Bamboo is easy to grow, despite its tropical appearance.

Bamboo & Mango Trees

by Dawn Denmar

While bamboo (Bambuseae spp.) grows throughout much of the United States, it is often is associated with locales such as Japan and China. When coupled with mango (Mangifera indica) trees, all you need is a waterfall to recreate a tropical getaway in your garden. Bamboo, an evergreen perennial with more than 70 genera and approximately 1,450 species. Mangos make attractive specimen trees and provide juicy sweet fruits, while bamboo provides natural privacy screens and looks right at home near water features.

1. Best Locations for Mango Trees

Mango trees are evergreen and hardy in USDA plant hardiness zones 10B through 11. They grow to maximum heights of 45 feet with canopies spreading to 40 feet. Frost is likely to kill fruits and flowers if temperatures drop below 40F, young trees cannot withstand temperatures below 30F, while mature trees may survive short periods at temperatures below 25F.

2. Growing Mango Trees

Plant mango trees in full sun locations in fertile soil having pH levels between 5.5 and 7.5. The soil must offer good drainage and plenty of moisture. Mango trees have leathery, green leaves that turn purple-red in the fall. They bear abundant and showy white flower spikes in spring followed by juicy mangos that ripen about 100 days after flowering. The fruit of the mango varies from green to red with shades in between. It needn't be red all over to be ripe, but it should be soft. The pit is large and flat. The fruit has a faint turpentine smell but is very tasty and sweet. Mango is also used in salsa and culinary dishes. Different varieties of mango give early- or mid-season fruiting.

3. Types of Bamboo

Despite its showiness and fragile appearance, bamboo is a type of grass and varieties can grow up to 100 feet. There are two different types of bamboo, classified by their root systems. Runners will spread by way of sending out underground runners and can get out of control, unless barriers like water or containers are used. Clumping bamboo is slower growing and expands from the original planting. Some bamboos are considered invasive in certain areas.

4. Growing Bamboo

Yellow groove bamboo (Phyllostachis aureosulcata) is a popular running form of bamboo that's suitable for USDA zones 4 to 9. Yellow groove is ideal for hedging and screening or placed in natural settings or around water gardens. The plant needs full sun locations and moist soil. It's a good idea to sink root barriers at the time of planting so the bamboo does not become invasive in the home garden, particularly in warmer climates. Golden bamboo (Phyllostachis aurea) is classed as invasive in a number of states including Florida and Pennsylvania. "Green Panda" bamboo (Fargesia rufa "Green Panda") is a cold-hardy clumping bamboo that thrives in USDA zones 5 through 9. This plant grows no taller than 8 feet and is extremely vigorous, though it does not appreciate being full sun in the summer.

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