Cutting Bamboo: How To Keep It Tidy

Last updated on October 23rd, 2023 at 08:53 pm

Bambus schneiden

Bamboo makes a good hedge plant and will fit into any garden. However, you need to prune your bamboo regularly so that it remains pretty to look at despite its fast growth.

As a hedge plant, bamboo brings exotic flair to the garden, even in this country. But that is not the only reason why it is so popular: it is also robust, easy to care for and evergreen. The fast-growing grass plant also thrives in tubs or pots and thus decorates the balcony or windowsill. With the right pruning, your bamboo will stay healthy and beautiful.

Pruning bamboo: Tips for the garden

Bambus sollte immer oberhalb der Halmknoten beschnitten werden.

Cutting Bamboo: How To Keep It Tidy

Because it grows so quickly and densely, bamboo is particularly suitable as a natural hedge and privacy screen in the garden. Precisely because of its rampant growth, you should trim it regularly so that the hedge keeps its shape and doesn’t crowd out other plants.

Prune bamboo:

At least once a year, preferably in March or April, you should perform a maintenance pruning.
Trim the individual culms to the desired height with hedge shears. This way your bamboo shoots less in length and becomes bushier.
For particularly fast-growing varieties, you can also do another pruning in August or September.
Prune old bamboo:

The older bamboo gets, the more it tends to lignify and bear increasingly bare foliage.
About every four years in the spring, therefore, a radical pruning is necessary, during which you should cut back the culms to no more than 20 centimeters in height.

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The bamboo will then grow back all the more vigorously and will soon have reached its original height again.
With older bamboo plants, you can cut away thin and old shoots as needed so that they do not rob the plant of its strength.
If you want to achieve the bushiest possible bamboo hedge, you should always leave about half of the shoot so that new shoots can form.

Important: Always prune just above a stem segment, the so-called internode. This prevents the end of the culm from drying out and new leaves can grow at the cut.

Bamboo can withstand a lot, but at very low temperatures it can suffer frost damage. This is noticeable by a brownish coloration of the culm and the leaves. Nevertheless, the plant can form new roots and sprout leaves again; a maintenance cut would not help it at all in this case. It is best to wait until June or July before pruning – if the bamboo has no new green leaves by then, you can cut it back to the ground.

Pruning bamboo in a pot

Bambus macht sich auch gut als Topfpflanze.

Even as a houseplant or balcony plant, the bamboo thrives without any problems. Especially as a potted plant, it grows into all imaginable shapes with appropriate care – but it is also a natural eye-catcher.

  • If you keep the bamboo as a houseplant in a pot, pruning is not mandatory – the plant can not spread unhindered as in the wild. Only if you want to give the culms a special shape for decorative reasons or remove diseased culms should you reach for the garden shears.
  • In larger garden containers, however, bamboo can grow quite high and develop strong roots. As with free-growing plants, it is advisable to prune once a year.
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You should also repot the plant every three years and also thin out the root system by about a third – this will help it develop fine roots.
Pruning bamboo: Pruning ideas

When you prune a bamboo hedge, you’re left with a lot of removed culms. Instead of throwing them away, you can reuse them:

  • You can tie longer culms together and use them as planting sticks or climbing aids for your other garden plants.
  • The stalks are also suitable for handicrafts: They can be used to make picture frames, wind chimes, vases and much more.
  • You can also simply use individual bamboo stalks in a pretty jar as decoration – and if you still have some left over, you’re sure to find buyers among your friends.


  • James Jones

    Meet James Jones, a passionate gardening writer whose words bloom with the wisdom of an experienced horticulturist. With a deep-rooted love for all things green, James has dedicated his life to sharing the art and science of gardening with the world. James's words have found their way into countless publications, and his gardening insights have inspired a new generation of green thumbs. His commitment to sustainability and environmental stewardship shines through in every article he crafts. Jones James

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