I am hoping to tie knots in growing bamboo, ideally with a final diameter similar to a pencil (4-8mm). I have zero (positive) gardening/plant tending experience. I bought a potted Fargesia Scabrida, locally, and have attempted a few methods:

  1. spiral wrap with bonsai wire => tie knot
  2. tie knot and gradually tighten over successive days
  3. attach mold to tip of stem (culm?)

For #3 I built a mold out of drinking straws. 4 months later there's no visible growth through the molds. I had hoped that I might be able to put a mold on a new shoot, but haven't seen any.

#2 has been the most successful, but inevitably I get over ambitious and crack the branch I'm working on.

#1 has similar results to #2, but maybe if I just mummify the branch with wire?

So, I am running out of culms and branches to experiment/gain experience upon. 8-)

Is there a better species of bamboo (faster growing? more flexible?) for an experimental subject? Perhaps a running species that can grow in a pot/trough?

I am aware that cut wood can be shaped by steaming/heat but was hoping to grow my knots. 8-)

  • Really cool project!
    – MackM
    Commented Aug 16, 2023 at 22:44

1 Answer 1


Typically you get new shoots but once a year, in spring. They grow incredibly fast, then. But you won't get new shoots throughout the year, IME.

My particular experience is with Phyllostachys aureosulcata but I think that part is similar across most actual bamboo (as opposed to Fallopia japonica, say.)

Existing stems don't ever grow taller/longer, after that initial spurt. If not rootbound, the tallest and largest stems are the newest ones. You need to catch a new one starting and attempt your training method #3 on that, if it is to work at all.

  • You say that new shoots only appear once a year, but if you bring your potted plant inside, is there any way to make spring come faster as it were? Commented Aug 24, 2023 at 20:53
  • Not in my experience. But I've never tried to fool it. My intuition is that a plant which can manage synchronized mass flowering on a schedule of 10s to 100s of years may not be all that easy to fool, though.
    – Ecnerwal
    Commented Aug 24, 2023 at 20:56

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.