How to Cut Bamboo to Root

Clumping Bamboo
Clumping Bamboo (Image: American Bamboo Society, Mr. Bamboo)

Bamboo is a lush, hardy grass that can grow up to 100 feet tall. Clumping varieties of bamboo are the easiest to control. Running varieties are most likely to take over your garden. Outdoor plants need full sun and plenty of water and do best if the area they grow in is kept free of weeds. Cut bamboo to root by following these steps.

Things You'll Need

  • Clean, sharp knife or garden clippers
  • Wax
  • Rooting hormone
  • Containers

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Select a healthy plant to take a cutting from. Unhealthy plants are difficult to root.

Make a clean cut in an area with new growth above it. Cut the bamboo cane at least two nodes beneath the new buds. A node is the ring-like line that appears along the cane.

Use regular white household wax to seal the mature cane where you made the cut if you're using an indoor bamboo plant. Established outdoor plants don't need to be sealed with wax.

Put the cut end of the bamboo in clean water until it roots and change the water often enough to keep it clear. Add rooting hormone and set the glass in filtered sunlight. Rooting can take as long as several months.

Bury at least one node of the cut end in a small pot filled with soil that drains well if you prefer to root the plant in soil. Put the pot in filtered sunlight and mist it with plain water regularly. This process can also take several months.

Transplant the cane in the spring when it has healthy roots. Set it in full sun and use a fertilizer high in nitrogen. Water the plant heavily for the first two weeks that it is outside. Water regularly through the first growing season.

Tips & Warnings

  • Plants that turn yellow or start to rot won't recover. Rooting hormone can be purchased at garden stores.
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