Bamboo Plant Moving: When And How To Transplant Bamboo

Bamboo Plant Moving: When And How To Transplant Bamboo

By: Anne Baley

Did you know that most bamboo plants only flower once every 50 years? You probably don’t have the time to wait around for your bamboo to produce seeds, so you’re going to have to divide your existing clumps and transplant them when you want to propagate your plants. Bamboo will grow and spread quickly, but there is no real way to direct it into far corners of the garden. Take a portion of an established clump, however, and you can create a new stand of bamboo in one season. Let’s learn more about transplanting bamboo.

When to Relocate Bamboos

Bamboo plants can be a bit finicky when it comes to transplanting, yet if you treat them right, they’ll spread all over the new area in very little time. Never transplant your bamboo when new shoots are forming; early in the spring or late in the fall are the best times.

The roots are very sensitive to lack of moisture and to sunlight, so choose a cloudy, misty day for the absolute best results.

How to Transplant Bamboo

The roots of the bamboo plant are amazingly tough. You’ll need a sharp shovel or axe to cut the root bunches for bamboo plant moving. The easiest way is to use a chainsaw. Wear protective clothing and eye covering to prevent thrown rocks or splinters. Cut down through the earth about a foot away from the clump of stems. Make a complete circle through the dirt, slicing down about 12 inches (30+ cm.). Slide a shovel underneath the clump and rock it up out of the ground.

Plunge the root clump into a bucket of water immediately. Lean the stand of bamboo against a shed or fence, as this plant doesn’t do well if you lay it down on the ground. Have the moist hole already dug for the bamboo’s new home. Carry the bucket to the hole and transfer the clump of bamboo from the water to the soil. Cover the roots and water the plant very well.

Cover the base of the plant with organic mulch such as dried leaves or grass clippings. Bamboo loves water, especially when it’s stressed, and mulch will shade the soil and help keep in as much moisture as possible.

Set up some shade for the new bamboo plants by stretching cheesecloth or other light fabric over poles to create a sort of light tent. This will give the new bamboo clump some added protection while it establishes itself. Once you see fresh new shoots coming up, you can remove the shade fabric, but keep the soil moist throughout the year.

This article was last updated on

Transplanting A Gardenia

Gardenia is a lovely bush that produces sweet-smelling white flowers. However, there is a chance that the location of your gardenia just doesn't suit it well. Maybe there is not enough room where it is, leaving it in competition with another plant, or it's no longer getting the right sun. Either way, the best thing to do is transplant it to a better location. Gardenias are tricky plants that don't always take well to transplantation. Below are some steps to improve your odds.

Step 1: Health

Do not transplant a gardenia in poor health. If it's suffering from mildew or disease or otherwise damaged it will not survive transplantation. Either solve these problems before transplanting or get a new gardenia, because this one won't make the move as it is.

Step 2: When to Transplant

Gardenias are best transplanted in the fall. Wait until the blooms are gone and the weather is cooling. Your bush will slow down, and the move won't shock it as badly.

Step 3: Where to Transplant

Once you have decided to transplant, it's vital to find a better location for your gardenia. Th bush needs rich soil and light shade to flourish at most latitudes. The latter should be present wherever you plan to transplant. The former can be created if it is not already present.

Step 4: Preparation for Transplantation

About a week before transplanting your gardenia, trim the bush down by 1/4 to 1/3 of its original size. This will turn the bush's focus from its leaves to its roots, and leave it in a better state to reestablish itself after transplanting.

Enrich the soil of the location where you are going to place your gardenia. Add organics and nutrients. Purchase a soil pH testing kit from your garden supply store and check the pH of your new location. Gardenias prefer a soil pH between 5.0 and 6.0. If that is not present, add an acidic compound to decrease the pH. Sphagnum peat is a bit expensive, but will add rich organics as well as acidity to your soil. Granular sulfur is the most common way of lowering soil pH.

Step 5: Prepare the Hole

Have the hole ready in the new location before you dig up your gardenia. The faster you put the roots back in the ground, the better for the bush. Make sure the hole is large enough. You want to take as much of the root structure of your bush as possible, and the roots can extend as wide as the bush itself.

Step 6: Dig Up Your Gardenia

Dig as big a root ball as you can. The more root structure you can maintain, the better your gardenia's chance of surviving the move. Work your shovel into the soil until you can lift the bush.

Step 7: Place the Gardenia

Place the root ball into the hole you prepared earlier. Tamp the soil down with your foot to ensure contact between the roots and the new soil. Fill the gaps with fresh soil from the new location. Water well to minimize air pockets and encourage new growth.

Step 8: Follow Up Care

Continue to water well every other day for at least a week. Watch your gardenia well and provide nutrients and water as it reestablishes itself in its new home. By next spring you should have a beautifully blooming bush full of sweet smelling flowers.

