Advise about bamboo cuttings

LullabyF360January 20, 2013

I took some cuttings from bamboo about 3-4 months ago. I cut them just below the node & let them soak in water over night before sticking them in the ground where I want them. The area stays wet & muddy. From what I've researched, cuttings have to stay wet. My cuttings have not rooted (I believe on a few there are some roots, but I can't tell if they are roots or the fibers of the cane are beginning to fray). Just recently I have been able to buy rooting hormone. No place near me before has been keeping it in stock.Can I use rooting hormone on the cuttings I have had for the past 3-4 months or do I have to take fresh cuttings & then use the rooting hormone?

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kentuck_8b(__)

You can use rooting hormone at any time, but results will vary.

I would think that after 3-4 months, you may do better with fish emulsion or the like, but if you don't have any roots by now, the cutting probably won't produce any, and will eventually die.

Kt

    Bookmark   January 20, 2013 at 2:52PM
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kudzu9(Zone 8a - PNW)

Lullaby-
You don't say what kind of bamboo you have, but, if it's a running bamboo, your method simply won't work. If it is a tropical bamboo, you may have somewhat better luck, but it might not work either. Tropical bamboo are sometimes propagated by air layering. However, the method typically used to produce the vast majority of new plants is by making a division -- a decent sized rootball, and one or more culms -- and potting it or immediately planting it.

This post was edited by kudzu9 on Sun, Jan 20, 13 at 18:48

    Bookmark   January 20, 2013 at 6:47PM
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LullabyF360

Arundinaria gigantea is the species I have. It's native to Louisiana, where I live.

    Bookmark   January 20, 2013 at 7:07PM
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kentuck_8b(__)

Arundinaria gigantea is native to most of the U.S. but it is a running bamboo, and as Kudzu stated, it more than likely won't work. I've never heard of it being propagated that way.

I have it growing along my creek here which covers an area of at least 300 yards. It is easily pulled up if the soil is wet, even with the heavy clay soil here, and usually you can pull up enough roots/rhizomes with the culm(s) to plant and have it grow.

It is a fairly easy plant to keep alive.

Kt

    Bookmark   January 20, 2013 at 8:00PM
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LullabyF360

Hhmmm. I guess I have to try that method. Through my researching, many articles stated that it can be propagated through cuttings.

This post was edited by LullabyF360 on Sun, Jan 20, 13 at 20:24

    Bookmark   January 20, 2013 at 8:23PM
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kudzu9(Zone 8a - PNW)

Lullaby-
I'm sorry you wasted time trying to propagate A. gigantea that way. Whoever told you it would work was not familiar with bamboo, or how to propagate it. If you take a division, make sure you get a good size rootball...preferably at least basketball size.

    Bookmark   January 20, 2013 at 10:11PM
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treeguy_ny USDA z6a WNY

Lullaby - Perhaps the articles you read were referring to *root* cuttings. It would be possible to start a new plant if you took a section of rhizome with some roots and buds on it and nursed it along. It would be much harder than taking a division that already had a few canes though. Like others said, cutting an above ground cane off and trying to plant it/root it won't work for temperate running species.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2013 at 2:34PM
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kudzu9(Zone 8a - PNW)

treeguy-
I think you hit the nail on the head...that's a very logical interpretation of what might have happened here.

I have started some running bamboo from rhizome, although it can be iffy, depending on the particular species. However, these days, if I go to the trouble of digging, I try to take a rootball and a culm or two so I don't have to wait 5 years for the plant to size up.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2013 at 2:45PM
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LullabyF360

Hopefully, in a few days, when I go by my parents' place, I will be able to dig up a few rootballs.

    Bookmark   January 22, 2013 at 12:39PM
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kudzu9(Zone 8a - PNW)

lullaby-
The first couple times you dig divisions, it's difficult. I recommend the following tools: a heavy, pointed shovel, a root pruning saw or heavy duty branch lopper, and a pry bar (so you don't break your shovel). You need to be able to chop down around the culms you select and then pry the circular-shaped rootball out. If you try this with only a shovel, you may do a lot of damage to the rhizomes; the shock could compromise the ability of the division to survive.

If you want more detailed instructions, click on "my Page" by my screen name, and send me an email.

