Growing bamboo from seeds is not a feat most novice gardeners will attempt. It is much more common for aspiring bamboo gardeners to choose to plant bamboo from young established trees or at the very least healthy seedlings. In addition, bamboo grows extremely slowly from seeds, so you will have to be patient with this project. Seed quality will also have a great deal to do with future success in growing healthy bamboo trees from seeds. It is always best to obtain seeds from established bamboo growers to better control for quality and results. Learn from expert bamboo gardeners how to grow bamboo from seeds in your own home or garden setting.
To begin, it is important to select the growing environment into which bamboo seeds will be placed. Different varietals of bamboo seed have different climactic preferences, while most prefer indirect sunlight or partial shade and humid conditions with moist soil. Check the specifics of the cultivar selected for additional growing environment requirements.
To begin, rinse the new bamboo seeds under clear water. Next, soak them in a five percent salt and water solution for five minutes, then rinse again. Finally, soak them for 15 minutes in clean water. Next, prepare the germination mixture. Do not simply use potting soil as bamboo seeds need a special soil mixture in order to germinate well. Mix together a 50/50 mixture of peat moss and perlite with soil. Alternately, you can use 8 parts top soil with 1 part ashes and 1 part wood chips, filtered to remove large debris and chunks. Next, thoroughly moisten the soil mixture and then place it in a humidity dome or tupperware type container. Seed placement can be done very specifically in rows or with random scattering. Place the lid tightly on top of the container or dome and remove it a few times a week to check for moisture and mist or water as necessary. You should see seeds begin to germinate and sprout in less than one month's time.
As bamboo grows, it will continue to need frequent watering, preferably in the cooler evening hours so moisture can be fully absorbed before morning, and will continue to germinate up to another full month after new growth first appears. Repotting young bamboo seedlings should not occur until they have become established after three to four months' time. Seedlings will continue to grow very slowly, reaching just one to two feet in height after twelve months of growth. Be sure to replant young bamboo seedlings in containers that offer excellent drainage. Monthly applications of a nitrogen rich fertilizer can aid in increasing growth spurts. Bamboo will need only half as much fertilizer in the winter months. Bamboo will show signs of water imbalance so it is easy to adjust watering. Curled leaves indicate that overwatering has occurred. Soil temperatures should always remain above 40 degrees Fahrenheit as young bamboo plants grow, or plants will fail to thrive.