How to Plant a Bamboo


Bamboo is a perennial, woody stemmed grass. This evergreen is one of the fastest growing plants on Earth, at a rate of 3 feet a day for some species. This tropical-looking grass species grows 1 to 20 feet tall with stems up to 12 inches in diameter. Some types flower yearly, while others flower every 100 years. There are three types of bamboos: clumping, runners and reeds. Runner bamboo is invasive and doubles its size each year. Bamboo is used as food when young, along with wildlife habitats, timber, fences, stakes, fishing poles, crafts, flooring and furniture.

Step 1

Remove weeds, grass, brush and debris from the planting area. This reduces competition for soil resources, which makes it easier for the bamboo plants to establish roots.

Step 2

Dig the area up with a shovel to the depth of 24 inches and three times the width of the root ball. Break the soil up to pebble size with a garden hoe. Mix in 2 inches of sand to improve drainage.

Step 3

Dig a trench around the entire site 13 inches deep. Place wooden boards, 12 inches wide, on edge in each of the trenches. Cover these root barriers with soil. Root barriers will keep bamboo out of unwanted planting areas.

Step 4

Dig a hole twice as wide as the bamboo root ball and just as deep in the center of the planting site. Remove the bamboo from its container. Place the bamboo in the hole so the yellow part of the stem is underground. Keep the green part above ground.

Step 5

Fill the hole halfway with soil. Pour a bucket of water into the hole around the roots. Fill the hole the rest of the way with soil. Firm the soil around the bamboo and pour another bucket of water around the plant.

Tips and Warnings

  • Plant bamboo in the spring before new shoots grow. Once new growth begins, there is a greater chance of the bamboo plant dying when planted. Early February to mid-March is the best time for planting.

Things You'll Need

  • Shovel
  • Garden hoe
  • Sand
  • Wooden boards, 1 inch by 12 inches
  • Bamboo plant
  • Bucket
  • Water


  • University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service: Bamboo
  • The University of Georgia Cooperative Extension: Growing Bamboo in Georgia
Keywords: planting bamboo, growing bamboo, planting bamboo grass

About this Author

Karen Carter has spent the last three years working as a technology specialist in the public school system. This position included hardware/software installation, customer support, and writing training manuals. She also spent four years as a newspaper editor/reporter at the Willapa Harbor Herald.