HOW TO PROPAGATE BAMBOO
Hardy bamboo make fantastic ornamental garden plants. They are also very popular as they are evergreen, easy to grow, and extremely 'pest and disease' resistant. Not only will bamboo provide form, structure and height in the garden, they will also provide a pleasing rustling sound from the slightest breeze.
However, the trouble with bamboo is that they can be expensive, so you have a choice - you can either lift a root cutting from an existing plant growing in the ground, or you can buy a containerised bamboo and decide it into several smaller plants.
How to take a root cuttings from bamboo
First, dig around the outside of the clump you wish to remove with a spade. Then gently lift the clump from the soil, trying to keep the root-ball as intact as possible. If you need to, get someone to help with this in order to prevent the fibrous roots from becoming damaged by the root ball falling apart under its own weight.
Look over the clump and decide where you want to make your division.Each division should have at least 3 culms (the large woody stems), and make sure that you get a reasonable amount of root and foliage for each division. Discard any pieces that don't have both roots and culms.
Use a sharp pruning saw, divide the bamboo clump in several pieces. If you do not have a saw and your chosen divisions are big enough, you can always cut through the clump using a decent spade - but you are more likely to cause more root damage this way. If a significant amount of root is lost in lifting the root-ball, you can still save your root cutting by reducing the amount of foliage that the remaining roots need to support Remember that roots will only support a certain amount of foliage. Too much foliage and your cutting will dry out and in all likelihood die. Just make sure that when you cut back the culms, there are some green leaves left so that the new plant divisions can photosynthesise.
When planting them directly into the ground, start by digging a hole with the same depth as the root cutting and about twice its width.
The most common mistake made is to dig the hole too deep and too narrow.
Planting a bamboo too deep or narrow will inhibit the roots ability to absorb oxygen and gather nutrients. Do not disturb the root system when planting as this can inhibit the speed at which the plant can establish itself in the new environment.
Once the newly planted bamboo is secured in the hole, it is worth testing its stability. You may need to secure it to a suitable point so that strong winds will not be able to knock the plant over while its roots are establishing themselves.
Bamboo will thrive best with a regular layer of mulch to protect the roots and rhizomes. The mulch not only serves as protection from pests and weeds, it will also help to retain water and providing nutrients.
How to plant Bamboo in to pots
>Water your roots cuttings thoroughly, then place the new plants in a sheltered location in partial shade. Avoid having the root cuttings in direct sun until new growth appears, and water whenever the soil feels dry to the touch.
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