Every spring after the ground has warmed up and there’s been a few good rains, the bamboo begins to shoot up from the ground. It is a highly invasive plant that you have to control, or it will take over huge areas very quickly. I walk around several times each spring and break off the new shoots that are going to grow in areas I don’t want it to be. Those ground shoots come from underground roots that can go 10-12′ away from the older stalks.
When they first shoot, they are almost gray, and are covered with a neat paper like covering, almost like the husk on corn, but thicker and tougher. That falls off as the shoot gets a couple feet tall and then the green stuff underneath, that will soon begin to get woody, looks like bamboo.
These little shoots will (seriously) sometimes grow a foot in 2 days, if the weather is right. When they’re little and tender like this, you can break them off with your foot. If you miss some and they get taller, the bottom will already have begun to be “real” bamboo, and you have to cut them off.
Beautiful plant, and the grove of it I have out back is interesting to have and also provides a haven for small animals to hide. But, unless you want bamboo everywhere, you need to tell it where you want it to be.