How to Transplant Bamboo (and Avoid Transplant Shock)

If your bamboo species has gotten out of hand in your garden, you may want to relocate it to a different location to prevent it from spreading where it is not wanted. 

Bamboo grows quickly in the right conditions, so it is critical to transplant it while it is small and place it where you want it, as well as take precautions to prevent it from spreading beyond. 

In this post, I will walk you through how to transplant bamboo in your garden and when and where to plant your bamboo.

Bamboo Plant Varieties

Bamboo plants

There are several types of bamboo (Bambusoideae), but the two most common are running and clumping. Because it grows tall, running bamboo is an excellent choice for using your potted bamboo as a privacy screen on a balcony or patio. Clumping bamboo is shorter, leafier, and lush, adding a subtle exotic touch to any décor. 

Bamboo grows quickly and must be repotted when you notice leaves much lighter in color than usual, significantly fewer new shoots, and thin and weak stalks.

Although both types of bamboo are prolific, they should only be transplanted in the early spring before new shoots appear. Alternatively, you can transplant them in the autumn before the first frost. After all, growth for the season has ceased. Bamboo can be potted or moved to a new, sunny site when transplanted.

When To Transplant Bamboos

Bamboo sprouts

Bamboo plants can be picky when transplanting, but if you treat them properly, they will spread all over the new area in no time. It is never advisable to transplant your bamboo when new shoots are developing.; the best times are early in the spring or late in the fall.

Because the roots are extremely sensitive to moisture and sunlight, choose a cloudy, misty day for the best results.

Where To Transplant Bamboo

Bamboo thrives in indirect light and loamy, well-drained soil. It will grow almost anywhere if given the right nutrients, water, and a little sunlight.

It is a tolerant plant that works well as a privacy fence and windbreak. If you have a bamboo patch that needs to be thinned out, you can either plant what you dig up elsewhere in your yard or put it in a container.

Bamboo grows well in pots and will complement your décor inside and out.

Tools / Equipment Needed For Bamboo Transplant

Both types of bamboo have hard roots, and cutting them into manageable sections will require a sharp spade, an ax, and a saw. If you wish to trim your bamboo crop, remove some clumps while letting others to flourish.

However, if you intend to move your bamboo from one location to another, roll up your sleeves because we’ll be here for a while. Bamboo roots are hardy, so you’ll need a saw, an ax, a pair of garden shears, and a sharp spade to clip the growth from the root ball. These tools will also be needed to separate the bamboo into replantable sections.

Add a plastic sheet and a watering can or hose to your list of must-haves. The roots you dig up must be kept moist until they are replanted.

So, once you’ve dug them up, dampen them and loosely wrap them up on the sheet of plastic. Following this process, you can avoid transplanting your bamboo before it dries up.

Steps for Transplanting Your Bamboo Plant

1. Get Your Space Ready

Line your work area with newspaper or sheeting to catch any stray soil. With your hands, loosen the soil from the inside edges of the pot, careful not to damage the roots.

Take the bamboo out of its pot. You can simply lift it out if it is small enough. Turn a larger plant over and gently wiggle it out of the pot a few inches at a time.

2. Prep Your Bamboo Plant

Bamboo should be transplanted only before new shoots emerge or after growth has ceased, preferably in early spring or late fall. Then, dig up the plant’s large rhizome (root ball) area. Digging up a large clump of roots ensures they will thrive when replanted. Once the root ball has been removed, keep it damp until it is planted in its new home.

Look for the culms, which are young clump sections that have developed over the past year or two. Try to ensure you include healthy culms. I advise at least four or five, with a minimum diameter of two feet. Remove any excess soil from the roots of the bamboo plant. If dividing the plant, ensure each section has roots and at least three stalks (called culms). Depending on the size, carefully cut each division with a clean, sharp clip. Prepare a moist hole that will serve as the bamboo’s new home.

3. Get The Pot Ready

Fill the bottom third of your planter with potting soil. This should be made up of three parts high-quality potting soil, and one part composted manure. If desired, add 1 part pumice to encourage drainage and nutrient retention. You don’t want to pack the mixture in too tightly because you want it to drain well. 

Before you start digging up your bamboo, you must first find a suitable location for it. It is up to you whether that is in another location or a collection of pots. Bamboo roots wilt quickly if not watered. As a result, if you wait too long to prepare an area for replanting your bamboo, it may dry out and die before replanting it.

Bamboo must be planted in loamy soil with good drainage to reach its full potential. It should have a pH of around six, indicating slightly acidic soil, and it 

should drain well while still holding moisture. 

4. Insert the Bamboo

Carry the bucket to the hole and place the bamboo clump from the water into the hole. Cover the plant’s roots and give it plenty of water. Or you can backfill the pot with soil and place the bamboo plant inside. Gently pat the soil into place, but don’t pack it down too tightly.

5. Promote drainage

Cover the top with mulch or sphagnum moss to keep the soil moist and encourage drainage. Water the newly potted bamboo thoroughly, but do not soak it. Stop when you see water draining from the hole in the bottom of the pot.

6. Choose the Proper Lighting

Place your potted bamboo in bright but indirect light. Morning light is preferable to afternoon light unless your plant is in a shady location. Bamboo can be moved outside in the spring and summer in cooler climates.

7. Keep an Eye Out for Bamboo Health

In the days following repotting, keep an eye out for falling leaves. Most bamboo plants will lose a few leaves as they adjust to their new home, but this should stop once the plant has settled in. If it doesn’t, check to see if you’re overwatering by poking your finger into the soil. Allow the soil to almost dry out beneath the surface before watering the plant again.

Care Tips For Bamboos

Bamboo plants do not require much attention once established. They will grow fine without fertilizer or regular watering, but fertilizer and water will be beneficial if you want your bamboo to grow quickly.

Under ideal conditions, some bamboo plants can grow up to a foot per day, but don’t be concerned if yours doesn’t show this type of growth immediately. It can take up to two years for new plants to fully mature, but you will be richly rewarded with a beautiful and hardy plant.

Water is essential for new bamboo plants. According to the American Bamboo Society, plants grown in containers smaller than five gallons require a gallon of water twice a week, more frequently if the weather is extremely hot and dry. Larger plants necessitate more water. If you keep your repotted bamboo indoors, mist it daily and water it at least three times per week to keep it healthy.

A thick layer of mulch is beneficial to bamboo. Organic material, such as grass clippings, dry leaves, or compost, is the best mulching. Allowing the bamboo leaves to fall and decompose is also beneficial. Never divide bamboo while it is growing. Hardy bamboo should be divided and transplanted in March or April and tropical bamboo in May or June.

1 thought on “How to Transplant Bamboo (and Avoid Transplant Shock)”

  1. There’s bamboo growing in the backyard that is in the way of the pool construction we were planning to do next month, so I need it removed soon so we can plant it in another part of the garden. I appreciate your advice when you told us to transplant our bamboo somewhere with indirect light and loamy, well-drained soil since bamboo thrives in these conditions. I’ll keep this in mind while I look for a bamboo removal service to get in touch with for help soon.


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