If you're thinking of cutting or trimming your bamboo plant but are scared that it might not grow back, then this article is for you. We gathered information on bamboo maintenance, growth, and control to learn whether bamboo will grow back after cutting. Here's what we found out.
Bamboo regrows quickly and can be cut back multiple times to encourage more growth. However, the canes will not regrow after being cut. Instead, new leaves will form at the nodes, and the rhizomes underneath will form new shoots.
What is the proper way to cut it and how often? Can you regrow using the cuttings? Read on below, as we'll answer these questions and more.
Does Bamboo Grow Back After Being Cut?
Bamboo is an extremely hardy plant, and it grows well in many different climates. It is indigenous to Asia, Africa, Australia, North America, and South America because it thrives in tropical regions with temperate climates.
Bamboo is not a plant but is categorized as grass. It has tons of uses, including clothing, building materials, food, and medicine. This grass can grow even in poor soil conditions and in areas with little water for many years and even survive flooding. It is amazingly resilient, but does it grow back if cut down?
Bamboo is one of the most resilient plants in the world. It can take a lot of abuse and still come back just as strong. It will definitely grow back when cut, but it will not regenerate at the cane. Instead, it will regrow from the root up.
This is because bamboo only has one growing cycle, and once it reaches its full height, it will not grow farther up like typical trees.
If it's mature enough, the cut cane will grow leaves at the nodes and stay at the height at which you cut it. The cane will eventually wither, but in place of that will be the growth of new shoots.
To help you further understand how bamboo regrows, let's start with this diagram to help familiarize yourself with the parts of the bamboo.
Now that you know the parts of the bamboo, you will have a better picture as we explain its regrowing process. But first, you need to know that there are generally two types of bamboo.
Running bamboo typically has rhizomes that spread aggressively by rooting and producing new shoots on its own. As a result, it spreads more quickly and requires more maintenance to prune and contain.
Clumping bamboos grow new shoots from the bulb underground. It grows via single stems which spreads out slowly and need to be divided or transplanted to spread faster.
Clumping bamboos create a fast-growing barrier that can completely block off a space, all without having to replant or prune, making them the ultimate maintenance-free barrier.
How Do You Cut Bamboo So It Grows Back?
There are different techniques for cutting bamboo, and this depends on what you want to achieve. Are you cutting it because of overgrowth, to remove it completely, to propagate, or trim it for aesthetic purposes?
You also need to consider if you have a clumping or running bamboo because the cutting techniques will be different for both.
Cutting Outdoor Bamboo
When you cut a running bamboo at the cane/culm, it will not regenerate and grow back in the area where you cut it. Instead, the nodes near the cut area will grow new leaves. As the leaves grow, it provides energy for its root systems and signals the rhizomes underneath to produce new buds that will grow into shoots.
You can cut the topmost part of the bamboo to trim it and allow leaves and branches to grow to the sides. This will make the bamboo look lush because the growth of the leaves will be concentrated on the sides.
If you're cutting bamboo in the middle, it will remain at that height and leaves will grow at the nodes. Always cut a bamboo a few inches above the node. If you intend to completely remove the bamboo cane, cut at ground level down to the stump using a hacksaw.
When you have a clumping bamboo, you're most likely cutting it for trimming. For more information on how to cut and trim this type of bamboo, check out this helpful video below:
Cutting Indoor Ornamental Bamboo
The lucky bamboo is one of the most popular indoor ornamental plants that is believed to bring your home good luck and prosperity. It is very easy to propagate because the cuttings can grow roots in water and you can easily replant them in rich potting soil with good drainage.
To cut lucky bamboo for propagation, get a mature stalk and cut it in between the nodes using a clean, sharp cutter. Place the cuttings in a cup of water and wait for about six weeks before it grows new roots.
When Should I Trim My Bamboo Plant?
Cutting or trimming a bamboo plant is not required until it has reached its full growth or the leaves and branches have become invasive.
It's best to trim it between the third to the fifth growing season. New bamboo growth usually happens around spring or summer, so it's a good time to stop it from regenerating if you intend to control its spread.
The more frequently you cut and trim a bamboo, the faster the rate of regrowth. To ensure strong growth and maximum bamboo harvest, cut back each year for more shoots to grow.
If you feel you have trimmed your bamboo too much, don't worry. Some fertilizer and regular watering will help it regrow faster. Some of the best natural fertilizer for bamboo includes horse manure, mushroom compost, chicken manure, and ash from burnt wood.
What Do You Do With Bamboo After Cutting?
If you're cutting bamboo as a building and construction material, you will need to dry it completely, hanging it above the ground to make sure it loses all its moisture.
There are dozens of tropical bamboo varieties that are used for this purpose, and most of them are found in Asia. These include the Guadua, Japanese timber bamboo, Moso, Chinese timber, Oldham's Calcutta, and the Giant thorny bamboo.
What do you do with the bamboo cuttings from your garden after trimming? You can propagate it depending on your bamboo variety. If you're unsure if your bamboo can propagate, place the nodes in water or plant them directly in rich soil to see if it will root and grow.
How Long Does Bamboo Take To Grow After Cutting?
Bamboo can grow back when it is cut, but this process does not occur immediately. Healthy bamboo will quickly regrow to produce new shoots which will grow to maturity in about 60 to 90 days.
When the shoots come out and the canes grow to maturity within 90 days, it means it has reached their full height and thickness.
It will not grow any taller or bigger in diameter even if you leave it alone. That is why you need to know the exact bamboo variety and what it looks like at maturity before deciding to plant it in your yard.
Bamboo is dubbed as the fastest-growing plant and continually needs to be trimmed for general maintenance.
Its long life cycle and its ability to grow back from just a few centimeters of rhizomes or rootstock after being cut down make bamboo an ideal material for gardeners who want to create permanent structures in their gardens.
Can You Grow Bamboo From A Branch?
Not all bamboo varieties can grow from a branch, but those that do are propagated using a method called culm-segment cutting. This works for most types of clumping bamboo but doesn't work on running bamboo varieties.
Check out this video below on the proper culm-cutting procedure:
If you intend to trim and regrow your bamboo, it doesn't really matter where you cut it, whether at the top part, middle, or base. It will grow new shoots from the ground and can be fully grown within a few months.
Thank you for reading through this post. We hope you were able to further understand how bamboo regrows after cutting. For more bamboo-growing ideas, check out these other helpful articles: