How To Propagate Bamboo

Bamboo plants grow in a unique way compared to other plants. While most plants’ trunks and branches continue to develop year after year, bamboo shoots increase in height and diameter for around 60 days after they emerge, during which time the cane generates limbs and leaves.

The cane will never grow in diameter or height after this 60-day growth cycle; however, it will continue to live. Its energy is then utilized to grow the root system and generate other plants, forming a colony or a grove in most cases.

The new plants will emerge as a shoot from the underground rhizome and swiftly expand for 60 days to become a new cane with limbs and leaves, just like the original plant. With each passing year, the number of new canes generated in the following spring will rise in their height and diameter.


During the spring shooting season, bamboo can grow up to 4 feet in 24 hours. The new shoot will open its branches and fresh leaves when it reaches its full height. (Learn How To Propagate Pothos)

However, when you propagate bamboo, you will be dealing with much shorter bamboo. In our guide, you can learn more about growing bamboo in various ways.

By the end, you’ll have more information on how to grow bamboo, so you can have more plants in a warm area of your garden or take cutting for indoors.

Nursery Bamboo Plants

Most bamboo plant farmers employ divisions or rhizome cuttings to grow bamboo. A nursery propagating and growing several bamboo species from cuttings will have many bamboo groves on their property.

Most bamboo plants are moved from the grove to nursery containers during the dormant season.

Propagation from existing clumps is best done in early spring. In late winter or following spring.

Typically, use rhizome cuttings for transplanting into 1 to 3-gallon containers. More extensive rhizomes belong in 2 or 3-gallon pots, while smaller ones in 1-gallon pots.

More rhizomes, like giant bamboo, will almost always need a 3-gallon container or larger for the size of the root division.

Clumping bamboos need the root ball cutting and dividing while running bamboo takes a foot-long rhizome with roots and one to several buds.(Learn How To Propagate Aloe)

Can I Grow Bamboo From a Cutting?

Fast-growing, tough, and elegant, bamboo covers walls, and gardeners grow bamboo for privacy screens and add a vertical element to the landscape.

When the wind blows, the canes brush together, making gentle rhythms. If you already have a bamboo plant in a pot or the landscape, it’s simple to propagate by cutting sections of the stem and replanting them in your garden, a method called culm-segment cutting.

The sections of bamboo develop new roots, creating a clone of the parent plant after several weeks.

  1. Cut a bamboo cane into parts with two to three nodes, which are the sites where the leaves develop from the bamboo cane. To detect a node, look for the bamboo to flare out and have a little divide in it.
  2. You’ll need a bamboo cane that’s at least 1 to 2 years old and 1-inch in diameter to propagate a new plant, and it should be at least 1 to 2 years old and 1-inch in diameter.
  3. Cut as many culm parts for replanting as you desire to grow bamboo plants. Each part will become a separate plant. Add a few extra to compensate for possible loss, decay, or inability to take root.
  4. With a pair of clippers, remove the foliage from the culm cutting.
  5. Fill a 6-inch nursery pot with potting soil or dig a hole in the ground.
  6. Plant one or two nodes of the culm section in the soil. In the pot or planting bed, place the culm cutting vertically or at a 45-degree angle.
  7. When the top of the soil seems dry to the touch, water it to keep it moist. Within a month, new growth should show.

Things You Need

Bamboo cuttings should be transplanted in the fall, at the start of the wet season. Take advantage of the rainy season to start your bamboo cuttings.Keep the culm sections well-watered if you plant in the spring or summer. Allowing them to dry out will cause the roots to die or fail to form.

True bamboo belongs to the Poaceae family of grasses, which also includes the species fortunate bamboo.

When making cuts, do so at a 45-degree angle. Also, you can apply rooting hormone to the base of your cutting for quicker growth and beeswax along the top to protect the freshly cut top of your cutting.

many bamboos

How to Propagate Bamboo

Bamboo is a woody grass that is used to make furniture and flooring. They can be employed as giant attractive plants or as a dense privacy barrier in your yard. If you already have bamboo, cuttings from the culms, main stalks of the bamboo, rhizomes, or root system are easy to multiply. (Learn How To Propagate Christmas Cactus)

Here you can find three ways of propagating bamboo.

bamboo culm

1. Propagating Bamboo Culm Cuttings

1. To cut bamboo, select and sanitize your tools. Depending on how thick and hardy your bamboo is, you’ll need a different tool to cut bamboo effectively.

You might use a sharp knife to cut thin bamboo, or it could take a handsaw if the bamboo is tougher. Sterilize tools with diluted bleach or rubbing alcohol.

If you’re going to disinfect tools with bleach, dilute them first with water. For every 32 parts of water, use 1 part bleach.

2. Cut a 10-inch length of bamboo at a 45° angle. When making cuttings, each piece of bamboo you cut should have at least 3 or 4 nodes or rings that wrap around the stalk. Bamboo cuttings should be at least 1 inch in diameter if you want to grow them successfully from a cutting.

3. A rooting hormone should be applied at one end of the cutting. The rooting hormone will help the roots develop faster when you replant the cutting. After dipping the end of the bamboo into the hormone, shake it off.

4. Apply soft wax around the rim of the exposed end. Soft waxes, such as beeswax or soy wax, should be used. The wax prevents the stem from drying up and rotting. When propagating bamboo, make sure the center hole isn’t filled in wax.

5. In a pot filled with potting soil, bury the cutting one node deep. For each clipping, a small nursery pot will suffice. Push the bamboo into the potting soil until one of the nodes is fully buried. To eliminate any air pockets, firmly press the earth surrounding the bamboo.

