Black Bamboo

Discussion in 'Plant Propagation' started by webwolf, Oct 19, 2005.

  1. webwolf

    webwolf Active Member 10 Years

    Messages:
    76
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Australia
    Hi,
    How do you propagate,seperate(make more plants) of bamboo?. I have that beautiful clump of black bamboo in the garden which is getting ten new shoots. They grow very fast. How can I seperate them?
    regards
    Wolfgang
     
  2. Nightbird

    Nightbird Member

    Messages:
    10
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Pennsylvania, USA
    As I understand bamboo is near impossible to kill. From what I have read (I'm by all means not an expert on this subject) you just need to take a spade to cut straight down through the clum to seperate.
     
  3. LPN

    LPN Well-Known Member 10 Years

    Messages:
    1,522
    Likes Received:
    10
    Location:
    Courtenay, Vancouver Island
    Nightbird is right, but your bamboo rhizomes are very strong (tough) and difficult to shovel through. Bamboo digging isn't for the faint of heart. It requires a great deal of persistance and strength to muscle through and dig up a section of bamboo. I think that's half the reason bamboo isn't cheap.
     
  4. Weekend Gardener

    Weekend Gardener Active Member 10 Years

    Messages:
    865
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Coquitlam, BC
    If you have a well established clump of bamboo, don't divide it completely. If you do, each division will take a few years to mature to the same majesty and culm (cane) size. What you can do is to take small divisions off the main clump. A new division does virtually nothing for the first year, as it puts all it's energy into re-establishing a system of new roots and rhizomes. You may get a few shoots the second year. But it will take till it's 3rd to 4th year to really start to shooting more mature culms.

    The best time to make divisions is in the spring, but before new shoots have started to appear.

    It is generally easy to slice a good sized root ball off the edge of the parent clump. Here, the only rhizomes that you are likely to have to deal with are the one or two that came off the parent clump to establish the new clump, and any new rhizomes that might have arisen from the clump you want to divide.

    You want to choose a clump with at least one cane that is more than a year old, ideally 2 or more culms. In general, the larger the division, the faster it will establish itself in the new location.

    I use a spade with a sharpened edge to slice through the roots. Any rhizomes that gets in the way are divided with a pair of loppers. Once you have dug around the clump in a complete circle, the root ball should pop out easily - the roots and rhizomes travel in a horizontal direction and are usually not that deep - about 12 inches, maybe 18 inches maximum depending on the age of the clump. How big of a root ball? Well as big as you can dig and handle. I aim for a minimum 12 inch diameter rootball for single culm clumps, and up to 18 to 24 inches for 2-3 culms. This will also depend on the size of the bamboo (height and diameter of the culms).

    You can divide the main clump if you wish, but you will be dealing with a denser, more solid mass of roots and rhizomes. It can be done, but you will need that sharp spade, plus an axe or a machette. I make good use of my electric reciprocating saw fitted with a pruning blade - this usually make short work of slicing through the root ball. But even it may have difficulty dealing with an old crowded clump.

    You must keep the roots moist and well watered at all times if you are not going to plant it immediately. I usually cut part of the top off to reduce foliage and, therefore, evaporative water loss. When planting, make sure that the bamboo is well staked - wind rock to the root ball is a significant problem for a newly planted bamboo. If the can is more than 6-8 feet tall, I use use 3/4 ropes/strong ties secured at three different directions to reduce the swaying motion of the culms.
     
  5. jacklynch

    jacklynch Member

    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    hillsboro,oregon, usa
    If you are very patient(and lazy,like me), find a rhizome, cut a 12 inch segment, pot it(curl it around in the pot) and water. Or directly plant the rhizome. Note: I do not cut rhizomes with stalks, just plain roots. Small shoots will emerge, that won't need much baby sitting, but one will have to wait another year to see good results.
     

Share This Page