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How to Divide Bamboo Plants

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.

Care For Bamboo Plants

You may not think of your outdoor bamboo plants as part of your lawn, but maybe you should. Bamboo also gives an exotic touch to a garden or backyard. Hundreds of different bamboo species are out there, but they generally fall into two categories, running and clumping. Keep in mind that there are hundreds of types of bamboo with different genera. Generally, running bamboo is hardier than clumping, suited to USDA plant hardiness zones 8 and 9. Spring is the best time to plant bamboo. Trench planting is definitely the way to go if you are planting running bamboo, because that makes it easier to add material to contain its aggressive spread. The bamboo plant rootballs should sit slightly lower than their previous depth. The primary reason new bamboo plants die is insufficient water during hot or windy weather. Bamboo plants need extra nitrogen in spring, so scatter a high-nitrogen granular fertilizer on the soil according to label directions, watering it in well. Make pruning cuts just above a culm node or a branch node. For example, if you top a plant to maintain a desired height, that plant won't regrow to its former height. Snap it off close to the stem with gloved hands, or cut it off as close to the stem as possible. Prune to control height or to thin the stand in late summer or fall. Gardeners get off easy when it comes to treating bamboo pests and diseases. Try washing these off with tap water. As with outdoor bamboo, you'll need to water well in summer but reduce irrigation in winter.

Care For Bamboo Plants

You may not think of your outdoor bamboo plants as part of your lawn, but maybe you should. Bamboo also gives an exotic touch to a garden or backyard. Hundreds of different bamboo species are out there, but they generally fall into two categories, running and clumping. Keep in mind that there are hundreds of types of bamboo with different genera. Generally, running bamboo is hardier than clumping, suited to USDA plant hardiness zones 8 and 9. Spring is the best time to plant bamboo. Trench planting is definitely the way to go if you are planting running bamboo, because that makes it easier to add material to contain its aggressive spread. The bamboo plant rootballs should sit slightly lower than their previous depth. The primary reason new bamboo plants die is insufficient water during hot or windy weather. Bamboo plants need extra nitrogen in spring, so scatter a high-nitrogen granular fertilizer on the soil according to label directions, watering it in well. Make pruning cuts just above a culm node or a branch node. For example, if you top a plant to maintain a desired height, that plant won't regrow to its former height. Snap it off close to the stem with gloved hands, or cut it off as close to the stem as possible. Prune to control height or to thin the stand in late summer or fall. Gardeners get off easy when it comes to treating bamboo pests and diseases. Try washing these off with tap water. As with outdoor bamboo, you'll need to water well in summer but reduce irrigation in winter.

Tip

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

Warning

Do not allow divided bamboo to dry out.

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