Identification: Bamboo maybe

Discussion in 'Indoor and Greenhouse Plants' started by megles7187, Aug 18, 2007.

  1. megles7187

    megles7187 Member

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    Lol, this will sound bad but yet another one of my home depot plants without tags. I believe it is bamboo, thought I might look up bamboo and match it up myself, but I keep finding lucky bamboo. Went to the store, checked for tags on this plant none of them have tags. So far I haven't killed it, I give it lots of light and water, like 3 of the stalks are turning yellow, and need to know if I am giveing it to much light, or not enough, also breed cause I hate referring to it as that plant.

    Also, should I be expecting this plant to grow much larger? Or like trees does a pot dwarf bamboo?
     

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  2. photopro

    photopro Well-Known Member

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    The fronds appear more pinnated or palm-like. Do some research on palms. It looks familiar but the large clump of plants does make it not fit some of the species I'm familiar with.
     
  3. saltcedar

    saltcedar Rising Contributor 10 Years

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  4. photopro

    photopro Well-Known Member

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    I think you nailed it! If not C. elegans it is at least a Chamaedorea sp. I knew it looked familiar. I have full grown plants in my atrium close to 12 feet tall. Excellent advice! Many people try to keep these as a "living room" or "parlor" palm but they actually need brighter light to do well. The plants are from Mexico and Central America and are fully tropical. They'll do OK in moderately bright light but not a darkend corner of a living room. Again, good call!
     
  5. growing4it

    growing4it Active Member 10 Years

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    Having taken a closer look at the photo, I see stems in soil not water, as would be expected with lucky bamboo.

    I have no idea what this plant is.

    sorry....


    I've seen this indoor ornamental plant called lucky bamboo. According to one of the websites I checked this plants is actually Dracaena sanderiana. It's often given as a gift and it's 'good' feng shui. I googled lucky bamboo and found a couple websites - http://www.chiff.com/a/lucky-bamboo.htm and what they say about yellow stems makes sense to me. This plant apparently prefers indirect light, mild fertilizer (like for african violets), room temperatures 65-70 degrees F. The leaves may be turning yellow because it's getting too much light or because the tap water is too fluoridated (or possibly chlorinated).

    Another site is http://www.flowershopnetwork.com/pages/newsletter/NewsletterJuly2003.php which recommends letting tap water stand in an open container for 24 hours to let the salts (chlorine and fluorine) escape before freshing the water.
     
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2007
  6. photopro

    photopro Well-Known Member

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    I just gave this link to Hawaiian palm expert Leland Miyano. Leland has written multiple books on the tropical plants of Hawaii. This is his response,

    "Aloha. It is almost impossible to confirm an identity
    on these as they appear to be a cluster of young palm
    seedlings of a pinnate species. Many seedlings look
    identical to this photo. I suggest that the grower
    separate one out and let it grow independently until
    some diagnostic character develops. Origin or other
    data may help...any seed description?

    Some palm nurseries grow out thousands of seedlings."


    The plant sold as "Lucky Bamboo" is not a palm. Scientifically it is Dracaena sanderiana.

    If you wish to leave the plants as is they will likely eventually begin to die on their own since the roots will be overly crowded. But until at least a few begin to mature, as Leland pointed out, you won't have any possibility of knowing what you are growing.

    As for dividing the group, each grower has to make that decision on their on. Since palm seeds are often easy to start, large growers for discount stores grow them this way but know the vast majority will not survive. Good luck with the plants.
     
  7. Bluewing

    Bluewing Well-Known Member

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    It does look like Chamaedorea elegans (Parlor Palm) I keep mine semi moist at all times with a once a week watering (if needed) Let the top inch of soil or start to feel "almost" dry (not bone dry) and then give it a big drink. You don't want the soil to completely dry out, or be continuously wet, you want constant semi moist.
    After watering, drain out any extra water from the saucer.
    They like bright indirect light, or dapple sunlight, diluted feedings now and then, none in winter.
    I believe mine is done growing (have had it for years) It's about 3'-4' taLL.
     
  8. photopro

    photopro Well-Known Member

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    Great response! Sounds as though you've been reading some good botany books.
    And you're likely right about the species, although I would personally yield to Leland's expertise.

    You might be surprised at the growth though. When I first bought these plants over 10 years ago and kept them in my office they never grew more than 4 to 5 feet. But once I took them out of the house and into a tropical atrium they took off and grew dramatically. Plants often adapt to their surroundings.

    There are well over 150 known species and many look very much alike so determining the exact species is a job for a trained botanist.

    Also, in regard to the "lucky bamboo" suggestion. It is unfortunate that plant sellers wishing to sell a lot of plants often select a common name that is "cute" and descriptive but often misleading. Dracaena sanderiana isn't a palm or a bamboo. That species comes from Cameroon in tropical west Africa and grows beneath the rain forest canopy trees in what is known as the understory. It does not naturally grow in water, although it appears to be able to survive in water. Again, plant sellers figure out a way to sell something and buyers assume that is the way it should be grown. Still, I guess we're stuck with that name, and the way people will likely attempt to grow it forever.
     
  9. edleigh7

    edleigh7 Well-Known Member

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    Yes I agree C. elegans however they look a little too young to tell for sure. What we call "Bamboo Palm" over here is something completely different and the stalks actually look like bamboo. At work at the moment will have a look when I get home. Thats common names for you!!

    Ed
     
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2007

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