Transplanting bamboo

Discussion in 'Poaceae' started by troiano, Jun 15, 2009.

  1. troiano

    troiano Member

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    I have 4 bamboo plants, Ive been growing for the past few years, this year, the grew beautiful 12 to 15 foot shoots. A friend asked if I could give him some, so he could transplant into his yard. I was wonder with bamboo, how this is done? Would I need to dig up a part and take a root cutting? any advice would be helpful. What is the best wat to take a root cutting?

    The left 2 plants actually looked like they had died, and I mowed over them, and they grew back very nicely, suprised me.
     

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  2. Ron B

    Ron B Esteemed Contributor 10 Years

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    Cut out sod-like divisions from clumps during spring or fall. Keep moist. Or, if there are runners these can be lifted and replanted. They must be also be kept moist.
     
  3. troiano

    troiano Member

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    Thanks for the reply. This bambo hasnt spread much at all, I didnt realize there was running bambo or clumping bambo. Always thought they didnt care for my clay soil. I guess I have clumping bambo.
     
  4. kaspian

    kaspian Active Member 10 Years

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    Sometimes it takes a couple of years for runners to start running. But from the look of your photo (very nice!) they do look like some clumping species. Ron's advice is the best.

    I've always had pretty good luck with digging up chunks from established bamboo plants -- though at the time, it seems like a brutal procedure and you feel like you must be killing the plant in the process. Some people on this forum have written about using serious tools like a Sawzall to rip through the tough rootstock. The key thing is to keep the dug-up part of the clump from drying out. The flimsy plastic bags used by dry cleaners work pretty well -- they're usually big enough to cover the plant, and if not then the stems can be trimmed back.

    Some people recommend that the stems be pruned by one-half or more, to compensate for the reduced amount of roots. I've usually not done that.

    Good luck!
     
  5. Ron B

    Ron B Esteemed Contributor 10 Years

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    Looks like a Phyllostachys, in which case it may some day start popping up here and there - including under the fence, on neighboring property where it is not wanted.

    Such is prevented by installing a root barrier.
     
  6. Weekend Gardener

    Weekend Gardener Active Member 10 Years

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    Those clumps look rather tight for runners. Can you give us some close up pictures of the culms, shoots and leaves? If they are runners, rhizomes can travel very far. I have P nigra shoots potting up 15 feet from the parent clump. If that's the case, you must contain it's spread somehow. The simplest method is to did a trench that encircles the clump. Otherwise, there are root barriers that you can buy and install.
     
  7. troiano

    troiano Member

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    When I get home from work, I will get a good close up picture of the clumps. This picture was from mid may, the stalks were at their full height, but the leaves hadnt fully bloomed. Also, they have been in ground for 4 years, this fall.

    Also, the older stalks (the ones falling to the sides) dont seem to be thick enough, to stand up straight. Should I prune them back, or just leave them be? The new tall ones seem to have no problem holding the weight of the leaves, and are standing tall.
     
  8. kaspian

    kaspian Active Member 10 Years

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    I'm thinking it's a Fargesia -- and I'd further hazard to guess it's F. rufa, because that (for some reason) seems to be very much present in the East Coast nursery trade these days. It's said to be more sun-tolerant than others of this species.

    Here's a clue: The new culms are arising from the center of the clumps. This is the opposite of what we'd be seeing with a Phyllostachys.

    More accurately, what's happened is that the older culms have arched outward and downward, which is typical behavior; the new culms are coming up from a slightly wider area than last year's growth, but shooting straight skyward, for the moment. They'll start bowing outward as the foliage fills in. Troiano's new photos should show this.
     
  9. troiano

    troiano Member

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    Ok, here are a few shots I took this morning. The first one is almost the same as the picture in my original post. The leaves are almost all filled out, still extending some of the longer arms.

