Hardy bamboo make fantastic ornamental garden plants, however if you want to purchase a number of plants it can be become expensive. So you have a choice - you can either lift a root cuttings from an existing plant growing in the ground, or you can buy a containerized bamboo and divide it into several smaller plants.

How to take a root cuttings from bamboo

How to take cuttings from bamboo
Bamboo shoots and stems
This is a very simple operation, just make sure you have gained permission from the plant's owner. Done carefully, this is a job that can be done at almost any time of year - weather permitting - but best results will be obtained during early spring and autumn.

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.

How to take cuttings from bamboo
Lifting bamboo root ball
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 photosynthesize.

You can either plant your divisions directly into the ground where you expect them to remain and spread or you can pot them on into a suitable container.

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