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How to Propagate Bamboo

How to divide and propagate Bamboo.  Do you think I am crazy? Who in their right mind would want more of what most view as an invasive plant?

I would! I propagate my bamboo as much as I can.

I love bamboo and that being said I keep it in check by growing it in containers only.  Some are fairly large containers.

I even use my bamboo plants as a trellis for my sweet peas.  They seem to thrive together in the container. 

Bamboo is a very useful plant.  I cut out old canes and use them as plant supports, to make small trellis and more. 

Why Propagate Bamboo?

My bamboo do very well in their containers and they are constantly sending up new shoots.  But once they start to look too crowded or struggling it is time to give them some help.

Dividing them helps give them more room and reinvigorates them. 

That being said my larger containers of bamboo are about 5 years old and still doing fine, I have not had to divide them yet. 

Mostly I propagate bamboos so I can get more for myself or gift one to a plant loving friend. 

I have lots of friends with only a small deck or patio area where they have their container gardens.  Bamboo makes a great statement piece and provides a lushness that is welcome. 

Note: the first video in this post is a short over view, for a full length video with narration please see the end of this post. 

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning I get a commission if you decide to purchase through my links, at no cost to you. Please read my disclosure for more info.

What kind of bamboo do you have?

Truthfully, I don’t know.  This bamboo was given to me by a friend who has it in her garden and it has run like crazy.  So they are constantly digging it up.

One thing I do know is this bamboo is tough.

It lives outside through our snowy, cold winters and gives me something green on my back deck when all else is barren. 

What time of year do you propagate Bamboo?

I do it when I get time and a helping hand. But it is best to do this in Fall or Winter. 

I prefer Fall as it has time to recover then send up new shoots in Spring.  It fills out much faster and looks lush. 

Lets Divide our Bamboo by root division

Remove the bamboo plant from the post.  Set on a flat surface.

Decide if you want to divide it in half, thirds or quarters. We did half.

What tools do you need for propagating bamboo?

We used a sawzall this time but in the past we have used a hack saw. 

using a sawzall to divide bamboo plant

We decided on just cutting this one in half so the divisions would still be a pretty good size.  

After sawing through the root ball pull them apart.

splitting a bamboo plant in half after cutting through the root ball

Set aside and prepare your pots.

Mix up your potting soil or use bagged potting soil.  I amend with worm castings, it is a slow release, mild plant food. 

divided bamboo plant and new soil

Pot up bamboo divisions

Use a shovel to shave off any of the root ball if you need to so the bamboo will fit into the pot.   Put some soil into the pot and place your bamboo division into it.  

Try to center the root ball as best as you can. 

The top of the bamboo should be slightly lower than the lip of the pot. 

Fill in with soil.  Leave some space at the top so when you water the new bamboo plant it will catch it and not run off. 

pot up bamboo divisions

Place new plants in their new home 

I do this before I water them in so they are not as heavy.  I put my new bamboo plants in my Secret Garden.  You saw them in my Secret Garden revamp video. 

bamboo plants in Secret Garden

I want to create more privacy along my back fence and the bamboo will work wonderfully for that until I get other things in place.  

Once I moved them into place I watered them well.  The next week I made sure to keep them watered.  

They never missed a beat. No yellowing of leaves, no drooping from shock. Nothing, just happy bamboo with more room to grow more canes. 

I am so glad I got this done when I did, within the month we got this….

snow on Secret Garden Flower Patch Farmhouse

The bamboo are doing fine and don’t seem to mind a bit of snow. 

How to Protect Bamboo in Winter

We don’t have severely cold winters. I live in a Zone 8 but my microclimate is more zone 7.  That being said I don’t do too much to the bamboo I have in winter to protect it. 

I keep them close to the house for added warmth but this particular bamboo seems to be a hardy variety.  These bamboo plants back by the fence will get moved closer to the house as soon as we can get to them.

This early snow is melting and I can get them moved soon so they will spend the rest of winter in a warmer spot. 


The narrated video is here:

Until next time….

I wish you Happy Gardening.  (even in winter!)

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