How to Prune Bamboo House Plants

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Bamboo typically needs pruning only to keep its height under control.
Bamboo typically needs pruning only to keep its height under control. (Image: Buena Vista Images/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

Growing bamboo indoors or growing lucky bamboo, which is similar but not actually bamboo, the plant ultimately will have to be pruned. Bamboo and lucky bamboo grow tall over time, with the genuine bamboo reaching higher than most ceilings. Trimming this to a manageable level is fairly easy.

Things You'll Need

  • Pruning snips or knife
  • Wash cloth
  • Water
  • Rubbing Alcohol

Determine the height you want the bamboo shoot to be. The plants can get up to 3 feet tall, so depending on its height, this could be quite a bit down from the top.

Look for a node near the place to cut the plant. Go 1 inch above the node.

Snip the shoot off at the spot 1 inch above the node. Make a clean cut, using pruning snips. Clean the snips' blades with rubbing alcohol to prevent the transfer of contaminants to the plant. Use a knife for larger shoots.

Wait two days for the top of the cut area to dry out. Dampen a wash cloth and dab it on the cut to encourage growth.

Clip weak or yellowing shoots down to the base of the plant so they don't drain the bamboo's nutrients.

Tips & Warnings

  • Do not waste the cut bamboo shoot. Dip it in rooting hormone and let it dry. Put the shoot in water the next day to root a new plant.

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