How to Cut Bamboo for Planting

Bamboo is a grass that can grow as high as 100 feet. Canes grow from an underground rhizome that branches as it matures. The variety known as running bamboo is the one that's caused the plant's reputation as in invasive species. Different varieties of bamboo respond better to cutting methods that are particular to their type, but there's a universal method to cut bamboo for planting that should work with most of them.

Cut Bamboo for Planting

Step 1

Start with a healthy plant. Unhealthy plants won't root.


Cut a bamboo cane below an area with small, new healthy buds or branches above it. The cut should be made at least two nodes beneath the new growth. The node is the ring-like section that appears regularly along the cane.

Step 3

Seal the area of the cane where you made the cut with plain, white wax if you've made your cutting on an indoor bamboo plant. Don't do this on established outdoor plants.

Step 4

Put the cane in clean water until it roots. Change the water frequently. Rooting can take several months.


Bury at least one node of the cutting in a small container filled with potting soil if you don't want to root the plant in water. The soil should drain well. Set in filtered sunlight and mist regularly. This can also take several months.

Step 6

Transplant the cutting outdoors in the spring if it has healthy roots. Set it in a sunny spot and fertilize it lightly. Water it heavily for the first few weeks and then regularly through the first growing season.

Meg Jernigan

Meg Jernigan has been writing for more than 30 years. She specializes in travel, cooking and interior decorating. Her offline credits include copy editing full-length books and creating marketing copy for nonprofit organizations. Jernigan attended George Washington University, majoring in speech and drama.