Bamboo plants grow well indoors or out and quickly outgrow their pots. Though the idea of repotting bamboo may seem challenging, it's a straightforward activity that anyone can do with the right tools and some pointers. Get help from an assistant if the plant is very large, as they can be heavy and awkward to manoeuvre. With the right equipment, you can have your bamboo plant repotted in a morning--it may even be twins.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Assistant, if needed
- Heavy-duty garden shears or utility knife, if needed
- Protective goggles, if needed
- Hammer, if needed
- Potting soil
- Garden hose or large watering can full of water
- Shovel or saw, if needed
Remove the bamboo from its pot. If the bamboo has outgrown the pot, you may have to cut or break the pot to remove it. Put on protective goggles before breaking terracotta or other clay pot. Hit the rim of the pot with a hammer to crack it and hit the belly of the pot further down the line from the crack. Cut a plastic pot from the rim to the bottom with a utility knife or heavy-duty garden shears, keeping your fingers out of the way.
Pour water over the rhizomes, the bulbous ends of the bamboo plant, to determine where to divide the plant to cut as little as possible. Cut the clumps apart with a saw or shovel. Place the plant on its side on the ground and push the saw blade into the middle of the rhizomes and separate them by cutting all the way through the clump to divide it in half. To divide the clump with a shovel, force the shovel's blade into the middle of the clump. Put your foot on the top of the shovel blade and push down to divide the clump.
Put potting soil in two pots and place one bamboo clump in each pot. Make sure the soil line on the bamboo is only 2 inches below the rim of the pot.
Fill in the pot with potting soil to within 2 inches of the pot rim. Tamp the soil down gently by hand. Water the bamboo plants immediately.
Tips and warnings
- Keep bamboo plants shaded their first year outdoors.
- Provide newly potted bamboo with bright, filtered light indoors, such as sunlight through a curtain.
- Get help lifting a heavy bamboo plant.
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