Potting Bamboo Seedlings

The second stage of growing bamboo by seed germination is to transplant the tiny bamboo seedlings into small pots.

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Seedling Compost

I transplanted bamboo seedlings into peat free compost just as it came out of the bag.

Bamboo Seedling
Bamboo Seedling in a Seed Tray

The reason I used peat free compost is I am trying to avoid using peat these days, for conservation reasons.

In my opinion peat based compost gets too wet and soggy, has poor drainage, and lots of moss grows on top of it.

I find peat free compost is free draining and moss does not seem to like growing on it. You just have to make sure it does not dry out too quickly!

Small Pots

Prepare your small pots with your choice of compost and put an indentation in the middle of the compost to the depth you think your transplanting will need. 2-3 inch pots will do. If the pot is too big the compost will not maintain warmth.

Collecting Bamboo Seeds - Germinating Bamboo Seed - Bamboo Propagation Methods

Extracting the Seedlings

As soon as a seedling shoot appears out of the compost and before it has any leaves, I use a spoon to scoop it up along with its existing compost, without exposing or damaging any root.

New Bamboo Seedling
Bamboo Seedling ready for Potting

I transplant the seedlings when they get to around 1 inch high. You can wait until they are bigger if you want to but I prefer to pot on before the roots get to a size that they can become tangled with the roots of the next seedling in the tray, and therefore damaged through digging up.

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Use a desert spoon, or two, slide into the seed tray compost about an inch away from the shoot and down to the bottom of the tray, gently slide the spoon under the shoot and steadying the compost around the shoot, lift the whole thing out gently and immediately transfer into the indentation in its new pot.

Bamboo 2 Days After Potting
Bamboo After Potting with One Leaf

It’s extremely important not to damage or disturb the root so try to scoop the seedling up really carefully so the compost does not fall off the delicate root and/or snap it at all. If you can see the root you have probably damaged it!

I have seen photos of bamboo seedlings people are transplanting into pots and they have removed all compost from the roots.

If you are lucky enough not to have damaged the root by taking the compost off it, at a minimum it will slow the growth process down, and worst case scenario it may actually result in death of the seedling.

If you have judged this well your seedling will fit into the indent you made to place it in, and no root will have been disturbed or damaged in the process.

Water the seedling and place in a spot where it will get light but not get direct sunlight.

Result of Potting Bamboo Seedlings

Row of Bamboo Seedlings in Pots
Row of Three Bamboo Seedlings in Pots

You should end up with bamboo seedlings, with roots intact and undamaged, which can now grow on in comfort until it outgrows its pot and can be transferred on to a bigger pot.

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