Will bamboo grow new roots?

Discussion in 'Poaceae' started by Kelfka, Oct 27, 2009.

  1. Kelfka

    Kelfka Member

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    I have some bamboos at home, a phyllostachys nuda and a phyllostachys vivax huangwhenzhu. The phyllostachys vivax huangwhenzhu is dying by the minute.
    If I take one of the few healty remaining branches and soak it in water, will it grow new roots?? And how much time will it take???

    Thanks
     
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2009
  2. woodschmoe

    woodschmoe Active Member 10 Years

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    No, unfortunately. You need to have healthy sections of rhizome, with or without culms attached, to have any hope of regeneration. Don't give up on it until later next spring, however (presuming these are planted outdoors...), sad looking bamboo sometimes come back with fresh shoots. All of this, of course, assumes that they aren't growing in inappropriate conditions (ie. too wet, too dry, too cold), improperly planted/tended, etc. In such cases, the rhizome may be completely dead, and no new growth will occur. In Ottawa, you're likely right on the edge of the vivax's hardiness zone; give them a good mulch if you haven't already.
     
  3. Kelfka

    Kelfka Member

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    The thing is that I just got these bamboos. They were suppose to arrive in spring but the store shipped them 6 monts too early, so I can't plant them outside. On top of that the shipment took longer than expected and I was not expecting them. So they stayed in the box a long time and the 1 gallon pots were very dry. The store assured me by e-mail that they would send other plants if they die in the winter. But I still would like to save them.

    So now I transfered them in bigger pots and placed them on a south facing window. The Nuda is doing fine but the I'm woried about the Vivax. Its been about 2 weeks since I got it, the trunk seems fine but the branches and leaves are drying out.

    Any advice??

    Thanks

    Edit: I just remembered that I heard about some "Roots Stimulating Fertiliser" would it help in this case?
     
  4. woodschmoe

    woodschmoe Active Member 10 Years

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    Wait and see what spring brings, don't let them dry out, and don't bother with the root stimulating fertilizer: if there's life in the rhizome(s), they'll shoot in the spring. When you say the leaves are drying out, are you seeing them curl inward from the margins, or are you referring to brown patches? Leaf curling indicates drought stress, dead patches on the leaves are fairly natural for bamboo, particularily if it's been stressed; they push out new leaves in time. An important distinction, to avoid overwatering. A fine looking trunk (culm) isn't an indicator of health: some culms look fresh for a long time, though the plant is dead. So...Keep them moist, but don't overwater, wait until mid-late spring, and see what happens.
     
  5. Ron B

    Ron B Esteemed Contributor 10 Years

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    Yes: the problem is that they dried out, the solution is keeping them moist. Beyond that - if there is possibility of recovery - it is up to factors beyond your control.
     
  6. Kelfka

    Kelfka Member

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    The Nuda has some brown patchs on the leaves. For the Vivax its like the leaves are changing color, there is some green but they are mostly light brown and they are not curling inward.

    Edit: Scrach the "not curling" part, they are. Looks like I'll have to wait and pray to the forces who are beyond my control.
     
  7. bambooman

    bambooman Member

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    Bambooman here, You may just be experiencing a natural leaf drop sometimes my boos look sick when in reality they are just replacing the leaves. Now if all leaves look like this you may have a problem the best thing to do is be patient and keep them watered. Sometimes the canes will dieback to the ground and sometimes they will lose all their leaves and then they comeback the following year. So don't cut any canes until they turn a tan color they may just bounce back. Good luck and keep us posted on the boos.
     
  8. Kelfka

    Kelfka Member

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    Update: The Vivax is dead. Up until a week ago the culms were still green and it had 3 leaves that were half green. But the green part was still moist. Now nothing is green and every thing is dry. I'm thinking of cutting the cane and hope in spring that the roots survived.

    I have 2 small situations with the Nuda. First, the top of the bamboo has dried up but the second highest branch is still good. Should I prune the top and redirect the branch so it grows straight up?.

    For the second part I'll need to do some explaining. The plant first arrived with 3 main culms. Two of them had been cut by the store and the third one was the plant. One of the two that had been cut still had tiny branches on it. At first I did not pay any attention to them. But now, the tiny branches have become a big bush that is threatening to overtake the main plant. One of these branches is much thicker that the others and is growing strait up. Is it a new main culm? And because almost all of the energy is redirected to that bush, the main bamboo has not grown at all.

    I did not touch the plant for fear of killing it. But now I think its strong enough to take some pruning. What should I do with the bush?
     
  9. bambooman

    bambooman Member

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    Do not! I repeat Do Not cut any of the foliage off of any of the canes. They all are part of the same plant. They are producing more leaves to soak up more sunlight. The more sunlight they get the bigger your following years canes will be. By cutting or pruning you are actually taking away the plants energy source. And you will set the plant back in other words the canes will not be as large as if you left it all alone. And the reason that the other cane is not growing any larger is because when a cane puts out it's leaves and branches it is fully grown and it will not grow any larger or taller. Now the next year when the canes come out of the ground they will grow larger than the previous years canes. I hope you understand this as bamboo grows very different than many other plants. If you prune it you will regret it. Just let it do it's thing and fertilize with a good balanced fertilizer. I use 10-10-10. Ihope this helps you and good luck.
     
