Holiday-Inspired Outdoor Decorating that Lasts

Dress up your front porch and yard with these holiday outdoor decorating ideas that last from the first days of fall through the New Year. They look great on a porch or just outside your door.

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Outdoor Christmas Decorating Ideas

Make the outside of your home as ready for the holiday season as the inside with these outdoor Christmas decorating ideas. Our holiday decorating ideas, including beautiful Christmas greenery, festive light displays, and more, are sure to get your yard Christmas-ready.

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Grow Beautiful Amaryllis

Amaryllis flowers are easy to grow from bulbs and great for adding color to your holiday decor.

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Deer-Resistant Shade Plants

Gardening in the shade where deer are plentiful can be a challenging situation. But there are plants that thrive in the shade that aren't tempting to hungry deer. Although no plant can be considered completely deer-resistant, here's a list of shade dwellers that most deer avoid. Plus, we've added some fun facts about deer that might help you understand them better.

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Shrubs with Winter Interest

A winter landscape has a beauty all its own. An unexpected plant feature -- winter blooms that perfume the air, bright berries, colorful or textured foliage or unusual bark -- add a welcome element to gardens. These winter shrubs will not disappoint.

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Tips for Moving Plants Indoors

Here's a handy guide for moving your favorite plants inside once the weather turns cold.

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Bamboo Plants in the Garden

Bamboo plants, with their sturdy stances, Asian charm, and remarkable ability to grow quickly, enhance the look of any garden. Best of all, indoor bamboo plants look great in containers. Stumped by this plant? Learn how to plant bamboo, how to grow bamboo, and how to care for bamboo plants.

Enhance Your Landscape with Bamboo Plants

It's easy to fall for lucky bamboo -- the plant is easy to grow, has a distinct look, and comes in a wealth of varieties. But you need to choose carefully; many varieties have extremely aggressive growth habits. Depending on how you want to use bamboo plants, you may want to choose a clumping, nonspreading type.

What Is Bamboo?

Bamboo is a generic term for a large number of different plants, much like grass or vegetable. Bamboo varieties are typically perennial evergreen woody-stem grasses that are among the fastest-growing plants in the world.

Although bamboo is best known in Asia, there are three species native to North America, and more than 100 other types can grow in the United States. Bamboos come in a wide array of sizes and growth habits, from low-growing groundcovers to huge treelike plants.

Learn even more about bamboo.

Another great warm weather plant: Palm trees. Learn how to grow them.

Types of Bamboo Plants

Bamboos can be generally separated into two types: running and clumping.

The running types need large areas to roam and should be controlled with annual root pruning. Otherwise they'll take over and crowd out other plants around them.

Clumping types form tight clusters of shoots, growing outward from a central root ball at a much slower pace, 2 to 12 inches per year.

How to Grow Bamboo Plants

The sun requirements for bamboos vary according to type, but all need regular watering to thrive. Don't let them stand in water, however.

Keeping in mind that bamboo plants are members of the grass family, a lawn type of fertilizer with extra nitrogen may be used. When looking at the number on the package, the first number should be the highest, such as 21-5-6. Use an organic fertilizer if possible.

Learn more about how to grow bamboo.

Growing Running Bamboo Plants

Some of the most commonly known running bamboos are Phyllostachys bamboos. These are the classic bamboos that can reach up to 70 feet tall and have stems as large as 6 inches wide. They are strong, fast-growing, spreading plants with varying degrees of hardiness in Zones 5-10.

Phyllostachys bamboos come in a wide variety of colors, including yellows, greens, dark reds, and blacks (the famous black bamboo). They work well for landscape privacy screening and create the sense of being in a forest.

Because they spread rapidly with underground rhizomes, Phyllostachys bamboo plants need regular maintenance to keep the runners in control. A barrier may be installed to help contain the spread. Phyllostachys bamboos grow best with at least six hours of direct sunlight; yearly maintenance includes root pruning, removing any dead or unattractive stems, and shaping it for best appearance.

Growing Clumping Bamboo Plants

There are several types of clumping bamboos, including Bambusa, which thrives in hot, southern climates, and Chusquea, Borinda, and Himalayacalamus for cool, mild climates. Fargesia bamboos are the most cold-hardy clumping bamboos, surviving as far north as Zone 5.

Clumping types, which typically prefer shade or partial shade, come in a wide range of colors and sizes. They can be pruned to the shape you wish without hurting the plant. If the clump grows too wide, simply thin or remove outer canes by pruning at ground level. Dwarf or groundcover types can be cut back to the ground each spring to keep them looking their best. The new growth will be thicker and shorter.

Learn how clumping bamboo can help create privacy.

How to Grow Indoor Bamboo Plants

Bamboo can be grown in containers, but the tall, spreading types must be repotted or divided every few years so they don't burst and break their containers. Like other potted plants, container bamboos need good drainage, regular watering and fertilizing, and protection from winter weather.

Bamboos that Aren't Bamboo

The cute green houseplant marketed and sold as "lucky bamboo" isn't a bamboo at all. It is Dracaena sanderiana, a member of the lily family.

Nandina, an evergreen shrub known as heavenly bamboo or sacred bamboo, is a member of the barberry family. Often grown as a low-maintenance shrub in milder areas of the country, heavenly bamboo is considered invasive in some areas, so check local restrictions before planting it.

Learn how bamboo plants play a role in Japanese gardens.


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