Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Giving my bamboo plant a 'haircut...

I have a very beautiful and mature Bambusa multiplex riviereorum 'Chinese Goddess' planted in my front yard. 'Chinese Goddess' is a short (5-6 foot), full sun clumping bamboo with tiny leaves and a graceful weeping habit.  This 'Chinese Goddess' gets lots of irrigation and rainwater runoff and doesn't seem to be fazed by soggy conditions and is flourishing, with multiple culms and a deep green leaf color.

With the weeping habit, it does tend to weep over our front lawn and the neighbor's lawn.  Its not a huge deal, but it is a hassle to mow the lawn with all the culms weeping in the way.  Plus, I pride myself at being a good neighbor and want to make sure the 'Chinese Goddess' bamboo doesn't wear out her welcome.

So, it was time for a haircut!

Before the 'haircut.'

Bamboo responds nicely to regular pruning and cleaning out of dead culms, so this 'haircut' will do the plant some good.  Trusty Sawzall, prybar and shovel in hand, I went to work...

The funny thing about clumping bamboo especially is how 'clumped' together the plant can get, so much so, that it forms a woody root mass in the ground.  This is where the Sawzall with a sharp blade comes in handy, making easy work of it, compared to hand sawing the thick woody rhizome root mass.

The woody root mass of the 'Chinese Goddess.'

After a couple of hours and a few propagated plants later, the 'haircut' of the 'Chinese Goddess' bamboo was complete.  This isn't the first time I have done this with this plant.  I usually have to give it a 'haircut' every couple of years.

The after shot. Chinese Goddess with her 'new hair do.'

Just waiting at this point to see which plants I propagated will stabilize and take hold.  So far, most look really good.

This maintenance of the 'Chinese Goddess' bamboo plant is important for the plant's long-term health and appearance.  I know I would never want to give a person a haircut (that would be scary), but I know I can give a pretty decent haircut to a bamboo plant.


Mad Man Bamboo - Rocklin, CA
Twitter: @madmanbamboo


Ran Lichtner said...


Digging out the periphery of the plant again and again will leave you with the "old" culms who become weaker by the time. It may result in smaller shoots and tired plant ...

Mad Man Bamboo Nursery said...

Hi Ran,

Yes, you are right. This wasn't mentioned in the post, but what I do to avoid that is to cut more on one side one year, then alternate it the next to avoid keeping that old core. It seems to have worked as culm sizes are nicely sized and the plant looks deep, dark green. The plant is quite vigorous as a result. Cheers!


FUJIFILM Digital Camera India said...

Hi... This is very interesting.. I didn't knew anything like this before.. Thanks..