How to Grow a Twisted Bamboo Plant

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How to Grow a Twisted Bamboo Plant

twisted bamboo
Twisted Bamboo; note the ropes being used

Okay, so you want to know how to grow a twisted bamboo plant.  Sure, while most are thinking of lucky bamboo, this got me thinking could one grow real bamboo and shape it into a twisted bamboo plant.  Well in my research I found it’s not that hard, however, one must have patience and a delicate touch to be able to accomplish this feat.

As you probably already know, bamboo is the fastest growing plant in the world.  While the new shoots of bamboo rapidly grow skyward, they are not hardened off and this is what needs to be taken advantage of.  One could almost liken it to growing a bonsai, though the results are achieved within one growing season and not over the span of several years.

So to grow a twisted bamboo plant, first you will need some heavy duty rope to support the bamboo as it grows.  Next, you will need some old tires, as these are what is used to create the twists and turns as the bamboo grows.  Looking at the images, you will need to cut the tires into four pieces then cut each piece down the middle so that it can be removed.  As the bamboo shoot grows, the tires are placed so that the new shoot grows into the section of tire.  The tire will need to be supported, and this can be done by using the heavy duty rope and tying it to adjacent bamboo or by building a frame to support it.  As the bamboo grows through the first piece another section of tire is added to make the bamboo shoot change direction, and this is repeated until the desired look is created.  I would highly recommend that the tires be left in place until the shoot has finished growing and the culm hardened off.

grow a twisted bamboo
Twisted Bamboo by Gill Basnett

So how do I know this works you ask?  Having been involved with growing bamboo for nearly twenty years, I’ve seen new bamboo shoots grow up along side fences that have hit the cross wood of the fence panel.  When it did this, it turned as it continued to grow, turning sideways until it it went through the opening in the fence panel.  Once it did that it turned on it’s own again and continued growing skyward.  The result was a twisted bamboo plant that had two 90 degree bends in to.  Plus, in my research I’ve found a few pictures of other growing twisted bamboo, most likely to be used as decorative or conversational pieces in whatever they are building with the bamboo.

So there you have it, some easy directions on how to grow a twisted bamboo plant.  If I can acquire the tires and have the time I will perform an experiment using these directions and document it in a Youtube video.  As always, if you have any questions please feel free to ask them below in the comments!

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