6. Using a spray bottle, thoroughly mist the dirt. The soil should be moist and saturated but not muddy to the touch. Make sure the dirt is moist by pushing your finger to your first knuckle.

7. Fill the center of the cutting with water. While the roots will develop with moist soil, pouring water into the center of the stalk will give extra water to your cutting. Check the water level every couple of days and keep the center mostly filled with water as it grows.

8. Keep the pots in a warm spot away from direct sunshine and water them regularly. While the bamboo cuttings should be kept mainly in the shade while they grow, a little light throughout the day is acceptable.

To keep the soil moist, check it daily. Allowing water to sit on top of the soil is not a good idea. Any developing roots that receive too much water may decay.

A plastic bag can be placed over the cutting to help it maintain moisture, but it is not required to thrive.

9. You should observe your cutting expanding in height and new branches emerging from the nodes after 3 to 4 weeks. You can transplant the cutting into the ground after it has been in the pot for four months.

With a hand shovel or trowel, gently loosen the soil in the pot so it may be readily removed. Place the bamboo in a hole that is slightly larger than the root system of the bamboo. Replace your soil around your bamboo and water it thoroughly.

2. Cuttings in Water

1. New bamboo growth should be cut into 10-inch slices. At least two nodes and two culms (the areas between the nodes) should be present in the cuttings you take. Cut the bamboo at a 45° angle as best you can with a sharp knife.

Before taking cuttings from the bamboo stalk, clean the knife with home disinfectants like diluted bleach or rubbing alcohol.

2. Submerge the bottom node in a pot or glass container in a well-lit area. The bottom node should be completely underwater to have the maximum area for new sprouts to develop.

Keep the bamboo in an area where it gets indirect sunlight for 6 hours and is above 55 °F. If possible, use a clear container so you can see the roots develop.

3. Every two days, change the water. Standing water quickly loses oxygen, which is especially important if you’re trying to cultivate bamboo. Changing the water ensures that your plant receives the nutrients it requires to continue developing.

4. Once the roots are 2 inches long, transplant the cutting to a pot. The roots from your cutting will take many weeks to form. You can transplant the cutting into a pot or the ground to continue developing after the roots are 2 inches (5.1 cm) long., 1 inch (2.5 cm) deep, plant the clipping.

3. New Bamboo from Rhizomes

1. Using a gardening knife, cut out a section of rhizome with 2-3 growth buds. Remove the soil from your bamboo plant’s root system with care.

Locate a section of the rhizome with two or three growth buds or the locations where stalks emerge. Remove the portion with a sharp knife.

Any rhizomes with a dark or spotty look should be avoided. These are symptoms of sickness or pest infestation.

Take culm cuttings from rhizomes using established clumping bamboo, or your bamboo will be jeopardized.

2. Place the rhizome in a container horizontally, with the buds facing up. In the pot, add a layer of potting soil. Place the side with the bamboo stalks facing up. Keep the ends of the stalk that are still linked to the rhizome out of the soil.

3. 3 inches of potting soil should be used to cover the rhizome. Bury the rhizome so it can begin to grow and develop. Firmly press the earth against the rhizome to ensure complete contact.

4. Use a watering can and moisten the soil. The soil should be damp, but no murky water should be visible on the surface. Please make sure the dirt is wet by sticking your finger into it up to the second knuckle.

Every other day, use your finger to check the moisture level of your soil. If the rhizome appears to be dry, irrigate it until the soil is deeply moist but not soaked.

5. For 4-6 weeks, keep the pots in the shade. Keep the pot out of direct sunlight as much as possible. Next to a shaded outside wall or beneath the shade of a large tree is the best spot to maintain it. Your bamboo will sprout and grow through the soil again after 4 to 6 weeks.

When nighttime temperatures are consistently above 55 °F, bamboo growing from rhizomes can be replanted in the soil.

lucky bamboo

Propagating Lucky Bamboo Plants

You’ll observe that if your lucky bamboo is healthy, it swiftly outgrows its original shape. The new shoots grow straight up instead of preserving the lovely, twisted corkscrews or interlocking patterns. (Learn How to Propagate Spider Plant In Water)

They may appear appealing at first, but they will quickly lead to an unbalanced plant. Fortunately, how to propagate lucky bamboo is straightforward.

  1. The first step is to cut a healthy piece.
  2. After you’ve clipped the mother plant, you can take cuttings.
  3. Make sure the cuttings have at least one node, if not more, leaf joints.
  4. Remove any extra leaves to reveal the growing node.
  5. Lucky bamboo can be rooted with or without rooting hormone, and in most instances, you wouldn’t use a rooting hormone because of the speed of root growth. However, if you’ve tried and failed, a rooting hormone may help.
  6. In water, lucky bamboo is rooted and the method you should use. Place any clippings that include at least one leaf joint in distilled water. You can use the same soft wax method to avoid rot on the lower portion of the stem.
  7. Before long, new roots will grow from the bamboo cutting. Place in a well-lit area although out of direct sunlight.
  8. Maintain the cleanliness of the water. You can keep it in a vase or pot new bamboo plants in regular soil once they sprout roots. You can cover your plant with a plastic bag to help retain moisture.
  9. To pot in soil, gently press the cut stalk into fresh potting soil, and ensure one root node is beneath the soil level, to root a new plant.
  10. Keep the soil moist and a warm environment for the plant until fresh new shoots appear.
  11. When rooting Lucky bamboo, remember the young plant won’t have the parent’s distinguishing stalks or growth tendencies.
  12. When growing bamboo, you can train it from an early age to start the unique growth patterns and end with a properly shaped bamboo plant.

How To Propagate Bamboo (1)

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