How to Plant Running Bamboo


Running bamboo self propagates through the horizontal spread of underground rhizomes. Many running bamboo species will spread at a rate of 5 feet or more every year. According to the University of Georgia, running bamboo can also be planted as a harvesting crop. The canes of the bamboo can then be used for garden stakes, fishing poles or privacy fencing. Many species of running bamboo are fast growing and the canes can be harvested every year.

Step 1

Prepare the bamboo growing bed by digging the soil to a depth of 12 inches. In most cases, work the soil two to three times the diameter of the container in which the bamboo was purchased. If the running bamboo is an open root ball, work the soil to the same depth and to at least three times the diameter of the root ball.

Step 2

Apply 2 inches to 3 inches of the organic material over the running bamboo growing bed. Dig this material into the soil.

Step 3

Set the top of the running bamboo root ball slightly higher than the surrounding ground level plant location. Backfill the native and amended soil around the root ball. Press the soil firmly into place with your hands.

Step 4

Irrigate the new plant to remove all air from the roots and to improve the soil-to-root contact. Add 1 inch of water to the bamboo plant on a weekly basis for the first six months after planting. Curled edges of the bamboo leaves indicate that the plant is in need of irrigation.

Step 5

Layer 2 to 3 inches of mulch around the running bamboo plant to preserve its moisture level.

Step 6

Remove all dead canes to the soil level, using either the pruning shears or pruning saw. Keep the bamboo plant free of any diseased and dying bamboo canes.

Things You'll Need

  • Shovel
  • Organic material (peat moss, compost)
  • Mulch
  • Pruning shears or pruning saw


  • University of Georgia: Propagating Running Bamboo
  • University of Florida: Bamboo Basics

Who Can Help

  • Palomar University: Bamboo
Keywords: bamboo groves, bamboo canes, bamboo garden 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.