Black bamboo questions

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Black bamboo questions

bamboopenguin
Seedling
Seedling
Joined: May 31st, 2018, 10:29 am

May 31st, 2018, 10:40 am #1

Hello,
We live in Edinburgh with a relatively well sheltered garden, which does get some wind, and using black bamboo to create a bit of a screen from the next door (overgrown) garden.

Last year when we planted them in 160l planters with john innes no3 and top soil and pellet fertiliser, and they took a bit of time to establish but soon shot up several new colms.

About once a week I also spray SB invigorator on them as a mist, except in the winter.

This year however they seem to be taking a long time to recover and I am unsure whether what the leaves are telling is that they are being under watered, overwatered, not enough food, or whether it is still winter damage it is recovering from, or maybe windburn....About 2 weeks ago we added another layer of john innes and put in some more pellets, and last week I gave them each a litre of lawn feed as suggested on garden advice sites, and it looks like some of the lower leaves are getting better but the top leaves still look a bit sad...

Does anyone have any ideas what else I might try please or if these are likely to pull through....

Thanks!
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Jane_T
Mad Woman in a Box
Mad Woman in a Box
Jane_T
Mad Woman in a Box
Mad Woman in a Box
Joined: January 14th, 2003, 4:31 pm

May 31st, 2018, 12:26 pm #2

My older leaves always look a bit tatty this time of year,  I used to tidy them and cut them off,  but my bamboo is a bit large to reach now, to give you some scale the fence panels are normal 2mtr ones, and yes I know I need to get in and get the ivy out from the bottom.

Bamboo.jpg

P.S I don't do anything with mine with regard feeding,  but it's planted in the ground rather than a pot,  it was about the same size as yours when planted 18 years ago.
Jane

"Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad."
rjt.org.uk
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Foxcub
Plug Plant
Plug Plant
Foxcub
Plug Plant
Plug Plant
Joined: April 27th, 2018, 3:25 pm

May 31st, 2018, 3:25 pm #3

We grew black bamboo at a previous house.  It was planted in a largish gap on the patio, never fed or watered it yet it grew huge without spreading and taking over like common bamboo.  In fact the only thing we did was cut off the bottom third of the leaves to show the lovely black canes in the summer.  You will get brown leaves just cut them off.  Looking back it was grown in full sun.
TESS

She who plants a garden plants happiness
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bamboopenguin
Seedling
Seedling
Joined: May 31st, 2018, 10:29 am

May 31st, 2018, 7:20 pm #4

Hello - thanks for the replies - helpful to hear this is pretty normal for them to be a bit tatty at this time of year....hopefully they'll perk up.  

I was not sure if I was maybe giving them too much or not enough water....we have one of those moisture checking meters and around the rootball it is usually saying moist but where the roots are not it usually says wet.
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Taffy
Herbaceous Perennial
Herbaceous Perennial
Taffy
Herbaceous Perennial
Herbaceous Perennial
Joined: September 15th, 2014, 7:18 pm

May 31st, 2018, 11:37 pm #5

It does look as if you have been over feeding it, this will make it soft and more easily damaged by the weather.
The brown on the leaves are dead parts and wont come back, but you should be having new shoots showing soon. Some people cut out the old stems when the new growth is shooting up as bamboo has a habit of each lot of new growth going through the old and getting that much taller, looking for light.
Also some people would rather be able to see the individual shoots rather that a solid clump.
I wouldn't bother to feed bamboo as it's as tough as old boots.
When the new spikes are growing then cut out the thin growth lower down to show the thicker stems off to their best.
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bamboopenguin
Seedling
Seedling
Joined: May 31st, 2018, 10:29 am

June 1st, 2018, 11:31 am #6

Thanks - I was not sure about cutting back dead stems, will see if that helps.  

I had not thought I could overfeed, but will maybe cut back to feeding once a fortnight then?

Thanks!
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Taffy
Herbaceous Perennial
Herbaceous Perennial
Taffy
Herbaceous Perennial
Herbaceous Perennial
Joined: September 15th, 2014, 7:18 pm

June 1st, 2018, 12:46 pm #7

What dead shoots?
You just need to remove the small side growths so that you have 3 or 4ft of clean stems.
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bamboopenguin
Seedling
Seedling
Joined: May 31st, 2018, 10:29 am

June 5th, 2018, 10:49 am #8

Hi, As in there are offshoot stems from the main colms that have died over the winter that I can trim off?

Also I am a bit unsure about watering.....I have a moisture meter and if I push it all the way down it quite often says it is wet, but the leaves are still curling or getting brown tips - am perhaps over-watering?  Is it worse for them to be too wet or too dry?
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Jane_T
Mad Woman in a Box
Mad Woman in a Box
Jane_T
Mad Woman in a Box
Mad Woman in a Box
Joined: January 14th, 2003, 4:31 pm

June 5th, 2018, 12:05 pm #9

The RHS say "Moist, but well drained" so I suspect "wet" is too wet.  See
https://www.rhs.org.uk/Plants/12869/Phy ... ra/Details
Jane

"Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad."
rjt.org.uk
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bamboopenguin
Seedling
Seedling
Joined: May 31st, 2018, 10:29 am

June 5th, 2018, 1:57 pm #10

Hi Jane, yes, I had seen that, thanks for digging it out for me though....I guess I am trying to tell what constitutes too wet....I think they may be suffering from over zealous watering!
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kitty58
Champion Tree
Champion Tree
kitty58
Champion Tree
Champion Tree
Joined: April 8th, 2003, 11:51 pm

June 5th, 2018, 2:39 pm #11

My black bamboo is in a pot and looks like yours at the moment. Unless it is exceptionally hot and dry I only water every 5-7 days but it gets a really good soaking, at least two watering cans. Secondly I use water from the water tub. Tap water can be chlorinated and may cause browning of leaves I don't feed mine. I was wondering if the pot was too small but having taken a second look at your photos they seem fine. 

IMG_20180605_142217 (1).jpg



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bamboopenguin
Seedling
Seedling
Joined: May 31st, 2018, 10:29 am

June 5th, 2018, 3:59 pm #12

Thanks Kitty - That's reassuring to see!  It was one 2m bamboo that was planted into a 160l planter which from what I read when looking how much space it would need seemed to be fine.
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kitty58
Champion Tree
Champion Tree
kitty58
Champion Tree
Champion Tree
Joined: April 8th, 2003, 11:51 pm

June 5th, 2018, 4:38 pm #13

Do you use rain water? Mines in a much smaller pot. I think I aught take it out and divide it.



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bamboopenguin
Seedling
Seedling
Joined: May 31st, 2018, 10:29 am

June 5th, 2018, 6:12 pm #14

No I don't use rain water - we live in Edinburgh and from looking at the water reports there is hardly any fluoride (0.05 mgF/l) or chloride (6 mgCl/l) in the tap water.  I had thought it was maybe this too but these are quite negligible readings as far as I understand
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kitty58
Champion Tree
Champion Tree
kitty58
Champion Tree
Champion Tree
Joined: April 8th, 2003, 11:51 pm

June 5th, 2018, 10:41 pm #15

Sounds OK, just thought it was worth the question. I think what you are experiencing is the same as most of us :-)



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