I planted a couple of large bamboos about 6-8 weeks ago along a south-
facing fence in my garden to help with screening. They were quite
expensive because they are well-established (about 6-7ft each and
about 2ft across) and when they were planted, they were lush and
green. However, they are looking decidedly worse for wear and a lot
of the greenery has been replaced by paper-like leaves and yellowing
I am not green-fingered in the slightest and have no idea why these
once-lovely plants are looking so forlorn. If anyone has any ideas or
suggestions, I would be very grateful.
Thanks in advance
I'd cut them back to about 3 feet and let the roots grow first. One
thing to remember about Bamboo it is all one plant. I grow a black and
When I give them away I give roots and 2 foot growths.
Thanks Bill. I'm sure that's good advice but we paid extra so that we
could have some instant screening in the form of large plants so I'm
pretty reluctant to cut them back. Is there any alternative?
When they stop growing taller, they never resume. New growth will come
as shoots from the ground. With the correct soil, water, and climate,
they can grow a few inches per day. However, once a shoot emerges from
the ground, it never gets any wider -- only taller.
Remember, bamboo is merely a very large grass.
David E. Ross
Climate: California Mediterranean
Jo - I can think of a couple of things -- (a) normal transplanting
after-effects, or (b) cultural problems
(A) A culm of bamboo that is replanted may result in stalks that die off or
look fragile. The existing stalks aren't very decorative, they only show
where you planted the bamboo. The plant is mostly busy expanding it's root
area so that you will see a sudden spurt of a few new stalks a year from
now, and many more the following year. -- First it sleeps, then it creeps,
then it leaps.
(B) It's also possible that it's planted in an area with really bad soil
that has let everything dry out, or conversely that it's getting far too
much water. If the bamboo is planted in good garden soil and neither over-
nor under-watered it should do just fine, although the existing stalks will
probably deteriorate. Make sure the roots aren't exposed, mulch it, don't
water it any more than you would your lawn, and next year you'll have a
start on a healthy grove of bamboo. My best bamboo stands are those that I
couldn't spend time on and gave benign neglect. -- Regards --
Thanks everyone for all your comments.
In response to Billy's question, the root ball was almost bursting
from the pot - in fact, I think it had actually split the plastic
container in one of the plants. And thanks for the Schultz Starter
Plus Root Stimulator recommendation. I'm based in the UK though and a
quick Google search doesn't bring up any UK suppliers although I will
try to find a similar alternative.
JimR - I don't think the soil is that bad but we did add some improver
to it when we planted them but we haven't mulched which I guess
wouldn't hurt. However, there used to be a pretty established (aprox
15 yr old) ash tree in the same spot until we had it felled and the
stump/roots ground down. I reckon that probably could have something
to do with any nutrient deficiency in the soil.
I also don't think they have been under/over watered. We did water
them when they were fist planted but have left them be since then
(about 2 months) although during that time there's been hard frosts,
mild sun, snow, terrible downpours and dry fortnights so we've had the
whole range of weather!
I guess aside from wanting to protect my (not inconsiderable)
financial investment, I am glad to hear that this probably doesn't
mean these lovely plants are dying!
Thanks again for all your comments - they're much appreciated.
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