How to Transplant a Bamboo Tree


The bamboo "tree" is actually a grass of the Gramineae family. Its stem is called the culm, and it has a very fast growth rate. Bamboo is also very invasive, and its rhizomes (root structure) spread quickly. There are two types of rhizomes: clumpers and runners. Bamboo with clumpers are found in tropical areas and bamboo with runners are found in temperate climates. Runners are more invasive than clumpers. Bamboo flowers every seven to 120 years, depending on the cultivar.

Step 1

Look at the bamboo plant. The rhizome runs in the same direction as the lower two branches at the culm point. You are going to cut the bamboo out of the ground, so you need to determine how far out to cut. The rhizomes grow buds, and you need to keep some of the buds on the plant.

Step 2

Dig around the base of the bamboo at least 12 inches away from the culm. Loosen the soil with the shovel, taking care not to damage the rhizomes. Once the dirt is removed from the top of the rhizomes so you can see it, cut a circle around the bamboo with the chainsaw, cutting the rhizomes.

Step 3

Rock the bamboo back and forth so that the rest of the roots break loose. As soon as you get the bamboo out of the ground, wet the root-ball with water, especially if you are working in dry, hot or windy conditions. If the weather is very dry or very hot, wet the leaves down as well.

Step 4

Dig a planting hole that is twice the width and as deep as of the root-ball is tall. Fill the hole with water. Center the bamboo in the hole and backfill it with soil. Water with at least an inch of water.

Step 5

Water the bamboo every other day for two weeks with an inch of water. After the bamboo starts to settle in, water it with an inch of water each week. Always be sure to water deeply to encourage root growth and a healthy plant.

Tips and Warnings

  • The culm overheat fast, and must be kept wet while moving the bamboo. Transplant bamboo in the early spring or fall. Never transplant when the rhizomes are sending out shoots.

Things You'll Need

  • Shovel
  • Chainsaw with tungsten chain


  • Tropical Bamboo
  • Mr. Bamboo

Who Can Help

  • Dividing Bamboo
Keywords: transplant bamboo, bamboo, how to transplant bamboo

About this Author

Cayden Conor is a family law paralegal who writes on various subjects including dogs, cockatoos and cooking. She has over 15 years of experience as a paralegal, and has been writing professionally for three years. Conor has a paralegal degree and majored in criminology, computer science (programming emphasis) and education.