Transplanting Bamboo

yawineyOctober 19, 2013

Anyone have experience transplanting bamboo from existing stands? I mean to take canes already 5 feet high (or more if it will work). I tjhink it is the running kind but I'm not totally sure. Do I have to start with only short canes?
How big of pieces (along the ground) should I take?
This bamboo only gets about 10ft high is thinner canes and a beautiful golden yellow color. The folliage is also a bit yellow/green but it's been that way the whole 2+ yrs I've been here and seems healthy.
Thanks for any help on this!

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The most important thing to do when taking a division of bamboo, as with any large plant, is to get a large undisturbed rootball. If the culms are too tall, you can top them, but I've transplanted bamboo over 20 feet tall without topping and it survived.

I would find a group of at least three really close growing culms and dig around them. Dig as large a rootball as possible and then transplant.

If you dig smaller culms, then the rootball can be smaller.

Depending on how well you care for the plant and what time of the year you dig, even bareroot transplants can survive just fine.


    Bookmark   October 19, 2013 at 8:55PM
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Thanks much kentuck. Would it be the same for the clumping kind?

    Bookmark   October 20, 2013 at 1:13PM
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Yes, basically. Although for a really large clumper such as over 2 inch in diameter culms, I'll dig just one culm up and top it at about 4 to 6 feet and dig as large a rootball as possible. I have the best luck when the plant is more dormant, or in late Fall and early Spring, but I've done it at all times of the year with good results.


    Bookmark   October 20, 2013 at 2:45PM
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Do you use a pruner to separate it off or just the shovel?
Thanks again.

    Bookmark   October 20, 2013 at 5:09PM
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I use a shovel for most transplants, but for the very large clumpers, I use an axe or a root tool I bought from Home Depot. Some people will use saws and even a sawzall.

My biggest problem is digging bamboo in gravel. If the soil is sandy, then digging and severing the rhizome is not too difficult.

Don't worry about damaging the rhizome. It can take a lot of abuse, just try to keep the rootball as undisturbed as possible if you can, and if not, keep it moist after transplanting and in the shade for a while if it's in a pot.


    Bookmark   October 20, 2013 at 10:02PM
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So I dug up 2 culms one that was about 8 ft tall to start and one little one 1 ft. Both times the dirt kind of fell away from the roots but it went in pretty quik only had to go 100 yards. Topped the big one to 4 ft like you said.
2 questions still: the cut on the bigger one is just after one of the nodes. Should it be just before?
Since they don't sprout from the top that is cut, why not cut it down further? is it still giving juice to the roots? There's no foliage on the stalk, it was only at the top.
Thanks again.

    Bookmark   October 20, 2013 at 10:55PM
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When I top the larger bamboos, they do not have any leaves or limbs either. The culm, as long as it is green, will produce food the same as the leaves would.

I never see growth for a few weeks to a few months, but as long as the culm does not die, the division is fine.

Keep it watered well unless the weather gets cold, then cut back on the watering some.

I usually cut the culm just above the node, but I don't think it makes any difference. Some people like to cut just below the nodes so that they can put water inside the culm and let the plant get water that way, but I do not do this.


    Bookmark   October 21, 2013 at 1:42PM
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