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How to Propagate Bamboo From Cuttings

Bamboo grows quickly and in some areas takes over with surprising vigor. The many uses of bamboo, from furniture to flooring, make it one of the most desirable plants for growing. Propagate bamboo from cuttings, just like many other plants, with the aid of a rooting hormone found in most garden centers. There are two ways to propagate bamboo with the rooting hormone.

Coat and Stick

Prepare the growing tray before taking the bamboo cuttings to prevent damage to the plant. Fill the tray with the potting soil and make uniform holes, using the handle of a wooden spoon, through the growing medium.

Place 2 tbsp. of the rooting hormone into a separate container or plastic baggie, keeping the master container of rooting hormone free from any contaminates the bamboo cuttings may carry.

Slice or cut 10-inch sections of bamboo, at a 45-degree angle, from existing healthy plants. There must be at least two nodes on each section and two internodes. A node is the hard ring-like growth that separates the canes into sections. Internodes are the spaces in between the rings, or nodes. The bamboo sections look hollow; this hollow center allows water to travel through the cane as the bamboo sets roots.

Dip the top edges of the bamboo cutting into the soft wax, keeping the center hole of the bamboo cutting exposed. This will keep the bamboo from drying out as root development takes place. Dip the bottom of the cutting into the rooting compound. Shake off any excess powder from the bamboo cutting.

Stick the cuttings into the holes of the growing medium and tamp the soil into place, removing air pockets from around the cuttings. Bacteria breeds in the air pockets, destroying the bamboo cuttings before they can root. Pour water directly into the hole at the top of the bamboo until the center channel is full.

Mist the soil of the growing tray until it is damp but not soggy. Cover the cuttings with clear plastic and place in a bright location away from direct sunlight. The heat from the sun kills the tender bamboo cuttings. Ventilate daily by removing the plastic for about an hour. Keep watering the center hole of the bamboo as it dries out. Watch for new growth which indicates roots are developing. Once a healthy root system grows, plant the bamboo where desired.

Horizontal Rooting

Place 2 to 3 tbsp. of rooting compound into a plastic bag. Cut bamboo shoots into sections, making sure each section has at least two nodes and a middle internode. Notch the internode, exposing the center channel of the bamboo. The channel is the hollow center of the bamboo.

Dip the cuttings into the rooting compound and bury each end in the growing medium but expose the center internode with the notch facing up. Pour water into the center channel.

Cover the growing tray with clear plastic and place in a warm, bright area, free from direct sunlight. Keep watering the center of the bamboo until new shoots and leaves sprout from the soil. Plant the bamboo in the desired location.

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