Avoid Bamboo Like the Plague

Related To:

Bamboo Immersion

The name Nashville evokes images of country-western music legends and the Grand Ole Opry but it is also home to Cheekwood Botanical Garden and Museum of Art which is well known among the locals for 55 stunning acres of boxwoods, perennials, a sculpture trail, water features and other themed sections. One of the most alluring attractions is Shomu-en, the Japanese garden which includes a walk through a dark bamboo forest.

Photo by: Image courtesy of Cheekwood Botanical Garden & Museum of Art

Image courtesy of Cheekwood Botanical Garden & Museum of Art

Looking for the perfect privacy screen for shielding your back yard from nosy neighbors? For many, the quick -- and I do mean quick -- solution is bamboo.

Bamboo, which technically is a giant grass, is one of the world’s most invasive plants. Once established, it is literally next to impossible to control. The sprouts that shoot up from the ground each spring can grow 12 inches a day! The underground roots of common running “fishpole” bamboo, which can easily reach 15 feet tall, can travel as far as 20 feet or more from the original clump.

There’s no denying bamboo makes a pretty exotic screen. And with its slender form, it is seemingly ideal for tight urban spaces. Yet, in no time new shoots will appear outside its planting space, creating a maintenance nightmare.

If you simply want to control its spread, it's best to create a barrier, though sometimes even that doesn’t work. Dig a trench two feet deep around the clump and insert 24-inch-wide aluminum flashing, leaving several inches of it above ground to prevent its roots from climbing over. Still, know that bamboo has been known to run even below concrete barriers and resurface on the other side, so this is no guaranteed fortress.

If you really want to get rid of all your bamboo, brace yourself for being a vigilante. As soon as the first sprouts emerge in spring, knock them back to ground level using a shovel and continue for several weeks while the shoots are tender and before they become woody and tough. Then, using a paintbrush, apply the strongest recommended strength of Roundup to the cuts. Finally, keep an eye out throughout summer for those stubborn renegade runners.

So is all bamboo evil and therefore must be destroyed? Not at all. Some clumping (vs. running) varieties are not invasive at all. Still, to be safe, it’s best to use them in container gardens, which make great accents and focal points, especially the popular black bamboo varieties. Be aware that most clumping bamboos are not cold hardy, so it’s best to treat them as annuals. The Fargesia genus provides some of the hardiest clumpers, and one cultivar in particular, ‘Green Panda,’ reaches 6-8 feet, so when planted in a group it makes an excellent screen (Plant bamboo in spring, not fall, to avoid winter burn on plants).

If you’d like to avoid bamboo altogether, consider a few alternatives for screening, such as the grassy-like Carex, or sedges and evergreen conifers such as ‘Green Giant’ thuja, “Emerald Green’ arborvitae and Leyland cypress.

And just to set the record straight for all you indoor gardeners, that “Lucky Bamboo” that became all the rage several years ago . . . it’s not a bamboo at all but a dracena.

Ah, the wonders of this mysterious grass continue to run rampant!

Transplanting bamboo

Hi Everybody,
A few weeks ago a few friends and I went over someone's home to transplant (rip out) a 15 ft piece of bamboo which I have planted in a container. The bamboo is in much better soil than its original place and is getting lots of water. However, the plant still looks dormant.

Does anyone have advice on transplanting bamboo? In the event this one dies, there's still plenty left for me to dig up and start over.

From another bamboo site re: transplanting

Q. How do I transplant part of a large clump of bamboo?

Transplanting is hard work and involves digging a large chunk of root ball out of the ground. Never transplant bamboo when it is shooting. Dig bamboo either very early in the spring before there’s any chance of shooting or wait for the growth period to be over late in the autumn. You should look for a clump of culms that has come up in the last year or so and which includes at least three or four healthy-looking culms. A good size for the clump would be at least two feet in diameter. Bamboo roots (rhizomes) are tough but must not be allowed to dry out even for a few minutes. You may have to use a very sharp shovel, ax or saw to separate the roots from the rest of the grove. If you will be transferring the division by truck, then water the leaves and roots well, wrap the whole thing in plastic and get it into the ground as quickly as possible.

It sounds like your bamboo might just be in transplant shock, or you didn't get enough roots out when you dug it up. Time will tell!

Thank you for the info! At least I can say it wasn't budding new shoots at the time.

We've found that it takes a while for bamboo to recover. Don't give up hope as it's probably still alive even though it may not look it. I haven't found that bamboo is quite as sensitive as that makes it out to be. We've hacked up clumps that were sprouting, and yeah, they might look bad for a good bit, but they lived.

It is a grass after all, and grasses can take all kinds of abuse.

Not sure the actual variety, but it was quite tall and thriving in central phoenix without any water! I have now cut it in half and will wait. My partner likes everything in the yard to look perfect and unfortunately, this one is not cooperating!

If I were you I would call Matt at the Bamboo ranch in Tucson. He is the most knowledgable person I know about bamboo. I just bought 7 types form him at the beginning of th month.

Watch the video: Repotting my Lucky bamboo plants into soil u0026 upgrading to a larger pot