How to Prune a Bamboo Plant

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A bamboo plant can be pruned by cutting down 1 foot at a time and trimming away any of the bad leaves. Discover how bamboo will do better the more they are trimmed with help from a sustainable gardener in this free video on pruning bamboo plants.

Part of the Video Series: Bamboo Plants
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Video Transcript

Hi, this is Yolanda Vanveen, and we're going to talk about how to prune a bamboo plant. Now, bamboo come in many shapes and different sizes, and you've gotta remember there's two families of bamboo. There's the running bamboo that really take over, and they multiply quickly, and then there's the more clumping bamboo that stay more clumpier. So when you're pruning the clumping bamboo, you've gotta remember they take a lot longer to grow, so you don't want to hack 'em back too much. Whereas, if you have a running bamboo, you can hack 'em to no end 'cause they love to grow, and they grow very quickly. And in fact, I recommend never put running bamboo right into the ground. Always keep it in containers or raised beds or somewhere you can keep them contained. Whereas the clumping bamboo you can put right the ground 'cause it won't take over. Now, bamboo is a grass, just like the grass in your lawn. So, when you give it a trim, it'll just encourage more growth. So, if you've got huge bamboo, you want to start from the top and work down every foot at a time just like you were cutting down a tree. If you've got smaller bamboo, a lot of times in the fall and the winter they look really tacky, so when you're trimming them back, you just trim out any of the bad leaves. So just trim out any of the bad stems, and it'll grow right back. And the thing about bamboo is that it loves to be trimmed, and it will do better the more that you trim it. And you can trim it right to the bottom of the plant. Once you've trimmed it down, it's a great time to divide it too, so as long as you've got some root and some stem, you can cut it right off of the other plant, and you can turn around and plant it, and you'll have bamboo all over your yard. So my rule of thumb is, if your bamboo looks green and lush, leave it be. If there's any parts that look tacky or leaves, just trim out any of the brown parts, and you'll find that they'll look great for years to come.

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