If you’re a believer in Feng Shui, then you’ll know that bamboos are lucky plants. They certainly are for me – I’ve been blessed with many old specimens around my house. And every time I repot them for fear of their root run getting too tight, they grow back even better than before. But while I wouldn’t term this task difficult, it can be daunting and is certainly something to approach with care. Bamboo is so easy to grow – sometimes poses problems like how to repot bamboo?

If your bamboos are container-grown, the chances are they’ll need reducing at some point; all container-grown plants do eventually, whether they’re annuals or perennials. And that’s where things can get a little tricky.

Read the Below Tips to Repot Bamboo:

Tip – 1:

Firstly, you need to make sure that you’re repotting at the right time. A bamboo’s growth is determined by its age. So if you reduce the root run too early in its life, it won’t be able to put on any new shoots. And bamboo takes a long time to get established!

Tip – 2:

Secondly, you need to root-prune rather than top-prune; if it’s done at all, that is.

The difference is that when you reduce a plant using the top-pruning method, you can leave the crown – or ‘head’ of the plant – at the top of its pot and just cut back the branches to make them fit; this is easy to do and doesn’t affect the overall health of the plant.

Tip – 3:

But if you root-prune, then you change entirely the balance between leaf growth and root growth. The leaf growth is now in a restricted space, so it has to slow down a bit. But the roots continue to grow outwards, so the plant puts all its energy into getting as big a root mass as possible. And bamboos are particularly good at this!

Tip – 4:

So you have to be very careful when you’re repotting bamboos. You may find their extensive root system makes them more difficult to re-establish than other plants.

But you can use this to your advantage. While most plants will shrink a bit from their previous container-grown size when you put them into the ground, bamboos don’t. They’ll shoot up very quickly and may even double in size!

Tip – 5:

Another thing about repotting is that it’s a bit like barbecuing salmon – you’ve got to do it at just the right time of year when the sun is at its hottest; then everything goes more smoothly. So if you can’t repot at a time that’s fine for your bamboo, then at least try to repot it when the temperature is as high as possible.

Tip – 6:

If you’re repotting right through the growing season, then you’ll have to be careful not to damage the roots of your old plant while they’re still in its pot – big pots are best because they hold more soil than smaller ones and there’s more room for a root structure to expand within.

And you really want to make sure that the new pot is a lot bigger than the old one. This sounds obvious, but you’d be amazed how many people fail to get this right. It’s easy to think that because the new pot is just big enough for the root system of your old plant, it will be fine for them. But it won’t be – bamboo roots will grow around the edges of the pot looking for water and food, and if they can’t find any, they’ll just give up. Then your new plant won’t have a chance no matter how carefully you’ve repotted it.

Points to Keep in Mind:

  • So bear that in mind when you’re buying a new pot. If it’s not big enough, then it’s better to go larger than smaller – you can always cut them back a bit when you plant your bamboos in the ground.
  • As for potting material, in the old days you were advised not to use any because bamboos don’t need a lot of water. But that was when they were grown outdoors and being watered by nature. Nowadays, bamboos are grown indoors and you may find that a bit more water is needed.
  • You want to make sure the new pot has a larger hole to enable drainage of excess water. As bamboos are susceptible to root rot if they’re constantly wet. And you’ll probably discover that it’s a good idea not just to use the same potting material each time. Something with a slightly larger surface area than your older bamboo, but with good drainage too.

Frequently Asked Questions

What potting soil is best for bamboo?

When growing bamboos indoors, you can use any potting soil you wish, but be sure to use one that drains well. After repotting a bamboo, place it in a room with indirect light for 2-3 weeks until the roots have expanded.

What’s the best way to maintain your growing bamboos?

Water your bamboos once a week at least. If you do not have a good drainage system, water every other day. Be sure to read the above questions for more information about proper care.

How do I prepare my bamboos for planting?

To properly prepare your bamboos for planting, you will want to thoroughly soak them in water for 24 hours before planting. This ensures that the soil surrounding the roots is damp when you plant into the ground.

Does bamboo need soil or rocks?

Bamboo requires a well-draining, sandy soil. You can also use a combination of both rocks and soil.

What is the best temperature for bamboos?

If you want your bamboo to thrive, keep it in temperatures between 60-75 degrees Fahrenheit during the day, and 50-60 degrees between night and day. If you don’t have those specific temperatures available, do the next best thing by ensuring that your bamboo is kept out of direct sun during the hottest hours of the day.

So that’s pretty much it – a little bit of extra thought and some care, and you’ll be fine. And your new bamboos are so lucky – I’ve got several bamboo species on my property and whenever I repot them, they shoot straight up into the air.


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