How to Plant and Grow Bamboo


Bamboo is a fast-growing multi-species plant. Bamboo is as small as 1 foot tall while others reach up to 120 feet. There are three major types of bamboo: clumpers, runners and reeds. The runner is an invasive plant that spreads through underground rhizomes at a rate of 5 feet per year. Clumping bamboo is less invasive, as the plant may only spread less than 1 inch per year. Either of these species is propagated by division or planting of the rhizomes.

Step 1

Collect the division of plants or rhizomes from the mother plant in early spring, when new growth begins to emerge at the edge of the bamboo stand. Select areas of the mother plant that show signs of new bud growth just breaking above the ground.

Step 2

Sever the young clump or rhizome with the sharp edge of the shovel. Remove the clump from the ground, leaving as much soil intact around the roots to make a rootball.

Step 3

Dig the new transplant hole twice the size of the rootball on the cutting. Loosen the soil in the transplant hole on all sides.

Step 4

Place the top of the bamboo rootball slightly above the existing soil line, approximately 1 inch.

Step 5

Backfill the native soil, removed from the transplant hole, around the new plant. Tamp the soil firmly around the rootball.

Step 6

Water the new plant well. Allow the water to soak in around the root ball to remove any air from the roots and to improve the soil-to-rootball contact. Continue to water the bamboo once or twice a week for the first three to six months with about 1-inch of water every seven to 10 days, or when the edges of the bamboo leaves begin to roll up.

Step 7

Apply a 2- to 3-inch layer of mulch around the young plants to reduce weed competition and retain soil moisture.

Tips and Warnings

  • Consult a local agricultural extension service for bamboo species that may be prohibited from planting in your area. Some species are extremely invasive and it may be illegal to plant. Do not fertilize the bamboo transplant until the second year if at all. Most bamboo does not require fertilization. Excessive chemical fertilizer may burn the roots of the fast growing plant.

Things You'll Need

  • Shovel
  • Bamboo root ball (rhizome or division of plant)
  • Mulch


  • University of Georgia: Growing Bamboo
  • Auburn University: Bamboo Growing in Alabama
Keywords: propagate bamboo, bamboo fishing poles, grow bamboo stakes

About this Author

G. K. Bayne is a freelance writer, currently writing for Demand Studios where her expertise in back-to-basics, computers and electrical equipment are the basis of her body of work. Bayne began her writing career in 1975 and has written for Demand since 2007.