Bamboo is a type of thick, woody grass that is commonly used for furniture or flooring. If grown in the garden, you can use it as a sprawling houseplant or a compact hedge. If you already have bamboo, you can easily propagate this plant using cuttings (cuts) from bamboo stems, or from the rhizome (stems that run underground).
Method 1 of 3: Propagating Bamboo by Stem Cuttings
Step 1. Cut the bamboo using appropriate and sterile tools
The tool that should be used depends on the size and thickness of the bamboo. If the bamboo is thin and small, you may simply use a sharp knife. If the bamboo stems are thick and large, you will need to use a saw. Whatever equipment you use, you must first sterilize it using a household disinfectant, such as diluted bleach or rubbing alcohol.
If you sterilize your cutlery with bleach, first dilute it with water. Mix 1 part bleach with 32 parts water. For example, use 1 tbsp. (15 ml) bleach for every liter of water
Step 2. Cut the bamboo about 25 cm long at a 45° angle
Each piece of bamboo must contain at least 3 or 4 nodes (nodes), which are a kind of ring that surrounds the stem (where the 2 segments meet). The diameter of the bamboo must be at least 3 cm so that the cuttings can grow well.
Step 3. Apply growth regulator (ZPT) or root growth hormone to one end of the cutting (bottom tip)
ZPT will accelerate root growth after the cuttings are planted later. Dip the ends of the bamboo strips into the ZPT and remove the excess. You can get ZPT powder at a farm store or online.
Step 4. Apply about 3 mm of soft wax around the edges of the bamboo strip
Use a soft wax, such as soy wax or beeswax (beeswax). Candles are useful for preventing bamboo stems from rotting or drying out. Do not cover the hole in the center with wax.
Step 5. Insert the cuttings as deep as a book into a pot filled with planting media
You can use one polybag (plastic bag for seedlings/nursery) for each cutting. Plug the bamboo cuttings into the planting medium until 1 book is buried in the soil. Press the soil around the cuttings firmly to remove any air pockets.
Step 6. Wet the soil thoroughly using a spray bottle
The soil should be wet and feel moist to the touch, but not muddy. Insert your finger into the soil to the depth of the first knuckle to check the level of wetness of the planting medium.
Step 7. Add water to the center of the cuttings
Although the roots will still grow if the planting medium is moist, inserting water into the holes of the bamboo stems will provide additional water to the cuttings. Check the water level every 2 days and keep the holes in the bamboo stalks filled with water as the plants grow.
Step 8. Place the pot in a warm location, but not exposed to direct sunlight, and water it regularly every day
Bamboo cuttings should be placed in a shady location as the plant grows, but it's okay if the cuttings get a little sun. Check the soil daily and try to keep it moist, but don't allow any water to pool on the surface of the soil. Growing roots can rot if waterlogged.
You can place a plastic bag over the cuttings to keep the plant moist. However, this is not a mandatory requirement for cuttings to grow
Step 9. Plant the bamboo in the ground 4 months later
About 3-4 weeks later, the cuttings will grow tall and many shoots will appear from the book. After growing in polybags for about 4 months, you can transplant the cuttings into garden soil.
Gently loosen the soil in the polybag with a trowel so that you can remove the plants easily. Place the bamboo cuttings into the planting hole slightly larger than the root system. Cover the cuttings with soil and water the soil until it is completely wet
Method 2 of 3: Soaking Cuttings in Water
Step 1. Take cuttings about 25 cm long from the newly grown bamboo
The cuttings you choose must have at least 2 nodes and 2 internodes (area between 2 nodes). Cut the bamboo at a 45° angle using a sharp knife.
Before cutting bamboo, sterilize the knife using a household disinfectant, such as diluted bleach or rubbing alcohol
Step 2. Soak the bottom bamboo cutting book in a container of water, and place it in a bright location
The bottom bamboo knuckle should be submerged in water so that the cuttings have sufficient space to grow roots. Place the cuttings in a location that gets indirect sunlight for about 6 hours with a temperature over 13°C.
If possible, choose a clear container so you can see the roots growing
Step 3. Change the water every two days
Stagnant water will quickly run out of oxygen, especially if you grow bamboo there. By changing the water regularly, the plant will always get the nutrients it needs to grow.
Step 4. Transfer the bamboo cuttings to the pot when the roots have reached a length of about 5 cm
Cuttings take several weeks to develop roots. Once the roots reach a length of about 5 cm, transfer the cuttings into a pot or soil so the plant can continue to grow. Plant the cuttings about 3 centimeters deep.
Method 3 of 3: Growing Bamboo from Its Rhizomes
Step 1. Use a sharp knife to cut bamboo rhizomes that have 2-3 growth shoots
Carefully dismantle the soil around the bamboo root system. Look for parts of the rhizome that have 2 or 3 growth shoots (the area where the bamboo stem will grow later). To get the rhizome, you may have to cut the bamboo stem first. Use a sharp knife to cut the desired rhizome.
- Do not choose rhizomes with dark or uneven colors. This indicates if the rhizome is attacked by pests or diseases. Rhizome like this will not be able to grow well.
- Only take rhizomes from strong bamboo clumps. Otherwise, you could harm the bamboo clump.
Step 2. Place the rhizome in the pot horizontally with the shoots on top
First, enter the planting medium into the pot. Place the rhizome with the part of the newly growing shoot on top. If there are parts of the bamboo stem that are carried by the rhizome, let the ends of the bamboo sticks stick out above the ground.
Step 3. Cover the rhizome with planting medium about 8 centimeters high
Cover the rhizome with planting media so that the bamboo grows and develops. Press the soil firmly so that it adheres tightly to the bamboo rhizome.
Step 4. Flush the planting media with gembor
The soil should be very moist, but not muddy on the surface. Dig your finger into the soil until it reaches the second knuckle to make sure the soil is completely damp.
- Check the humidity of the growing media every day with your fingers. If it feels dry, water until the soil is damp, but not soaking wet.
- Too much water can make the rhizome rot. So, don't over-water it.
Step 5. Place the pot in a shady location for 4 to 6 weeks
Keep the pot out of direct sunlight. The best locations are next to a shaded outer wall or in the shade of a large tree. Bamboo shoots and roots will appear within 4 to 6 weeks.