How to propagate clump-forming bamboo [base separation]

Clumping bamboos do not have running rhizomes, instead, the roots are packed around the base forming a clumped base, hence the name clump-forming bamboo. 

When separating the clumps, take care to preserve the parent plant.

Find out how to propagate clump-forming bamboo by base separation. Check out how to propagate running bamboo and lucky bamboo plants.

How to separate clump-forming bamboo from the main plant?

The rhizome clusters can be difficult to separate from the main plant. 

Dig on one side of the bamboo plant to expose the clumped roots.

Then, separate the plants, this is called clump base separation.

  • To uproot the whole plant, dig around the plant, exposing the clump roots.
  • Pull the whole bamboo plant out without destroying the roots.
  • Remove soil clusters around the roots.
  • Use a pair of secateurs to separate the new clump bamboo shoots, and ensure that each cutting has 2 or more culms/stems.
  • Cover the parent plant with soil immediately.
  • Put the new Clump-forming Bamboo cuttings straight into a pot or container.
  • Cover the new plants with nutrient-rich soil and mulch, ready for propagation.
how to propagate bamboo UK

Recommended: The bamboo varieties that grow well in the UK. Find out.

    How to separate clump-forming bamboo from the pot?

    Separating potted bamboo plants is the best way to get lots of plants. Be careful, you can lose the whole plant. Here is how to do it well.
    • Immerse the pot in water for 10 minutes.
    • Put the whole plant gently out of the pot.
    • Use a handsaw (or electric saw) to separate the plant in half.
    • Dip each section back into the water before planting in the garden or in pots.

    5 factors affect the growth of new bamboo plants

    Propagating bamboo plants required care and maintenance. Consider the 5 factors when attempting to propagate new clump-forming bamboo plants.

    1. Where to plant new bamboo plants

    The two bamboo plant varieties in UK gardens are tough plants. They can adapt to the four seasons. 

    Grow new bamboo plants in locations where there is a good amount of sunlight and away from the wind.

    If you are growing bamboo in pots and containers, moved around when they need sunlight and away from hazards.

    2. Choosing a clumping bamboo

    Clump-rooted bamboo plants are suitable for pots and containers. 

    They are shade-loving plants, great for borders, hedges, screens and small gardens, 

    Read about the features and cost of the two bamboo varieties and 13 types of bamboo grown in the UK.

    3. Soil for growing bamboo cuttings

    Bamboos are tough plants. They can endure poor soils, but it is better to grow the new cuttings in nutrient-rich soil topped with mulch. 

    If you’re propagating clumpers in a container, use potting mix or well-sieved soils and fine sand.

    4. Early-stage care for your bamboo cuttings

    The new bamboo cuttings will need the right amount of water and attention in Spring as the roots start to develop and the leaves come out. 

    Pay extra attention when planting the bamboo cuttings in late Spring or early Summer.

    Mulching is highly recommended as it will help to retain water in soil or pots and containers ( where the cuttings are planted).

    5. Monitoring the growth of your bamboo cuttings

    While the bamboo cuttings are growing, you should regularly check them for any signs of wilting, bug infestation, weeds, and lack of sunlight.

    Taking good care of the new bamboo cuttings/plants will give you a 100% success rate.

    Top tips for propagating bamboo cuttings

    Here are the key points for propagating clump-forming bamboo plants.

    • New plants need attention.
    • Water generously to keep the soil moist.
    • Clump-forming Bamboo plants are ideal for indoors and keep them in pots and containers.
    • Propagate cuttings in late summer or early spring.
    • Use nutrient-rich soil and mulch to propagate cuttings.
    • New plants need constant attention. Water generously, keep the soil moist.
    This page contains articles on how to propagate healthy bamboo plants - check out the archive for more info.

    Important checks

    The new cuttings will require care and attention when you see the signs of new leaves. 

    So, check for the following.

    • The soil remains moist, but not waterlogged. (Read about the best soil for propagating bamboo)
    • Check for unusual paleness on the culm and leaves, as any change in colour will reveal the condition of the cuttings.
    • Move the new plants to a safer location IF the temperature drops or rises dramatically.
    • Do not place them under big trees, when placing the cuttings in shades, as the falling branches will ruin your hard work.

    Enjoy the growth and development of your new bamboo plants because they are amazing plants. Incredible!

    Check out this article on Bamboo Plants that Thrive in UK Gardens, it is an insightful take on how to identify and grow new bamboo plants.

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