Phyllostachys nigra

Discussion in 'Outdoor Gardening in the Pacific Northwest' started by growing4it, Sep 13, 2013.

  1. growing4it

    growing4it Active Member 10 Years

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    I've read that black stemmed bamboo is clumping and spreading. Which is is? Will it take a long time to become a problem?

    I recently planted black stemmed bamboo directly in my garden. The neighbours have a concrete driveway that is approxiamtely 8' higher than the bamboo. I'm hoping that my bamboo will become established but will stay in a clump.


    Thanks
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 13, 2013
  2. woodschmoe

    woodschmoe Active Member 10 Years

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    P. nigra is a running bamboo, though in my experience it is less vigorous in this regard than a lot of other runners. Can't answer to the 'will it take a long time to become a problem' question, as anything problematic about it would be particular to your site, and we don't have the details. Without being contained by a rhizome barrier, it will spread somewhat. On a small lot, it will spread without regard for property lines. I'm assuming from your query that the bamboo is planted beside the neighbour's driveway(?); is the difference in height bulwarked by a wall, or merely a slope? It's doubtful P. nigra (or most bamboos) would penetrate a cement wall, climb 8', and punch through a driveway. It might exploit a seam between the wall and the driveway surface, and send a shoot up in this space, but it is unlikely. If it's merely a slope that separates you from the neighbour's driveway, then yes, it will work it's way uphill. In the case of the former, your main concern will be it's spread along the boundary wall, and into your garden. By providing the main clump with lots of good stuff (manure and wood chips) and ensuring it has adequate moisture in the growing/shooting season, you can encourage the rhizome to stay reasonably well put, and through mowing keep any roving shoots at bay, but ultimately, you have a running bamboo that--uncontained--might spread more than you'd like.

    Some clumping types have dark culms, usually more a burgundy/mahogany colour, but all Phyllostachys are runners.
     
  3. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Both golden and black bamboos may stay in a tuft on some sites in this region for years, or running may be abundant - it depends on the individual circumstances experienced by each specimen. This is why you see both described part of the time as "growing in clumps" or "clumping" but this is misleading because as mentioned these are inherently running bamboos that may take off at any time if prompted to do so by occurrences on the planting site.
     
  4. growing4it

    growing4it Active Member 10 Years

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    Follow up

    I removed my clump of black stem bamboo last summer. I was working in the garden around my seemingly well behaved clump of bamboo and found a 6' long runner. So I removed it. And then I found more and more runners all heading for the rest of my garden! So I got nervous and removed the whole thing.

    Funny thing is I left it at the curb (for green waste pick up) and someone took in the night! I wish them well.
     
  5. wcutler

    wcutler Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout 10 Years

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    Thanks for the follow-up report, which will be helpful to some.
    That really was a funny story.
     
  6. vicarious1

    vicarious1 Active Member 10 Years

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    Hello.
    I have also noticed after growing veggie for eight years even adding mulch, organic fertilizer and home made compost and fresh soil that all my 1200sq feet of veggies, mainly Kale
    have started not to produce as prolifically as in the first three to four years.

    I have three 4x4x2 feet (above ground) planters all built eight years ago with recycled wood and recycled white 50s garage door panel. I grow black bamboo in them.
    I love bamboo as I lived in Asia for near 30years.. This one was given to me for free from a neighbor. I see three stems at Garden works for 199$ so I must have a fortune of black bamboo.
    Till now they were well behaved "I thought" But between two of the planters I have a 4x8 feet raised bed also (with connecting walls) that I use to dump in soil of any pots and my compost
    and mix it in there for the veggies.
    I left a new full plastic bag of black mulch there on the side. As I wanted to move it yesterday OH surprise a huge Bamboo shoot shows up and the entire bag (When I open it is filled with feeding roots
    and rhizomes and actually attached to the soil in that bed) So I cut it off and digged deep everywhere and found out an entire 4feet tall Rubbermaid trash bin full of rhizomes and feeder roots.
    I will be building solid 2inches thick wood cover around my three bamboo planters that is sure.
    Beside that I am NOT alarmed!
    My main questions are.
    A/ if I left any of these little roots in that planter are left there, will each small piece of root become a new Bamboo shoot or only the ticker rhizome part ?
    If so I know I have to sift the entire planter and make sure nothing is left there. As I use that soil to top up my veggie planters etc
    B?At the cost of Black bamboo and having lots of pots I would not mind growing many babies of these removed roots and then selling them on the side of the road in a garden sale.
    Thanks for anyone's input.

    GREAT NEW LOOK of this Forum Bravo and thank you!
     

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  7. vicarious1

    vicarious1 Active Member 10 Years

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    AS three shoots of +-6 feet cost 199$ at Garden works you'll understand that someone new that and was happy to get them
     
  8. vicarious1

    vicarious1 Active Member 10 Years

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    Location:
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    Here are the pics of the planters I mentioned in my post above and and example about the "running" I have two patches near the street level the left on has "visibly" clumped more then the right one that loves to run away.. So it show same exposure left is black bamboo right is green bamboo.. But I am doing my best to keep them in check as I WANT to hide the cars parked on the street from our window only want to see green and bamboo is the best for that and stays green in winter also.. Just the Pandas are missing.
     

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