Curly bamboo plants are pleasing to the eye and require relatively low maintenance. They thrive in a spot with little direct sunlight but plenty of clean water. Curly bamboo is also expensive to purchase and sometimes hard to find. However, with some patience and a little skill, anyone can make their own curly bamboo. While curly bamboo can be trained by simply adjusting the position of light exposure, it can also be done using wire supports.
Get a young bamboo plant with small green shoots. Hardened bamboo will not have the ability to be trained. Make sure the plant is rooted in a vase with pebbles or marbles at the bottom to support the stalk in an upright position. The vase should be filled with water free of excessive chlorine, and it should be placed in a spot with consistent indirect sunlight available throughout the day.
Purchase a spiralled wire stake from a garden supply store, or make one yourself by bending a solid wire into a spiral shape. Place the wire into the vase with the bamboo stalk so the straight portion of the wire is parallel to the bamboo stalk itself and secure it to the stalk with ties or tape.
Secure the bottom portion of the bamboo shoot to the first bend of the wire spiral using plastic cables or thick twine. Tie it firmly so it adheres to the shape of the wire, but do not tie it so tightly that it cuts into the bamboo. Leave the top portion of the growth free so that it can continue to sprout and grow outward. As the bamboo plant continues to grow, train it to grow following the lines of the wire coil by adding a new tie around the bamboo at each wire loop.
Remove or replace the ties once the bamboo has made a complete revolution upward around the wire; it should begin to harden. Start at the bottom with the first tie that was installed and carefully snip it to release it from the bamboo. If the bamboo is still pliant and does not retain the curly shape, replace the tie. Ties may need to be removed and adjusted for girth as the bamboo plant grows thicker. When the plant is hardened enough to retain the spiral shape, the ties and the wire support can be removed. New shoots can continue to grow, or they may be pruned as desired.
Things you need
- Young bamboo plant
- Clean water
- Plastic cable ties, twine or tape