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How to Divide Bamboo Plants

By Hollan Johnson ; Updated September 21, 2017

Bamboo is a type of grass that adds an Asian vibe to any garden. While bamboo can be expensive, it also is a great barrier plant that can provide a lot of privacy. If your bamboo is outgrowing its bounds or you just want to get the most of the new bamboo, dividing it is the way to go. Bamboo is a tough plant and can take quite a bit of abuse, so little care is needed when cutting it apart.

Divide your bamboo in the spring before it sends off new shoots.

Water the area around the bamboo to be divided until it is saturated, and allow the water to soak into the soil. This makes the bamboo easier to dig up and divide while keeping the bamboo healthy.

Cut off the bamboo's top growth until only 1/3 of it remains. This makes the bamboo easier to move.

Dig a hole around the bamboo as deep as its rhizomes and 4 to 5 feet wide. This gives you easy access to the bamboo's rhizomes and plenty of room to work.

Use a spade to cut the rhizomes into pieces, making sure each piece has a culm on top. Saw through any tough parts of the rhizomes, dividing the bamboo into as many pieces as you desire. Divided bamboo needs a culm and part of a rhizome to grow well as a transplant.

Transplant each piece of divided bamboo into the ground or a well-drained pot filled with potting soil.


Things You Will Need

  • Sharpened spade
  • Saw


  • Water the transplanted bamboo until the soil is moist. Keep the soil moist around the bamboo for several weeks.


  • Do not allow divided bamboo to dry out.

About the Author


Hollan Johnson is a freelance writer and contributing editor for many online publications. She has been writing professionally since 2008 and her interests are travel, gardening, sewing and Mac computers. Prior to freelance writing, Johnson taught English in Japan. She has a Bachelor of Arts in linguistics from the University of Las Vegas, Nevada.