How to Germinate Moso Bamboo Seeds

Overview

Moso bamboo (Phyllostachys edulis) is one of the giant bamboos and typically grows between 40 to 60 feet or more. It is also a fast-growing bamboo, sometimes growing as much as 4 feet in 24 hours. Indigenous to China, it is hardy in USDA Zones 7 to 10. Moso bamboo is also a versatile plant, and is frequently used in cooking, for soil conservation, construction, and making bamboo furniture.

Step 1

Rinse the moso bamboo seeds in clean water for 1 to 2 minutes, then place them in bowl of water containing a 0.3% potassium permanganate (commonly known as Condy's crystals) solution for 2 to 4 hours. Finally, wash the seeds in clean water.

Step 2

Put sterilized seed starting mix into 2-inch pots until it's about 3/4 of an inch from the top of the rim in each pot. Tamp down the mix until firm, then pour water into each 2-inch pot to moisten the mix.

Step 3

Plant 3 to 4 moso bamboo seeds in each 2-inch pot. Use a small block of wood or the back of a metal spoon to push the seeds firmly into the mix. Use the water spray bottle to mist the surface of the soil in each 2-inch pot until the soil is visibly well moistened.

Step 4

Sprinkle approximately 3/4 of an inch of seed starting mix over the moso bamboo seeds, then gently tamp down the soil over the moso bamboo seeds.

Step 5

Place the 2-inch pots into a container that can hold 1 to 2 inches of water, such as an irrigation tray. An irrigation tray is a 2.5 to 3 inch deep container especially made for watering small planting containers, which you can purchase at your local nursery. Place the tray in a light-filled, warm location in your home. The ideal temperature for germinating moso bamboo seeds is between 65 and 70 degrees F. Avoid putting the tray where it will receive direct sunlight, but try and provide 8 to 10 hours of light daily.

Step 6

Pour water into the irrigation tray to keep the soil moist, but don't over water. The seed raising mix should never be so wet it becomes sodden. Germination of moso bamboo seeds typically begins in 2 months under ideal conditions, but can require as long as 6 months.

Things You'll Need

  • Moso bamboo seeds
  • Plastic pots
  • Irrigation tray or similar container
  • Sterilized seed starting mix
  • Spray bottle with water
  • Potassium permanganate
  • Metal spoon

References

  • Plants for a Future: Moso Bamboo
  • The American Bamboo Society: Moso Bamboo
  • DermaNet.NZ: Potassium Permanganate

Who Can Help

  • United States National Arobretum: The USDA Plant Zone Hardiness Map
Keywords: germinating moso bamboo seeds, germinating phyllostachys edulis seed, growing moso bamboo

About this Author

Katelyn Lynn is a certified holistic health practitioner who specializes in orthomolecular medicine and preventative modalities. She also has extensive experience in botany and horticulture. Lynn has been writing articles for various websites relating to health and wellness since 2007. She has been published on gardenguides.com. She is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Science in alternative medicine from Everglades University.