Bambusa bambos


Bambusa bambos

Local names:

Kotoha (Assam)

Behor bans (West Bengal)

Mula (Malayalam)

Kanta bans (Orissa)

Nal bans (Punjab)

Saneibo (Manipur)

Mungil (Tamil Nadu)

Mulla veduru (Andhra Pradesh)

Uses :

Construction, scaffolding, ladders, Furniture, Paper/pulp, edible shoots, leaf as fodder


Culm length: Upto 30 m

Culm diameter: 15-25 cm


Internode length:  15-40 cm

Distribution: Most common indigenous species of the Indian subcontinent  growing throughout the country in the plains. It covers about 28% of the total bamboo area in the country.

Recommended for cultivation in the following site conditions:

Altitude- All along the plains up to 1200m above sea level.

Soil type- All most all types of soil with good drainage, however better growth is seen in slightly acidic soils, sandy loams and alluvial soils.

Climatic conditionsGrowth is profuse in tropical and tropical to sub tropical conditions but comes  up in dry areas as well.

Planting material: One year old seedlings and vegetatively propagated planting stock will have to be procured from   NBM high tech nurseries.

Seeds are available for a few years after  gregarious flowering if stored under right conditions.

Seeds have no dormancy and help to utilize the favorable condition after seed fall.

Seeds can be sown directly  on nursery beds during March-May in patches and cover lightly with soil. If fresh seeds are sown 90 to 100 percent germination can be achieved. Partial shade  is necessary for initial establishment of seedlings. The seedlings can be poly-potted after 45 days.

Large scale production can be achieved through macro proliferation.

Offset planting can be done during the onset of monsoon but this method is expensive for transportation and rhizome extraction as it is difficult. This species is also propagated through culm cutting and branch cuttings after treated with growth regulating hormone.

Seedlings are available with the Forest Department nurseries in  many states.

Vegetatively propagated planting stock is available at:KFRI,  Peechi; JNTBGRI,  Thiruvanathapuram, Uravu, Wyanad

Micropropagation technology has been standardized but commercial production is not common.

Planting procedure:

Season of planting Planting during the pre monsoon showers or just prior to active monsoon ensures better survival and quicker field establishment. If irrigation of the plants is feasible planting may be delayed by a few months even up to December.

Pre planting operations  Demarcation and fencing to be completed at least three months prior to planting. Weeding, at least 15 days prior to planting.

Pit size & treatment- 45 X 45 X 45 cm cubical pits to be half filled with soil and kept exposed to sun for sterilization for about a month.

Planting-Along with the pre monsoon showers when the soil is sufficiently moist, the pits are to be completely filled and planted with one year old planting stock. The filled up soil to be compacted around the clump.

SpacingSpacing of5 X 5m to be maintained when grown for timber production.

Soil/water conservation measures: Moisture/water harvesting trenches (60cm X 45cm X 30cm) dug along the interspaces in alternate rows of planting ensures higher culm production.

Management of established clumps:

Cultural practices-All dead and dying culms to be cut from the base leaving one/two nodes from the bottom and removed from the third year of establishment. Thorns to be pruned from the base of the clump every year preferably during the months of November –December. Thorns can be used for strengthening the fencing around the plantation.

Fertilisation- To be carried out as per the advice of an expert after testing the soil soon after clump establishment. Bamboo responds well to NPK and organic fertilizers like compost, vermi-compost and dried farm yard manure.Small doses of nitrogenous fertilizers (2000g of ammonium sulphate or calcium ammonium nitrate) are applied in a furrow during first year of planting. 200g of super phosphate are applied per plant at the time of planting which promote better development of roots. A dose of fertilizers in second year is also recommended.

Irrigation –Responds well to irrigation however essential only during the first one or two years so as to ensure better establishment and quicker culm production. Moisture retention through trenches to be practiced.

Plant protection measures-  If managed properly with routine pruning, thinning and cleaning, and by adopting proper sanitation measures, (cultural practices) Bamboo usually escapes pest/fungal  infestations. Protection with appropriate fencing material  will help the tender sprouts (new culms) from wild animals.

Thinning  Regular pruning of the thorns, cleaning of clumps from the fourth year of clump establishment ensures higher culm production. All dry, dead and drying culms are to be removed  from the clump so as to create sufficient space in the clump for the new sprouts to grow up straight. Branch/thorn pruning also creates sufficient space for the emerging culms to grow upwards quickly  without hindrance. These operations should form regular practices carried out every year probably during November to February.

Harvesting- Culms should be harvested only during non rainy months. No current year culms are  to be cut. For propagation about 20 % of two year old culms can be selectively cut from all portions of the clumps. However it is always better to retain a few older culms in the clump to give  support to the younger culms and newly emerging cullms.   However if the stand is managed for the production of  edible shoots, they are to be  cut  either in the early morning or late evening when they attain about 25 to  35 cm in height to avoid desiccation. While harvesting the tender shoots care should be taken to  see that only 70% of the sprouts that too distributedfrom all portions of the clump are removed while 30 %  is retained in the clump.

Flowering cycle:   35-45 years. Gregarious  flowering  spread over 2-3 years, Harvesting  can be resorted to when signs of flowering are seen : flowering in a few shoots  and lack of new shoots  during the season.

Additional information


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