Can Bamboo Grow from Shoots?

Bamboo can grow in a variety of different ways and if you are interested in growing this plant from the east, you might want to consider all of them.

Can you grow bamboo from shoots? No, but you can grow it from cuttings, which you will then be able to grow in a few ways. One is to use a rooting hormone, which will basically encourage the bamboo cut to grow roots and then you can plant it. The others involve submerging the cut bamboo in water and getting a rhizome of the bamboo for a new plant.

While using bamboo shoots for growing bamboo might not be a viable option, there are plenty of others that you can consider, which actually do work.

Best Ways to Grow Bamboo

There are actually a few ways in which bamboo can be grown and these depend entirely on what you want to do with the bamboo and how you want it to look. You have to remember that bamboo can grow quite tall and there are actually quite a few different species of them. They different in things like:

·         Origin

·         Color

·         Size

·         Length

·         Appearance

·         Use

Fortunately, regardless of the type of bamboo that you get, you will almost always end up using the same methods to propagate them, if you want. It is also worth noting that even with just one bamboo stalk, it is possible to grow a near-infinite number of them using some of the methods that we will be talking about.

Naturally, you need to take a few things into consideration before we get into this such as where you will grow the bamboo and what you will be using it for. Whatever the case may be, though, you can just take a look at the methods mentioned in the table below for some context:

Culm CuttingThis is basically where you cut a piece of bamboo in a certain manner, encourage the growth of roots from the cut part of the bamboo, and then transplant it so that it can grow in a different spot
Water SubmersionThis is pretty much the same as the culm cutting method, except that the piece of bamboo will be submerged in the water until it grows roots
Rhizome GrowingThis method goes directly for the root of the problem in that it involves cutting the rhizome of bamboo that is already grown for the purpose of growing new bamboo

Once again, these methods can be used for practically all types of bamboo. However, it is only to be expected that there might be major differences with regard to the experience that you will have when you are using any of these solutions for propagating bamboo.

There are also certain conditions that come with using these methods, so you have to be absolutely sure that you understand them before you proceed. Otherwise, you might make a critical mistake, especially if you are coming from any of the first two methods and moving on to the third. With that out of the way, let’s talk about those methods now and the steps that they will involve.

Culm Cutting – First, we have culm cutting, which is pretty much exactly what it sounds. You cut a piece of the bamboo that is already growing and then plant that somewhere else. However, you don’t just do this in a haphazard manner since you do need to take quite a few things into consideration first. You can just take a pruning scissor and snip the top of the bamboo that you already have.

What you will want to do is follow the steps laid out below so that you can actually get the results that you want.

Step 1: Prepare Your Tools

As already mentioned, you don’t just take any old sharp object and use it to cut a piece of the bamboo that you will be growing. You can do it, but the results will be hideous. What you want to do first is to make sure that the tool you will use is the right one for the job and will actually be able to do it as fast and as efficiently as possible.

Thinner bamboo stalks can be dealt with using a very sharp knife. Thicker stalks will require something like gardening saws or a handsaw. If the situation calls for the latter case, make sure that the teeth are all aligned and as sharp as possible.

Once you have chosen your tool, you need to sterilize it. You can use rubbing alcohol if you want. Whatever you do, though, don’t use pure bleach. You need that dilute that kind of thing with water first so that it doesn’t ruin the bamboo.

Step 2: Cut the Bamboo

With the tools prepared, it is time to cut the bamboo. The first order of business is to cut about a foot or so of the stalk, with the piece containing at least three nodes. These nodes are basically those bulging interruptions that run the whole stalk and act as lines and barriers.

In any case, you need to cut at a 45-degree angle just below the lowest node and the diameter of the stalk should be about an inch. This is necessary for ensuring that your stalk has the best chance to grow roots as possible.

Step 3: Use Root Hormone

Speaking of which, once you have your stalk ready, it is now time to apply a root hormone mix to it. You can find this stuff at pretty much any garden store and you don’t really need to use a lot of it. Just drop a layer of the hormone in a bucket and make sure it is deep enough to accommodate the entire cut end of the bamboo.

You will then submerge that end of the bamboo until you are satisfied that the whole surface has been covered by the hormone powder. After that, you just take it out.

Step 4: Use Wax

For the next step, you need to prevent the end of the bamboo that you will be growing root out of from drying. You can do this by using a wax such as soy wax or even beeswax. It’s very important that you only coat the outer ends of the cut stalk, though. There is no need to fill the center of the stalk.

Step 5: Transplant Bamboo to Nursery

From there, you will be planting the stalk in a container with the appropriate soil until right after the first node disappears. Make sure that the soil is deep enough to accommodate this.

Step 6: Moisten the Soil and Bamboo

You will then need to spray the stalk with water, along with the soil for moisture. After that, you need to pour water into the top opening of the stalk until full. You will need to make sure that you maintain this moisture to keep your stalk healthy. So refill it every few days or so.

Step 7: Regulate Exposure to Sunlight

It is very important that you make sure to regulate how much sunlight your stalks will be getting. Generally speaking, it should not be too much. The area where the cuttings are being nursed will need to be warm, but they will also need to be in the shade.

Step 8: Transplant Bamboo to Soil

Finally, once the stalk has taken root, which should take about four months or so, you can transplant it to its final home. You need to keep checking every week to see if the roots are already growing, which should be obvious by the fourth week of nursing. This is the sign that things are going well.

Water Submersion – Then we have water submersion, which makes use of pretty much the same concepts as that of the first method. However, instead of using a rooting hormone and a nursery, you will do much of the work using a bucket of water.