    I bought this bamboo online, I bought 6 of these plants (dog dug up one, and the other just never made it)

    I bought 2 of a different kind of bamboo. The 2nd type is suppose to be moso bamboo. One of the plants never made it. The remaining plant, I dug up and potted. It came with 5 foot stalks on it, but the 1st spring it shot up 8 inch stalks, then the following spring is sprouted 4 foot stalks, but we got a late frost and killed them all off. All the green left it this past winter, and I was going to replace, but again it grew thin 10 inch shoots, so I planted in a big pot, and figure I will in the pot for a couple springs, then find a new home in the ground for it. That one is the potted pictures.
     

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  10. woodschmoe

    woodschmoe Active Member 10 Years

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    Not always: in situations such as the one pictured, with turf grass growing tight against the clump, some Phyllostachys (and other runners) will tend to shoot where there is less resistance. In this case, the small grass free area within the clump. As it gets more established, it will eventually venture into the turf and beyond, but I've seen a number of phyllostachys confined in this way for (sometimes) years. Seems to vary a fair bit by genus and species: hibanobambusa tranquillans 'shiroshima', for instance, vigorously shoots through turf, stumps, etc. within a year or two of planting. On the flip side, a neigbours p. bambusoides, surrounded by turf, has sat confined to it's small open patch for 6 years.

    Definitely a phyllostachys in photo #2 (note the sulcus).
     
  11. kaspian

    kaspian Active Member 10 Years

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    Points well taken! You can also see a strong outlying shoot several inches outside the main clump in that photo.
     
  12. woodschmoe

    woodschmoe Active Member 10 Years

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    Yep, looks like it's on its way. Which, given its proximity to the neighbour's fence, brings the discussion back to the point about rhizome barrier...
     
  13. troiano

    troiano Member

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    Actually, the fence is mine. Hard to tell from the pictures, but there is a double fence there. There is about a 25 to 30 foot common area between my fence and the neighbors fence. and these plants sit a good 6 to 8 feet in front of my fence. Had actually hoped this plant would run under my fence into the common area.

    Any advice on the Moso I dug up and put in the pot? Can I keep it there for a few growing seasons, and not harm the plant? I had seen so many photos of people standing amongst a massive grove of moso bamboo. I bought the 2 plants, hoping to have my own small grove. I even planted that in the better have of my yard. The top half, where the 4 plants pictured above are, is mostly heavy clay and rock. The lower half of my yard is more soil then clay, so figured the moso would grow good there. That also was in the ground for almost 4 years, and never got taller then knee high, except for one spring, looked like it was growing some good stalks, and a late frost came and killed them all off. Shortly after that, it grew 10 inch to a foot high sprouts, which all died off over winter, and again this spring another bunch of 10 inch to a foot stalks. Hoped to keep in this pot for 2 seasons, hoping to get some 6 to 8 foot stalks, then replant in ground. The root ball took up most of the pot, so I dont know how it will do, no room for expansion. Any thoughts?

    Thanks again for the info and advice.
     
  14. woodschmoe

    woodschmoe Active Member 10 Years

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    Moso likes heat; by the sounds of it, your climate/location isn't favourable to it. There isn't much point in it living in perpetuity as a potted plant, and the conditions in pots are usually harsher than they are in the ground. I'd suggest planting it in the sunniest, mildest spot you've got (ie. no frost pockets), mulching it, and letting it sink or swim...if it's not going to make it in such a spot, you can pretty much give up on Moso.
     
  15. kaspian

    kaspian Active Member 10 Years

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    I grow a couple of bamboos in pots that are just a wee bit too tender to leave outdoors in a Maine winter. Some bamboo species work really well as potted specimens, while others (like Phyllostachys nigra, in my experience) never look happy when grown that way. I think you probably just have to try it.

    If the potted bamboo is happy, then it will quickly get crowded and need to be divided or potted-up to a larger container after a couple of years. But apart from that, there isn't much care or maintenance involved. I think it makes an elegant indoor feature, especially if you choose a nice pot that complements the plant well, and site it at a focal point of the house somewhere. Visitors are always struck by it.
     

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