The cut ends of bamboo plants are often capped with wax to slow the loss of moisture and prevent insect infestation during shelf storage. Hot wax sinks into the pores of the bamboo and seals the plant below the visible surface. Sealed stalk ends are no longer necessary once the bamboo plant can be watered on a regular schedule in the home. Wax toppings can be removed from bamboo without causing any permanent harm to the plant.
Fold a paper towel in half three times. Pour isopropyl alcohol on the folded towel until it is nearly saturated. Carefully wipe the blade on a handsaw or pruning shears with the alcohol-soaked towel.
Cut into the bamboo stalk below the wax topping and 1 inch above the nearest growth ring. The growth rings are the lighter green rings around the bamboo stalks. Hold the stalk steady with one hand and use the sanitized cutting tool with the other.
Discard the wax-covered portion of the stalk. Allow the cut end to dry overnight. Mist the cut end with water after it has fully dried to promote new growth.