Befuddled By Bamboo

Discussion in 'Outdoor Gardening in the Pacific Northwest' started by NoTMerlo, Jul 10, 2010.

  1. NoTMerlo

    NoTMerlo Member

    Likes Received:
    I salvaged a basketball sized culm (including canes) from a home renovation with the intention of growing it in a container to create a screen for my north facing patio. I divided the culm in two, transplanting the parts into two containers. In one container went the half of the culm which was attached to two large canes (10' -12' in height). The other container received the culm with about 4 or 5 shorter canes (4' to 6' in height).

    The container with the shorter canes sprouted two new shoots. However, almost all the leaves dried up and fell off the existing canes. Meanwhile, the larger canes in the other container have not lost as many leaves, yet the culm has not sprouted any new shoots.

    I am wondering if I need to prune the canes which have lost their leaves, or should I just let nature run its course? Have I perhaps over watered, resulting in the leaves drying up and falling off?

    Attached Files:

  2. BloomBamboo

    BloomBamboo Member

    Likes Received:
    I assume by the date of your posting that you propagated these recently. Dividing in summer is not recommended as this is the height of the growing season for the bamboo. Typically, bamboo should be divided in early spring or winter when the plants are dormant.

    In your case, the root ball was disturbed causing shock to parts of the plant. With the high heat, this causes the roots to dry out more quickly. This may explain the leaf drop. Also, the shoots are taking energy from the plant instead of going to the leaves. To compensate, the leaves are dropping. Or it may be a combination of both.

    Normally, you would have to water right after transplant and maybe add a bit of transplant fertilizer. Keeping it out of direct sun for the first several weeks would also help as the roots get established.

    Not much you can do now. Keeping it out of too much direct hot sun is probably the best you can do so that it doesn't dry out the disturbed roots. However, with luck, your new shoots will survive. Your older canes may grow new leaves next season.

    Hope this helps!
  3. woodschmoe

    woodschmoe Active Member 10 Years

    Likes Received:
    gulf island, bc, canada
    First: By the looks of it (can't be sure from the pics..) I'd guess it's Phyllostachys aureosulcata alata.

    You're probably dealing with a few issues, some or all including: transplant shock (which can be severe with bamboo, depending on timing, technique, and aftercare), inadequate rhizome taken at division to support the existing growth on the larger piece, the potential for rapid dessication when a division is put in a pot (which can get hot and dry quite fast) and as you mention, the opposite: overwatering after transplanting.

    If the dead culms don't show any sign of new leaf growth on the branches, they won't 'green up' and can be removed. Mainly, though, mulch the pots, keep the divisions well-watered (moist...not constantly soaked), put them in a cooler location if it's hot on your deck/patio, and wait and see...might be a while: it might be next spring before you see signs of new life. Not much else you can do at this point.

    EDIT: looks like two of us posted fairly similar responses near simultaneously....take it as a sort of consensus...
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2010

Share This Page