How Fast Does Bamboo Grow?

Scientists in Kyoto, Japan, clocked the growth of a group of bamboo plants and watched as one of them set a world record.

bamboo in the wild

This plant grew 48 inches in 24 hours, two inches an hour. If you had been there, you could have watched it growing. In China, people used to listen to the bamboo growing.

Fresh bamboo shoots make a popping noise as they emerge from the casing that protects them underground and suddenly pop through the earth. In China, there used to be a spring festival during which people would go to the bamboo groves, listen for the popping of the young shoots, and celebrate the coming of spring.

As a tree gets older, its trunk gets thicker, but that’s not the way it is with bamboo. A bamboo shoot comes out of the ground the same thickness it will be for its entire life.

The giant bamboo, which grows in Burma, comes out of the ground a full twelve inches across, and that is the thickness it maintains as it reaches its great height of 120 feet.