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How to Germinate Moso Bamboo Seeds

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.


Place the tray of moso bamboo seeds, 3 to 4 inches away from a florescent light for 10 to 12 hours a day during the germination process. According to, moso bamboo likes to grow in a sheltered location and requires a moist, rich soil and plenty of water during its growing season. The magazine of the American Bamboo Society, suggest collecting moso bamboo seeds during the months of August to October. You can store the seeds in a lidded container at room temperature for up to three months before planting.

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