  10. Kelfka

    Kelfka Member

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    I did prune the secound cane a bit so it could focus its energy on growing strait up. And I was planing on doing it agin...but I wont. So if I understand you correctly, when a cane is growing it will continue growing as long as there are no leaves?

    As for the fertilizer. I did not have time to prepare when I received them so I used the soil I had on hand. Its a mix of 50% garden soil and 50% chicken manure black soil. I did not want to add more fertilizer just in case.

    Also, I think there's a third cane growing. Here's a photo, could you confirm PLZ.
     

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  11. maf

    maf Well-Known Member Maple Society

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    "3rd cane" looks like a rhizome. Would probably be better off covered by a little soil. It does indicate the bamboo is alive, new canes will likely follow in the spring.
     
  12. bambooman

    bambooman Member

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    I think you misunderstood me. What I meant was all of the canes come from the same plant, so every time you cut off the leaves or branches with leaves you are hurting the whole plant. Maybe this will help you understand what I mean. Bamboo wants to grow and spread when it spreads it produces more canes the more canes with leaves and branches the bigger your following years canes will be. So everytime you cut off leaves and branches you are taking away it's energy source and it has to start over. So if you keep cutting off it's energy source you will eventually kill the plant. Don't get me wrong if you want to prune it after it matures abit that is ok, but not on a plant this small it is already struggling to survive. Bamboo is not like other plants small divisions are alot harder to get established than a large division of bamboo. Sounds strange I know but, trust me on this. I have dug many bamboo groves and the larger divisions always survive and the smaller ones sometimes don't make it. Let it grow and spread if you are looking for the large canes. And most of all be patient it may take a few years to see your bamboo sizing up but it's worth the wait and you will thank yourself later. Here's what I do when I get impatient buy a new bamboo species. So far I have 19 different varieties. Good Luck
     
  13. bambooman

    bambooman Member

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    3rd cane is a rhizome that will most likely turn into a short cane with many branches and leaves which is usually referred to as a whipshoot. Don't cut these off, remember lots of leaves and branches means bigger canes with next years shoots. In the next few years it will spread it's rhizomes rapidly and in it's 3rd and 4th year you will be amazed how big the new canes will be. Each year when your bamboo shoots it's new canes they will grow taller and bigger in diameter than the last years shoots. And each year you will be amazed at how fast they grow. Some bamboos can grow to over 100 ft tall in 3 months. Yes, I said 3 months. But that only happens in zones 10 and 11.
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2010
  14. Kelfka

    Kelfka Member

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    Thanks! I think I have a better understanding of my plant now. The bigger the organisim the bigger the canes. The bigger the canes the bigger the organisim.

    But I'm not sure I understand what you mean by "divisions" small or large?

    Also, even with the chiken manure black soil, can I still add some fertilizer?
     
  15. bambooman

    bambooman Member

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    By small divisions I mean very small plants in small pots. A large division is a large pot with tall canes and lots of large rhizomes(roots). The smaller the plant the harder it is to get it established. But all of the leaves and branches feed the same plant, to form a grove. The new canes come from the old rhizomes. The rhizomes have growth buds that are dormant. The buds stay dormant until the growth season some buds stay dormant for many years. But some of the buds will produce next years canes. After the new canes form and produce leaves and branches they stop growing and the rhizomes(roots) start growing and grow until the ground freezes. Then the whole plant goes dormant until the new growth season. Do not fertilize until late march.
     
  16. bambooman

    bambooman Member

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    I forgot to mention about the growth buds on the rhizomes. Some of the growth buds turn into canes and some of them turn into more rhizomes and this is how the plant gains it's strength by spreading. I don't know if you plan on putting them in the ground but this is how they will do their best. Provided the winters are not too cold. If your bamboo is phyllostachys nuda it should be able to handle temps down to -20 degrees f.. There are many different bamboos that can handle below 0 temps. And I would not give up on the vivax just yet sometimes it will make a last ditch effort to survive. Also I've heard that sometimes vivax will not produce canes in it's first year. As for me I paid a huge price for mine and it died. So it's back to the drawing board for me.
     
  17. woodschmoe

    woodschmoe Active Member 10 Years

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    I'd re-bury the exposed rhizome end; until it turns upwards (which it will begin to do if it remains exposed) and becomes a culm, re-burying should cause it to continue lateral growth. This is what you want: it looks healthy enough, and increased rhizome will lead to greater culm production. Don't leave it exposed. I'd also caution against expecting too much growth the first few seasons: once established, you will see a general doubling of height and diameter (under optimal conditions), but for the first couple of seasons this typically isn't the case, a the smaller rhizome will produce a series of relatively small culms.
     

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