Am I doing this right?

peat23(6a)July 29, 2014

While I was riding my bike today I found some bamboo in the woods and decided to propagate it. I went back to my house to get pruners and a plastic bag with a wet paper towel in it. It was not very far from my house so I did not have to ride very far. I cut the bamboo into sections and put them in water while I read how to propagate them. I applied rooting hormone to one node and put that under the soil. I used some regular potting soil as the rooting medium. Here is the final result. Should I put a plastic bag around it or just mist the cuttings every day till they root?

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This method can work with some tropical bamboos but will not work with temperate running bamboo. If you are in zone 6a then this is probably not a tropical bamboo. If you can dig a piece out of the ground with a sufficient amount of root mass then that would be the preferred method of propagation.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2014 at 3:20PM
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Okay, I will go back today, bringing everything I did before, except I will bring a shovel to dig the rhizomes up. I will get 3-4 rhizome cuttings cause I heard that they are difficult to grow through divisions.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2014 at 9:27AM
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I returned from the bamboo forest, sweaty and dirt covered, with these 4 pieces of rhizome. This as much root mass as I could preserve because the rhizomes were quite in there if you know what I mean. I hope that it is at least enough to root.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2014 at 4:00PM
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kudzu9(Zone 8a - PNW)

You are approaching this thinking that bamboo grows and is propagated like many other isn't. Those small chunks of rhizome are not the best size to try to get new growth from; and, if you do, it will be several years before the plant is head-high. What you need to do to be successful is to get a rootball dug out and to disturb the root mass as little as possible. A root ball of suitable size would be at least as big in diameter as a soccer ball, with several culms attached that you would not prune back (bamboo does not put out new growth from a pruning cut). You would not wash off the roots; you would simply plant the root ball in the ground or in a pot, and keep it moist.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2014 at 6:47PM
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You're in luck. I found some running bamboo very close to my house (less than a mile away) so I can bring a large shovel rather than a small hand shovel like I did for the small pieces. Now all I have to do is find a big enough pot for the the large divisions. Also I think the bamboo doesn't belong to anybody but I am not sure. Wish me luck!

Matt (that is my real name not Peat BTW :)

    Bookmark   August 3, 2014 at 7:31AM
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kudzu9(Zone 8a - PNW)

Matt- will have a much higher chance of success. Let me point out that what you will encounter when you try to dig out a rootball is that there will be a network of tough, woody rhizomes that you shovel will have trouble penetrating. I suggest you also bring some type of pruner or root saw to cut through the rhizomes and make your job less difficult. (If you want detailed instructions on digging up bamboo, send me an email through GardenWeb with your email address and I will send back a one-page writeup I did a while back.

This post was edited by kudzu9 on Mon, Aug 4, 14 at 22:54

    Bookmark   August 3, 2014 at 2:29PM
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