How To Grow Bamboo From Cuttings

How to Grow Bamboo from Cuttings

Growing bamboo from cuttings is the most preferred propagation methods. It is economical, fast and does not take a lot of space. The propagation involves using a part of the parent plant to produce another plant. The newly established plant is usually identical to the mother plant.

The cutting is then planted vertically on the container or ground. It should have two and a half internodes, which are not damaged. When the cuttings mature fully, they will add a vibrant hue to your space. Fortunately, you can grow bamboo indoors too. You can choose to grow the cuttings directly or first plant them in water.

Getting the cuttings

Get the cuttings from a healthy mother plant. It should be at the right stage of development. Still, the mother plant should be free from pests and diseases. A day before getting the cuttings, water the mother plant adequately. Get the cuttings from the middle parts of tall trunks. The trunks should be more than three years old, to increase the survival rates. Make sure they have two and a half internodes.

Land preparation

Bamboo will flourish well in light and loamy soils. Too much water in the soil will prevent the rhizomes from growing correctly. Therefore, the soil should be well-drained. Get rid of all weeds. Till it to around 1.5 feet deep.

How to plant bamboo cuttings

Planting the cuttings

Have as many cuttings as possible. The extra ones will make up for a possible loss due to rotting or failure of the plants to develop roots. Remove the leaves on them. Apply wax on the cuttings to prevent them from, drying or rotting.

Plant the cuttings just before the onset of rainfall.  If you choose to plant in spring or summer, ensure you water them adequately. Inadequate watering will eventually make the plants dry. They should be planted immediately after they are cut. When planting them ensures that the half internode is above the ground. 

Dig holes on the ground. If you are planting in containers, fill it with potting soil. Plant the cut section. Ensure it is vertical or at a 45 degrees in the planting bed or container. Pour some water around the cutting. Watering should continue until the cutting develops some roots and green shoots in the nodes.  However, do not overwater the plants to prevent the rotting of the leaves. To be safe, only add water when the soil gets dry. New growth should be noticeable within a month. Space them properly.

Erect some barriers in your space if it’s windy. This will protect your plants from tilting.

Growing the cuttings in water

Get several cuttings measuring around 10 inches long. They should have a couple of nodes and internodes. Use a sharp knife and cut at an angle of 45 degrees. Dip the ends of the cuttings in melted wax. Place them in water and leave them in an area with sufficient lighting for some weeks.

Standing water will get deprived of oxygen at some point. Change the water daily.

When the cuttings attain at least 2 inches roots, move them into a planting container or pot.

What are some of the uses of bamboo?

  • The hollow tubes from bamboo make excellent musical instruments such as flutes, saxophones, and didgeridoos.  
  • Bamboo is used to make some cooking utensils such as cutting boards and wooden spoons.
  • Bamboo fibres are used to make different types of clothing.
  • Furniture, flooring materials and houses are being made of bamboo.
  • Bamboo can be used to make different types of decorations, such as picture frames.
  • Bamboo is used to make different types of jewellery such as bracelets, earrings and necklaces.
  • The plant is used as fuel in the form of charcoal.

What to feed bamboo plants

  • Generally, bamboo does not need fertilizer to grow. It will do well when planted in the right type of soil. However, if you want maximum yields in terms of density, height and strength, you can apply fertilizer. During spring, Always use a fertilizer with high levels of nitrogen. The nitrogen will support its growth spurt. In summer, apply a standard fertilizer on your plants. 
  • Since it belongs to the grass family, bamboo will require nitrogen, potassium and phosphorous. You can use any type of lawn fertilizer, as long as it does not contain weed killers.
  • Still, you can use homemade bamboo food. You can apply manure, mulch, or compost to create ideal bamboo food.
  • Follow the instructions on packaged fertilizers. Spread the fertilizer manually using gloves. Still, you can use spreaders. If you are using liquid fertilizers, be careful not to spray on the canes, spray on the soil.
  • Be careful not to apply excess fertilizer. Although it might lead to an increase in the number of canes, they might be thinner and weaker.
  • Do not apply a fertilizer that contains herbicides. It will kill your plants.
  • Do not apply fresh manure around your plants. It might kill them. Still, don’t use manure as soil as it tends to get very hot. Instead, only use it as the topmost layer.
  • Usage of fertilizers with high levels of nitrogen will burn your plants.
  • Do not use chemical fertilizers during the cold seasons. The plants do not grow in those seasons.

Selecting the right bamboo varieties

Bamboo comes in different varieties.  The variety you choose will highly be dependent on:

Your preferences

The plants come in different sizes and colours. You can get red bamboo, yellow bamboo, or black bamboo.

Purpose of the bamboo

To some people, bamboo is merely for decorative purposes. For others, the plants have other uses. If you want the bamboo to act as a fence, get tall species. You may also want to grow edible bamboo shoots. 

Nature of your space

Some bamboo species will do well in shades, others in full sunlight. If you grow the bamboo in soil, ensure it is well-drained. Otherwise, standing water will affect the growth of the plants. 

If you grow them in containers, you will need to repot after every 2-3 years.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does bamboo cause an allergic reaction?

The plants can cause allergic reactions, but it happens rarely. Some of the symptoms include itchiness, development of rashes, swelling of the eyelids and difficulties in breathing.

How tall can my bamboo get?

The height of the bamboo will be dictated by the species, soil conditions and the climatic conditions of your area.

Are bamboos evergreen?

Most varieties are evergreen. Still, there are other varieties which are deciduous or semi-deciduous.

Can bamboo grow indoors?

Some varieties will do well indoors. Mist them frequently as they require a lot of humidity.

Which size of the container is ideal for growing bamboo?

The larger the container, the better.

Which is the best soil to grow bamboo?

Bamboo will do well in Loose, well-draining, and slightly acidic soil. In containers, a regular potting mix will be a good option.

Is bamboo prone to pests and diseases?

Generally, the plant is not prone to pests and diseases. However, some varieties are prone to aphids. 

Wrapping it up

Bamboos are among the fastest-growing plants. However, the growth rate is highly dependent on the soil condition and the climatic conditions of a place. The plant can grow up to 30 meters high and 300mm wide. However, this is dependent on individual species. Bamboo plants rarely flower, and when they do, the growth declines and finally, the plant dies.

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