Bamboo (subfamily Bambusoideae), is a subfamily of tall treelike grasses of the family Poaceae, comprising more than 115 genera and 1,400 species. Bamboo is one of the fastest-growing plants and has become one of the most important nontimber forest products in the world. If you want to grow bamboo from seeds, it is quite simple but it takes a lot of care management. Fill a glass container up with water that is right around 30° C. Place the bamboo seeds in water for about 12 to 24 hours. This will regulate the germination process and increase the odds of planting success. Keep reading the article to know about how to grow bamboo from seeds.
Technically, bamboo is a very large and big hard-woody plant. Its stem is called culms and culms are further divided into sections by nodes. They are spread by tough underground stems or rhizomes. Soak the bamboo seeds in water for about 12 to 24 hours to kickstart the germination process. This article will tell you how to grow bamboo from seeds.
How to grow Bamboo from seed?
Bamboo can be grown vegetative by cuttings and suckers as well as by sexual propagation or seeds. The propagation method depends upon the availability of related varieties. Mostly, growing bamboo from seeds takes much more time than by cuttings. However, almost all types of verities of bamboos can be grown by both these methods. Once the roots of bamboo get established in the soil it grows very vigorously. It is said that in ancient times bamboo was used for capital punishment. The culprit was laid down on a bamboo sprout and it grows enough to pass through the person’s body and kill him.
There are different types of bamboos. There are some indoor miniature bamboos while the others grow very long up to 100 meters and are used in the construction industry vastly. Some types of bamboos are given below.
The two types of bamboo define by the growth habits of their rhizomes
Its rhizomes grow in an enlarging circle but stay close to the parent plant, so the spread is steady but slow.
It is the type that gives bamboo its bad reputation because of its habit of quickly spreading its woody rhizomes out and away from the parent plant, sending its shoots up through lawns and garden beds.
Growing bamboo from the seed
If we grow bamboo from the seeds then the following steps are important for getting better results.
Firstly, we need to prepare our soil or potting mix. Good quality compost and organic matter mix with garden soil to make a potting mix for sowing mambo seeds.
Placing the pot or seed tray
Fill the chosen pot with soil media up to its collar. Place the pot or tray in a well-lit condition for getting sun for 24 hours before sowing seeds. For good germination of bamboo seeds, the maintain the temperature at about 30° C therefore, you may need to cover the pot or seed trays with polythene sheets as a low tunnel.
Note: Airtight sheet requires maintaining the temperature and humidity.
However, if you plan to sow seeds in summer you need to ensure a good humidity level for the germination of young bamboo seeds.
Soak the seed
For better germination, soak seeds in tap water for 24 hours. Make sure it doesn’t get too hot, as high temperatures can kill seeds. Cooler temperatures, however, will not hurt the seeds but may delay germination by a few days. Space seeds out on top of the warm compost at 1cm intervals and sprinkles a further fine layer of compost on top (0.5cm is enough).
Location of Bamboo Pot
Place the pot or container in a location where it will get medium shade. Check on the propagator daily making sure that the compost never dries out. Before the seeds sprout, they can survive getting too dry once or so but as soon as they sprout, they can die in a matter of hours if they dry out. We may see a sprout within 10 days from planting, though the bulk of germination will occur after at least 15 or 20 days.
Different bamboo species have different germination rates. Usually, seeds take 3-4 weeks to germinate but if they don’t sprout early, don’t lose hope. They may take a little longer than usual. If any of the sprouted seedlings get tall enough to touch the plastic dome lid while others are still getting started, prop the lid up as necessary to prevent the leaves from touching it; Any leaves resting against the lid will quickly rot and risk killing the seedling.
Transplant the sprouts
After about 30 days, transplant all of the healthy sprouts into 4cm pots using the next few steps. Mix a good potting soil with about 50% small bark-chip mulch. This makes a potting mix with very high drainage that is good for bamboo. Move each seedling into a pot and fill around it so that the neck of the seedling is level with the top of the potting soil. Give the pots a good dose of water. Because of the really good drainage, don’t worry too much about over-watering. Set these pots in an outdoor location that gets about 50% shade and that never gets full hot direct sun for more than a few minutes at a time. These seedlings are now well on their way. Approximately 10% of them for no apparent reason at all, but the rest will have a good chance of making it to maturity.
For the first winter in cooler climates, the seedlings will need shelter. Plant the pots in the ground and give an inch or two of mulch. In really cold climates or for less hardy species, they may need to spend their first winter indoors or in a greenhouse. But remember that they need some water even in winter, so don’t just put them in a greenhouse and forget about them. During the following Spring consider ‘potting them on’ if you feel that the roots need some more room. Then simply keep moist, sit back and wait for your first bunch of new culms/canes. Bamboo seedlings of height up to 30 cm are ready to transplant outs