Relocating a large clump of Yin-Yang bamboo

Timmy and Ralph relocate a two-year-old Yin-Yang bamboo

My office window faces a clay wall that we carved out of a hillside years ago in order to build our house.  The wall is not particularly attractive and to hide it we have planted bamboos.  A couple days ago we transplanted a two-year-old clump of Bambusa emeiensis viridiflavus or Yin-Yang to a spot directly across from my office window.

Timmy lowers the bamboo into a prepared hole filled with a good base of our custom soil mix, Bamboo Booster.  When planting bamboo, it is important to replace nutrient poor soil with a rich, light soil mixture and to water the transplanted bamboo during daylight hours for as long as possible.
Now I can look out at Yin-Yang, which is currently my favorite bamboo.  It's a large-caned bamboo with an unusual striping pattern.  Although the culms (canes) are green, alternating sides of each culm are striped with a series of vertical yellow lines.  The culm sections are also banded by a fairly broad horizontal white line that is particularly attractive and distinctive.

Yellow stripes and a broad white band add to Yin-Yang's allure

Yin-Yang also has pretty leaves that grow differently than many other clumpers.  It has a very Asian feel to it that makes me think of a zen garden or meditative space.  Simply looking at this special bamboo is soothing.  That's especially helpful when I'm stressing out over particularly full workload or impending deadlines.


  1. I want some Bamboo. I saw some potted Bamboo at Whole Foods but I didn't know if it was just to be a house plant. I know some of the local Mingsota potters grow it but I don't know what kind.

  2. Stephen - any of the running bamboos will grow in Minnesota. If you don't want them to be planted in the ground where they will spread, you can plant them in large containers. Check out the pictures and descriptions on the Running Bamboo page of our website: www.beautifulbamboo.com

  3. stephen - another reader of our blog reminded me that not all running bamboos will do well in your climate. since we are located in central florida, we don't have personal experience growing running bamboos in your climate, relying instead on information received by customers and through the american bamboo society. to be sure a bamboo variety is right for your climate, it would be helpful to visit the abs webpage - www.bamboo.org - and check out their source list.

  4. We have a large clump of non-running bamboo which we need to relocate. not sure what the exact type is... but the canes are approximately 30 feet tall or taller, and the diameter of the base of the clump is about 3 feet or so. Can we up-root this by hand, or will it require a backhoe? how large can we expect the root system to be? what advice can you give us, as we would like to thin out the clump and replant it elsewhere in the yard?

  5. Hi Jeff - Clumping bamboos that have been in the ground for more than 2 years are very difficult to remove by hand. Although the root system is only about 18 inches deep and directly beneath the above-ground growth, it is VERY dense and solid - almost like concrete. A backhoe can do the job easily but you will be exhausted if you try it by hand. If you do want to try, I'd suggest using a reciprocal saw to cut through the roots. You should cut back the top growth and make sure any sections you cut out are immediately replanted in rich soil. Water-water-water!!! Very important to keep the transplants wet for as long as possible. If you have a chance, take a picture and post it on our Beautiful Bamboo Facebook page. I'd love to see what your bamboo looks like.