After cutting the necessary piece of the bamboo stalk, you will basically place it in a bucket of water. You will leave it there for several weeks while you wait for the roots to grow. The water will need to be changed every couple of days or so, and it would be best for you to use a transparent bucket.

Once the roots have sprouted in a few weeks, it is ready to be transplanted into a pot or a plot of soil. Just make sure that the roots have reached a length of about two inches before you do this, though, just to make sure that it is strong enough for the job.

Rhizome Growing – Finally, we have the method that makes use of the rhizome of the bamboo you are planning on growing. This rhizome is basically the matured version of the root that you have been growing in the first two methods. You will be cutting a piece of it for planting so that new bamboo stalks will shoot out of it.

Dig under the patch of grown bamboo to expose the rhizome. You will need to count three or so areas where tendrils are shooting out, which are called growth buds. This is the section that you will be cutting. Do be careful and make sure that the rhizome you will be cutting is neither dark in color nor is it a bit patchy.

Those are clear signs of the rhizome being diseases and unhealthy. You do not want to use that for your planting project.

Once you have judged that the rhizome you chose is clean and good enough for planting, you will need to cut it and clean it. From there, you will need to bury it in a nursery tray with a deep layer of soil. It’s important to point out that the rhizome should be laid on its side and should be pointed in the same direction as that of the container if it is elongated.

You also need to make sure that the rhizome is buried in about three inches of dirt. Compacting the soil, a bit is needed here so that the rhizome will be nice and cozy with the dirt for faster growth.  From there, you just need to water the soil and make sure that it is moist. However, you should avoid creating a puddle, so water in moderation.

After about six weeks, you should see stalks coming out of the soil. Just make sure to keep the container away from direct sunlight during this period.

How to Decide Which Method to Grow Bamboo

All right, now that you have the information on how you can grow bamboo laid out before you, it is time to make a decision as to which you want to go. Without a doubt, the most straightforward of these is the rhizome method, but this will only really work if you have access to a large patch of bamboo clumps.

If that is not an option, you can then turn to the method that makes use of a water bucket. However, this method comes with a very real chance of the bamboo dying if you forget to change the water or if it becomes too hot. Any time that bamboo is not in contact with soil puts it at risk of death. It is very important that you keep this in mind.

So, do you go with the first method, then? If you do, it does provide the benefits of both worlds, but it also comes with added expenses courtesy of the rooting hormone and the wax. If you don’t have those already on hand, you will need to buy them. They also add extra steps to the process, which a lot of people can’t be bothered with.

If you can’t make a decision, just ask yourself three things. What do you have access to? How much time do you have? How committed are you to this task?

Answer those questions and you should be just fine.

Where to Grow Bamboo

Now that we are at this point, let’s talk about where you can grow bamboo. The answer to that is pretty much anywhere you want as long as you have the necessary containers and tools. Bamboo can be grown to any height, width, and strength. It can be used for practically any purpose, whether it is practical or decorative.

You can also bet that if you are committed enough to this project, you can grow as many bamboos as you like in as many garden pots as you can accommodate. On that note, you might be asking about specific places or containers that you can grow bamboo. To that, the answer is the same and that is anywhere and anything.

Bamboo can be grown in pots, in trays, in enclosed garden pots, or just a patch of land that you have around your house. There is really no need to think too deeply about this and just ask yourself what you need the bamboo for. How big do you want it to be? Taking these matters into consideration is how you can make sure that you can actually get this job done.

Related Questions

Can You Divide Bamboo?

You can cut bamboo into pieces and plant them for growing multiple bamboos as long as they meet the necessary conditions. We are basically talking about a plant that can grow roots from its severed stalks. So, if you get one bamboo, as long as it is long enough and thick enough, it can be divided.

Which Bamboo is Best for Screening?

Pretty much any bamboo can be used for screen, with some being better than others. One of the most ideal bamboo types that you can use for this particular purpose is the Fargesia Murielae. It grows quite tall with a max height of about four meters and it is also quite thick, which makes visibility difficult.

Why Grow Bamboo

Now that you know how you can grow bamboo, you might now be wondering as to why you should grow bamboo, to begin with. Well, the best answer to that question is that you can and it is very easy to do so. Bamboo has got to be among the best plants you can get that demand the least amount of effort for taking care of.

As such, you basically get an organic material that will add quite the splendid atmosphere to any room and you won’t need to work that hard in order to keep it. This is pretty much a win, no matter how you look at it. On that note, there are actually other reasons for why you would want to grow bamboo.

Potted bamboo can look quite elegant when done right and can really bring out the brightness in any room. If you are going for something of a theme, you simply cannot ignore the value that such a plant can bring to the table more.

More than that, though, bamboo is often associated with having calming effects. This is especially the case when you are caring for it.

Benefits of Growing Bamboo

As already mentioned, there have been observations that growing bamboo is often associated with a feeling of relaxation and the reduction of stress. This is why a lot of offices tend to have at least one pot of bamboo stalks if they are of the eastern persuasion. However, if you are a home gardener, another great benefit of bamboo is the shoots.

As you may already know, bamboo shoots can be eaten when picked just right and they can be absolutely delicious when paired with the right ingredients. Of course, you can also eat them raw, but you are not advised to do so if you are not used to eating a lot of fiber.

On a more practical note, bamboo can also be used as a natural screen. You won’t need to build a cumbersome wall that will cost way too much money. Instead, you can just grow a row of bamboo with the right height and thickness for the job. Nobody will be able to see you then. 

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