How to Shape Bamboo Plants

Written by oubria tronshaw
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How to Shape Bamboo Plants
Bamboo plants make lovely housewarming gifts. (Thinkstock Images/Comstock/Getty Images)

Both bamboo plants and "lucky bamboo" plants, which closely resemble bamboo plants, are native to Asia, and considered lucky plants to own. They are low maintenance, and thrive with little effort. Bamboo and lucky bamboo plants both have leaves that grow from naturally straight stalks. By following a few simple tips, you can manipulate the stalks to grow into a spiral shape.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Cardboard box
  • Scissors
  • Water

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  1. 1

    Cut one side off the cardboard box so that the other three sides remain intact. The box should be small enough to fit the plant snugly inside, but large enough to leave the bamboo a decent amount of growing room.

  2. 2

    Position the box near a light source, such as a window, glass door or outside in mild weather. Make sure the box is shaded somewhat, as bamboo plants are sensitive to any light source that is too harsh or bright.

  3. 3

    Place the bamboo plant inside the box. Only one side of the plant should face the light source; the top and other three sides of the plant should be shaded within the box.

  4. 4

    Care for the plant, providing it with pure water. Observe as the bamboo slowly grows towards the light source. Be patient, as this step may take time.

  5. 5

    Gently rotate the bamboo until it is facing in another direction once you notice that the plant has leant towards the light. The plant will continue to grow towards the light source.

  6. 6

    Rotate the plant again so that the opposite side faces the light source once the bamboo has grown a bit in the other direction. Continue to gently rotate the plant each time it grows towards the light to shape it into the commonly seen spiral shape.

  7. 7

    Place a potted bamboo plant near a water source, such as a pond or stream, as an alternate method to shape a bamboo plant. Since bamboo plants will not grow into water, according to, rotating the plant near water will have a shaping effect very similar to the effect of the cardboard box method. However, this will not work with Dracaena plants, or "lucky" bamboo. Although lucky bamboo looks like the actual bamboo plant, this variety will grow into water.

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