How to Root Bamboo Shoots

Written by elton dunn
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How to Root Bamboo Shoots
Some species of bamboo respond better to cuttings than others. (Jupiterimages/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images)

Bamboo shoots are traditionally propagated via clump division, rather than cutting, and this is still a frequently employed method. Growers can propagate bamboo by rooting bamboo shoots in the process known as culm-cutting or stem-cutting. Rooting cut bamboo shoots requires daily care and patience, and does not guarantee success. Choose 2-year-old bamboo shoots for cuttings, since younger shoots won't have enough energy to successfully root.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Sharp saw
  • Compost
  • Sand
  • 5-gallon poly bags or buckets

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  1. 1

    Divide the bamboo shoot into cuttings that contain two or three nodes, using a sharp saw. According to the University of Hawaii Forestry Extension, the bottom third of the bamboo shoot contains the best nodes, or culms, for cutting. Bamboo culms are easily marked with horizontal lines, so you can identify the nodes.

  2. 2

    Discard the narrow top part of the shoot and the very bottom node. Root all other shoots.

  3. 3

    Mix compost and sand in a 1 to 1 ratio to create a rooting soil for bamboo that drains well and is rich in nutrients.

  4. 4

    Line 5-gallon poly bags or plastic containers with sheets of newspaper to help the rooting medium retain moisture. Then fill each bag with the compost-sand rooting mix. Line and fill as many containers as you need, based on the number of bamboo nodes you have.

  5. 5

    Stick one bamboo node in each container at a 45-degree angle. Bury the thick horizontal node in the rooting medium.

  6. 6

    Place the containers somewhere out of the way, where they will not be disturbed while rooting. Choose a location that gets partial or full sun.

  7. 7

    Water the bamboo just after planting all cut shoots. Thereafter, water daily.

  8. 8

    Care for the bamboo in this manner until the cuttings have rooted, which may take as long as seven months.

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