Propagating Bamboo Plants

Bamboo plants are not that popular to be placed in a garden. Let’s face it, the places that you probably spotted bamboos are in the forest or on the wild side. You might have second thoughts on whether or not to have bamboo plants in your lovely garden, but overall they are very attractive and unusual type of plants to have in a home garden. Those who have taken the time out to plant bamboo in their gardens have loved the process of it, specially the output.

Whatever said and done, bamboo plants are indeed great additions to your landscape as they are very attractive plants, especially if you want to create a Zen or Japanese garden. Although it is tricky to propagate bamboo plants, the timing is the key to make it happen. You need lots of patience and you should really look forward to putting your time into this as the results would be so wonderful and worthy of your time spent on propagating these bamboo plants. Here are the steps on how to propagate bamboo plants.

You will need:

  1. Potting soil
  2. Spading fork
  3. Spade
  4. Pruning saw
  5. 1 gallon plastic nursery containers

Bamboo Plants


  1. First, try to do the bamboo propagation in early spring before the active growth begins. The best indication for the time for you to dig is the rising temperatures and lengthening of daylight hours. Low winter temperatures or high summer heat will decrease viability.
  2. Then, dig and divide the existing clumps of bamboo. Use a spade to dig around the outside of the clump. Lift the clump from the soil with a spading fork gently. If the clump is large, ask for another person to help you.
  3. Divide the bamboo clump in several pieces by using a sharp pruning saw. You should have at least 3 culms or the large woody stems in each division.
  4. Make sure that you get some foliage and roots and culms. If a significant amount of root is lost in digging, reduce the foliage as the roots will only support a corresponding amount of foliage. Check if there are some green leaves left on the culm so that there will be new plants for photosynthesize.
  5. Next, put potting soil that is rich with organic matter and fast draining in a clean 1 gallon nursery containers about halfway up.
  6. Place the bamboo divisions in the prepared nursery containers.
  7. Make adjustment to the soil so that the top of the root ball sits just above the surface. Top about 1 inch below the rim of the pot, leaving room to water with potting soil.
  8. Squeeze the bamboo in tight as it’s better for them to be root-bound.
  9. You should place the new plants in a protected place in partial shade with no direct sun until the new growth developed. Water the containers until the water runs out of the drain holes or whenever the soil feels dry to touch.

Image Credit:

Flickr CC

Additional Reading:

Practical Bamboos: The 50 Best Plants for Screens, Containers and More

Ornamental Bamboos