Bamboo is technically a grass, but the tall, leafy canes resemble a tree or reed. Bamboo becomes invasive in many areas, necessitating certain planting measures to keep it under control. Growing bamboo in pots prevents it from spreading to unwanted areas. Keep bamboo pots outdoors or move them inside and treat them as houseplants. The bamboo rhizomes eventually outgrow their pots, requiring division or repotting every two to three years.
Fill the new pot half full with moistened potting soil. Use a pot the same size as the pot the bamboo is currently growing in, if you are dividing the bamboo. Use a pot one size larger if you are repotting the entire plant.
Slide a trowel into the soil, between the root ball and the sides of the current pot. Lay the pot on its side and slide the bamboo out.
Shake as much soil from the roots as possible. Spray the roots with water to remove the soil, if necessary, but don't soak the roots.
Cut the rhizome in half with a sharp knife or root pruning saw, dividing the plant into two if you are dividing it. Leave at least two healthy stems on each section of rhizome.
Fill the old pot half full with fresh potting soil if you divided the plant. Set a section of the bamboo plant in each of the prepared pots.
Add soil beneath the rhizomes until the top sits 3 inches beneath the rim of the pot. Cover the rhizomes with soil until the top of the rhizomes sit 1 to 2 inches beneath the soil surface.
Water the soil in the pots until water drains from the bottom, settling the soil. You may need to add more soil to each pot after the soil settles.
Divide and repot bamboo in late winter or early spring, when the plant is in a semidormant state.
Tips and warnings
- Divide and repot bamboo in late winter or early spring, when the plant is in a semidormant state.