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Bamboo is a subfamily of grasses that has the scientific name Bambusoideae. The plants are found in all parts of the world with the exception of Europe and Antarctica. In Central Europe, various species are cultivated as ornamental and useful plants. There are hardy specimens that can spend the winter outdoors. Propagation is easy, although not all typical methods promise success. The most common variant is division.

bamboo propagation

The Fargesia species known as garden bamboo, like the Borinda species, are clumped bamboo plants. They develop a compact root system, which is composed of bulbous, thickened rhizomes and fine roots. These plants reproduce mainly by seed, while Phyllostachys and Pseudosa species use vegetative propagation methods. They form underground rhizomes that develop creeping stolons. In this way, the bamboo spreads over large areas if no root barriers restrict growth.

root formation on the stem

The Bambusa species native to the tropics also develop short and very thick tubers that are used for vegetative propagation. Some species of this genus pursue a dispersal strategy that is atypical for bamboo. They are able to develop roots from the nodes between the internodes. Roots appear on growing plants when the air humidity is high, so that broken pieces of stalk can take root when they come into contact with the ground.

tip: When propagating, use the natural growth characteristics as a guide in order to successfully breed young plants. Not every propagation method is suitable for the different species.


This method of propagation is used for bamboo plants that produce runners. Clumping species are also propagated by rhizome division. This method preserves the properties of the mother plant. The measure is ideal if you want to rejuvenate out-of-shape stands. Viable young plants develop within a short period of time.


Between March and April there are ideal conditions for cutting root cuttings. The plants then begin to sprout again and should no longer be disturbed. If you missed the point, you can wait until the fall to share. Choose a mild and humid day for the measure. Rainy weather turns out to be favorable because the roots do not dry out as quickly and subsequently grow better.


Completely dig up the root ball of the bamboo plants. So that you can better recognize the interfaces on the rhizome, it makes sense to rinse the roots with water. Use a wood splitter to cut up strong root nodules. However, smaller rhizomes can also be divided with rose scissors. Each piece of rhizome should have at least two to three nodes and shoots so that it can grow well in the new location.

  • Plant partial roots in nutrient-poor growth substrate
  • Place the jar in a shady place
  • Water the substrate well
  • Reduce leaf mass, side branches and stalks by a third

tip: To prevent obsolescence, you should cut off the old rhizome when dividing and use the newly created sections for further cultivation.


For this method of propagation, the bamboo needs the ability to form roots from axillary buds. However, only a few species native to the tropics have this property. Representatives from the temperate latitudes are not suitable for propagation by cuttings. The bamboo should not be older than three years and have shoots with a diameter of 2.5 centimeters. Cuttings from larger plants tend to form roots more easily.


Cut stalks about 25 centimeters long from a healthy shoot. To do this, use a sharp knife and place the blade at an angle of 45 degrees to the culm to get a slanted cut surface. Each section should have at least two nodes and two internodes. In a suitable location, it takes between 14 and 21 days for fresh leaves to appear on the top node.

  • Dip top in wax to seal
  • Coat the lower interface with rooting hormone
  • Put shoot in potting soil
  • moisten the substrate

Bury stem segments

This method is a special method of propagating cuttings and is used to quickly rejuvenate old stocks. In order for it to work, the stalk must be capable of rooting. When using bamboo sticks, there are often leftovers that are stuck vertically into the ground in tropical to subtropical regions and buried about a hand's breadth. A limb should have at least three eyes. The substrate must be kept moist. It takes two to three weeks for the first shoots to pierce the surface of the earth.


Propagation from seeds requires patience and is not always promising. Within the Bambusoideae there are species that flower at different intervals. However, some representatives only develop flowers every 80 to 120 years. But there are varieties that bloom more frequently but hardly develop germinable seeds. You can buy seeds commercially and multiply them by sowing. Young plants grown in this way differ from the parent plants because they carry the genetic material of different plants. They can differ significantly from the parent plants in size, growth habit and colour.


The seeds need stratification. Therefore, store the seeds in a bag filled with sand in the refrigerator for four to eight days to encourage them to germinate. Use a plastic tray and then fill it with nutrient-poor potting soil. Alternatively, peat or coconut fibers are also suitable. Mix the material with sand, clay granules or perlite in a 1:1 ratio. This ensures high permeability. Spray the substrate with water, being careful not to cover the seeds with soil. The seeds germinate in a suitable location after about two to three weeks.

  • Cover the jar with plastic wrap
  • air daily
  • Put the bowl in a bright place
  • alternatively install a plant lamp

tip: Tropical species will germinate when the daytime temperature is 32°C and the nighttime temperature is at least 22°C. However, 26 °C is sufficient for hardy bamboo plants.

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