Bamboo can be one of the easiest things to grow. Most bamboos grow at a high rate, and it will not be long before you start seeing results. Just like other plants, bamboo requires some conditions that are favorable for growth to happen. Once you know how to go about growing bamboo, you can develop ideas for decorations, indoor plant growing, and commercial growing. Let us learn how to grow bamboo.
Growing Bamboo From Cuttings
Bamboo plants can be propagated from their parent plants by cutting portions and growing them. A bamboo plant is grass and can grow easily through this method. There are three different methods of cutting bamboo that we will look at. All the methods are easy to do from home, and you do not need any special skills for each of them.
Method 1: Root Division
Tools You Will Require
- A sharp knife
- Reciprocating saw ((not mandatory)
Root division is the easiest method of growing a new bamboo plant from an existing one. You can plant bamboo by knowing how to go about dividing the roots without killing the parent plant. Use the following steps to grow bamboo plants from root division.
- Ensure the type of bamboo you are getting is clumping bamboo and not running bamboo. Running bamboos might not have underground rhizomes that have compounding growth to each other as most species have rhizomes that are far away from each other.
- Select a clump out of place compared to the rest or one overgrown as your candidate. You do not want to end up killing already existing bamboo in case you mess up their roots, and they do not grow anymore.
- After getting the right bamboo, decide how you will divide the roots, whether in quarters or halves, depending on the amount you are working with. Ensure you study the root systems closely, as that is where most of the growth begins to avoid just ripping them apart.
- Once you have seen what you are working with, drive a shovel to divide the roots. You can pick one with a mature size on the existing clumps that will not get destroyed at the slightest touch. Do not worry about the roots, as bamboos have an amazing growth rate under optimal soil conditions.
- Using your hands, pull the two sections of the bamboo plant apart to get your division as you planned.
- Before using a knife to sever the remaining roots and rhizomes, use your hands to separate the clumps as much as possible to make the new plant grow fast and healthier.
- Replant the bamboo in large pots or a new place that you set aside.
- The best soil to use is from the same place you took the bamboo, which is a rich soil mix. Good soil will help the bamboo grow faster.
- Clumping bamboos need water to be healthy. Ensure there is a hole at the below the container you are using or plant the bamboo in well-drained soil. Standing water does not allow oxygen to mix hence the need for well-drained soil to inspire more growth.
- The bamboo plants should do just fine as long as you water them frequently. Bamboo roots will soon start growing back to their natural form.
Method 2: Rhizome Cuttings
Tools you will Need
- Sterilized soil
- Sharp knife
Bamboo canes produce new growth that is called "creeping" or "running" bamboo. Bamboo growth depends on the type of bamboo. In this method, the rhizome removed from the parent bamboo will be planted in early spring. Soon enough, the roots will start to grow, and then the culms. Bamboo plants whose rhizomes have been cut need to be moist and not wet. Wetting the bamboo plants at that stage will lead to rotting before new growth occurs or before any bamboo shoots see the light. Use the following steps.
- Dig up a stalk of bamboo. The stalk is also known as the culm.
- Look for a tall and healthy part, preferably with buds and many feeder roots. If you spot any swelling buds, that would be the rhizomes to use as they accelerate growth.
- Using a sharp knife, remove a healthy rhizome from a parent plant.
- Put the rhizomes in large containers with potting soil. The best soil to use is sterilized soil with less organic matter, pests, diseases, or weed seeds. You do not want more plants competing with your newly transferred rhizome.
- Remember to keep the soil in moist rather than soaked conditions to avoid rotting of the cuttings.
- The root structure will form within the first year, and the culms will appear in the second year when you start to see some bamboo leaves.
Method 3: Culm Burial
Another way to plant bamboo is by using culm cuttings. New plants are best started with nutrients ad culm cuttings are one of the best ways of planting bamboo. The process is not easy, and it might take a while before you start seeing new shoots. Most bamboo plants in the grass family and grow new shoots and roots in the node area. This character is available in all bamboo types. Let us look at the procedure on how to plant bamboo through culm burial.
- Choose a culm two to three years old on the individual plant for the best candidate for your new plants.
- You can either cut the culm into different segments or leave it whole, depending on the method you are using.
- Get rid of all existing branches except one or two branches at the nodes. Most plants will have multiple branches around the nodes.
- Bury the culm in a container with sterilized soil in it. If you did not divide the culm into sections, ensure you plant the bamboo in the soil to support growth. Winter chill will not be kind to the bamboo. Therefore, mind the climate before you put the bamboo under the soil.
- It takes bamboo a few weeks before the roots start growing
- Plant the segments according to how you want them to grow if you create a bamboo hedge or work on a different project.
Growing Bamboo from Seeds
Growing bamboo from seed is on of the most satisfying ways to get the plant. You can get any bamboo you want, including temperate bamboo, running bamboo or, clumping bamboo. All you will need is to plant a few seeds in the hopes of ending up with a bamboo grove. Before you plant bamboo seeds, you need to ensure favorable conditions for the bamboo to thrive. Use the following procedure to grow bamboo seeds.
- Buy or create a miniature indoor greenhouse. A small greenhouse will make it possible to plant the bamboo under any climatic conditions. You can grow bamboo, including clumping bamboo, in a greenhouse without worrying about the soil type or soaking.
- The greenhouse will have pellets, which you will use as the medium for running or clumping bamboo seeds. Pour water until the clumps are half saturated. You can sterilize the pellets if you see fit.
- Soak the pellets and prepare them for the planting process.
- While working on the pellets, ensure the bamboo seeds have been soaked in water for one full day. The water should be about 30 degrees Celsius. This process will kickstart the germination process. Place the water in a warm place to prevent it from getting too cold.
- Plant a seed in the middle of each pellet in the same manner so that you can monitor their growth as time goes by. Create a tiny hole in the pellet and place the seed, and cover the seed after.
- Ensure the greenhouse is in a spot with indirect sunlight. Direct sunlight might burn the seeds. Ensure you water the seeds each day until the pellet is moist. Avoid soaking the pellet.
- In about 10-days, you will begin seeing sprouts. When the shoots start touching the greenhouse roof, feel free to remove the lid.
- After 30 days of watering and monitoring, transfer the bamboo seedlings into a larger pot for more growing space.
- Place the pots in a spot with indirect sunlight for further growth.
- Once the plants are big enough, transfer them to fertile soil in your preferred spot. W
- Water the bamboo twice or thrice a week and ensure they do not wither or get eaten by pests. Pests will soon be a challenge. You can use your hands to remove the pets, or you can use pesticides to get rid of the insects that might drown your efforts in no time, turning your potential bamboo grove into a bad joke.
- Remove any debris from underneath the bamboo to prevent diseases from spreading to the plant.
Despite the method you prefer, bamboo is one of the fastest-growing plants under the right conditions. Get the procedures right, and you will soon end up with thick, lush grass because the new plant growth does not take too long to start.