How to Replant a Bamboo Plant

Updated November 21, 2016

Bamboo is a popular and prolific plant with many uses. The plant can spread voraciously, though, and sometimes gardeners may find themselves replanting or transplanting bamboo to a more suitable location in the garden once growth has proved too vigorous for the old spot. It takes a little work but you can do it successfully by following these steps.

Plan your project around the growth phase when your bamboo produces shoots, as transplanting at the wrong time can kill the plant. Typically, early spring before the growing season begins or late fall when the growing season is over are the best times for this project.

Prepare a new location for your bamboo. If you are transplanting because your bamboo outgrew the spot, you might consider placing barriers underground to prevent the spread of rhizomes. These will need to be seamless and extend 12 to 18 inches beneath the surface, depending on the species. Till the soil and add organic nutrients such as compost.

Determine how much of your bamboo you intend to move. Bamboo spreads by rhizomes in the soil, and failing to dig a wide-enough root ball will result in continued growth in the old location. You'll need at least a 2-foot circle all the way around the portion you intend to transplant. Be sure to dig a minimum of 18 inches deep as well.

Plant the bamboo right away, or wrap the rhizomes in wet newspaper and seal with cling film. Though tough when in the ground, bamboo roots die quickly if allowed to dry out.

Stake the newly planted bamboo while the roots establish. Bamboo has a relatively shallow root system and your efforts will be undone if the plant tips over and the roots dry out.

Apply herbicide two to three times throughout the following year in the old location if you do not want the bamboo to grow back. This will inhibit start-up growth from bits of rhizome left behind.

Things You'll Need

  • Spade
  • Wheelbarrow
  • Compost
  • Bamboo
  • Newspaper
  • Cling film
  • Rhizome barriers
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