easy task. Since this miniature bamboo develops mainly in width, it is necessary to select low but very wide bowls for it.
The substrate for the pogonaterum can be selected with absolutely any reaction, the plants are absolutely insensitive to the acidity of the soil. But as for the composition, the pogonaterums prefer to grow in specific and very nutritious soils. The optimal composition is considered to be a mixture of humus and peat with twice the amount of clay or loamy sod soil. But any universal ready-made substrate will do just fine.
Diseases and pests
Of the pests, spider mites are annoyed by spider mites, which easily spread in dense turf when kept in too dry conditions.
Common growing problems:
- the appearance of brown spots on the leaves with any root injury during transplantation;
- burnout of leaves in direct sunlight;
- drying out of the tips of leaves or shoots with uneven watering, drought or excessive dampness;
- drying of leaves in excessively dry air and with sharp temperature fluctuations.
Reproduction of pogonaterum
Indoor bamboo is surprisingly easy to propagate. Like all grasses, it reproduces best by separating turf. But in room culture, this process is somewhat more complicated, since the plant reacts very poorly to root damage and requires extreme care during this procedure. Any trauma to the rhizome results in the appearance of unattractive brown spots on the leaves, which cannot be eliminated. Divide the bushes in the spring, carefully manually dividing them into 2-3 parts and trying to cause minimal damage to the roots.
If the manual procedure leads to serious injuries, destruction of the earthen coma, too much damage to the roots, then it is better to cut the bush than to resort to the classical method. After planting the plots as independent plants, it is necessary for them to halve the humidity of the air, still not allowing the substrate to dry out, but avoiding excessive moisture for the quickest possible healing of lesions on the rhizome. It is also necessary to maximize the humidity of the air and place the separated pogonaterums in partial shade until growth resumes.
This plant can also be propagated by grafting, cutting the apical shoots and, after treatment with a growth accelerator, rooting in a substrate typical of the pogonaterum at an air temperature of at least 25 degrees and very high humidity (under a hood).