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How to Grow Bamboo from Seed – Guide

Do you want to grow bamboo but don’t know how? Don’t worry, in this guide, you will find everything you need to do it. Growing bamboo from seed is a fairly simple and inexpensive technique. Learn all about how to grow bamboo from seed in this guide.

Growing Bamboo from Seed

This method is based on the natural process by which animals usually carry the seeds to areas with suitable substrates for germination. It has been proven that this technique is not only economical but also quite simple; however, it has the disadvantage that it tends to produce low-quality plants.

Growing bamboo is one of the most fascinating activities we have been able to experience in our bamboo forest. Since we started it, in a matter of three years it has turned from a neglected and overgrown piece of land into a garden paradise teeming with exotic birds, frogs, and butterflies.

But if you are looking for growing bamboo in planters, don’t worry, this guide will also help you to grow your bamboo plants with tricks that no one else will tell you.

growing bamboo from seed

How to Grow Bamboo Seed of Any Bamboo Variety

Grow bamboo from seed is the easiest and cheapest method of obtaining your bamboo plants, although not the most recommended due to the large number of scams circulating through the net. Countless sellers advertise their seeds without providing any certificate of authenticity or the date they were obtained. In addition, not all seeds usually germinate.

Where to Buy Bamboo Seeds?

As mentioned above there are many sellers who have poor quality seeds. That is why we recommend these bamboo seeds (Order here).

Tips for Grow Bamboo Seed

First of all, we will need a container with a capacity of 7 oz (200 milliliters) of distilled water or well water, to avoid the high chlorine content of tap water. It must be clean and disinfected. Once filled, pour 2 drops of bleach (without perfumes or additives) and submerge the seeds inside for 30 minutes. You will see that almost all the seeds float (in the case of phyllostachys pubescens or edulis this is normal), but with time some seeds sink and go to the bottom.

We remove the seeds using a strainer and soak them under the tap for a few minutes to remove the bleach residues. Once well cleaned, we fill again the container and deposit them in its interior, this time without bleach and we maintain them for 4 hours.

Once this time has elapsed, we will see that some seeds are still floating and others (hopefully many) have fallen to the bottom of the container. This means that those at the bottom are live seeds. Surely they have lost that yellow color and now we can see a green tone that gives us hope.

Now we prepare a tray of 2” to 4” (5 to 10 cm) high and we add blond peat mixed with perlite up to 3/4 of its content. We spread it well creating a uniform blanket on which we will distribute the seeds. Don’t worry if they get crowded because of the humidity! Be sure to cover as much space as you can by sprinkling them with your fingers. Then finish filling the tray with the remaining 1/4 part with blond peat moss. If you can’t get blond peat moss, coconut fiber is an excellent choice.

No fertilizer is needed in this process. The only thing you should worry about is that the seedbed is in a place away from direct sunlight with a temperature between 71 and 77°F (22 and 25ºC) and that the surface of the peat does not feel damp to the touch. To avoid waterlogging, it is recommended that you make some holes in the tray and that you do not cover it with plastic. Some bamboo varieties require more cold than others, such as Dendrocalamus, which can germinate with temperatures up to 80°F (27ºC).

tips grow bamboo seed

How to Plant Sprouted Bamboo Seeds

After 2 to 3 weeks we will begin to observe how some tiny white buds start to emerge from our seeds and, a week later -and if we have been lucky not to drown our seeds in water or strange chemical fertilizers-, we will have a small festival of green tips going through our peat.

When our new bamboo plants have 2 to 3 leaves, the time has come to moisten the peat as much as it will allow us to facilitate repotting it and to extract it carefully without damaging the roots. It is convenient to do it under a shade and not under the direct light of the sun.

Regarding the choice of pots for growing bamboo, do not get complicated. The best choice is the pots we suggest below. They should be filled with blond peat or coconut fiber and 5% perlite.

Some peat already incorporates enough fertilizer to withstand up to 3 months, which is the time when you should repot it to its final destination.

Bamboo plants can be grown in different areas such as planters, small spaces, or spaces delimited by plastic or masonry anti-rhizome barriers or even occupying an important space in our gardens.

The best time for growing bamboo can vary depending on the region where you are and the species. In climates with freezing winters, it should be planted during the spring, when the probability of frost is lower. In the case of planting during the summer, it is recommended to choose those varieties that are resistant to cold, although, in our experience, there are always exceptions between specimens of the same family and places where micro-climates are generated by the geographical configuration of the place.

When growing bamboo, use already fertilized peat. Open a hole and aerate the soil by mixing it with the peat. Once the plant is planted, cover the soil with dry leaves.

We hope this guide about how to grow bamboo from seed will be helpful. We recommend our article about Feng Shui Plant Placement: Strategic Allies.

how to plant sprouted bamboo seeds

About Henry Morgan

Henry Morgan is an agronomist horticulture founder of The Garden Style Company and The Garden Style Website. He previously worked for Mondelēz International as an Agronomist Engineer specializing in agricultural products management in highly populated areas. In 2000, Henry started working with farmer-producers in agricultural businesses selling wholesale fresh produce and retail plants in Van Buren, Arkansas. Nowadays, Henry lives in California, where he offers expert consulting services for organic vegetable gardening. As a science writer working with his wife, Julia, Henry shares his passion for gardening and farming, trying to reach and teach as many folks as possible.

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