    Bookmark   January 22, 2013 at 4:17PM
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LullabyF360

How do you recommend transporting them? I live about 45 minutes away from my parents. Louisiana is notorious for our horrendous roads. The ride is rough no matter how careful you drive haha.

    Bookmark   January 22, 2013 at 4:36PM
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miketropic

i watched a video about bamboo in india awhile back and they were cutting culms and laying them in the dirt sideways and burying them about 6 inchs down. after a few months they came back each node where the leaves were had roots out the other side. they simple cut the cane in small sections, each with a root and planted them. Anyone know how that works?

    Bookmark   January 22, 2013 at 4:46PM
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kudzu9(Zone 8a - PNW)

It works because they are using tropical bamboo, which can be propagated that way. There are a number of plants/shrubs, including many in the U.S., that can be propagated with this technique. However, it will not work with running bamboo species.

    Bookmark   January 22, 2013 at 4:54PM
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kudzu9(Zone 8a - PNW)

It's not the rough roads that would be a problem; it's whether the leaves will get blown around a lot. Putting bamboo in the back of a truck and driving down the road at normal speeds will cause dessication from the wind whipping the leaves around, and they will dry out and fall off a couple of days later. There are two solutions:

1) Use a station wagon or van-type vehicle so the bamboo is not exposed to road wind. (For a tall culm, you can put the root ball up toward the front and tie twine to the top end; then, carefully bend it in a U-shape, and tie it to the inside of the vehicle to keep it in place.)

2) If you can't get the culms inside the vehicle and need to use a truck or trailer, take a long length of twine, tie it to the bottom end of the culm(s), and then start wrapping spirally upwards so the branches are tightly compressed against the culms. Work all the way to the top (it helps to have two people do this), and then tie it off. It won't hurt the branches and will prevent the leaves from getting whipped around.

    Bookmark   January 22, 2013 at 5:08PM
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LullabyF360

Nothing special that I need to do about the roots?

    Bookmark   January 22, 2013 at 5:36PM
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kudzu9(Zone 8a - PNW)

Try to disturb them as little as possible. The idea is to get a good size rootball out of the ground with the dirt still attached to the rhizomes (think of a dirt-basketball); don't try to remove dirt from around the rhizomes after the rootball comes out of the ground. It would help to moisten the rootball and then bag it in a garbage bag. When you get home, have your planting holes already dug and get the rootball planted ASAP. If you have tall culms, it is a good idea to put three stakes in the ground around the planting and tie the culms. Otherwise, a wind can blow over your planting and expose the rootball.

    Bookmark   January 22, 2013 at 5:48PM
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LullabyF360

Thanks!! You all have been a great help!

    Bookmark   January 22, 2013 at 6:28PM
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miketropic

my newly planted yellow groove were in the back of the truck and they did get a bit of wind. they were fine for 2 weeks until this cold spell hit now they have major leaf roll. I figure the combo of cold and transplant shock there most likely goners.

This post was edited by miketropic on Tue, Jan 22, 13 at 20:02

    Bookmark   January 22, 2013 at 8:01PM
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kudzu9(Zone 8a - PNW)

mike-
Transplant shock does cause those symptoms, but don't give up. I've had some bamboo divisions completely defoliate and come back 6 months later. If you don't see new leaf tips by June, they may be gone, but wait on ripping them out now.

    Bookmark   January 22, 2013 at 8:26PM
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gardener1(6)

I always wrap the plants. Wrap them tight with a tarp for transport and water them the day before the dig if possible. Here are some A. Gigantea clumps that I dug just a few weeks after. They look great and I believe it's because I wrapped them with a tarp. They were transported a 1 1/2 away from my house.

Here is a link that might be useful: my bamboo grove

    Bookmark   January 24, 2013 at 12:03PM
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kudzu9(Zone 8a - PNW)

Using a tarp is also a good method. The only caution is not to do it on a sunny, hot day as this can cook the leaves if you have a long drive and not much air circulation. Worse would be using a visqueen wrap, which can more easily result in a damaging greenhouse effect.

    Bookmark   January 24, 2013 at 2:46PM
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gardener1(6)

Lullaby-
Here are some small Arundinaria gigantea that I originally started with. For the best results my advice would be to get as many canes in the clump as you can. But just remember that the more canes you get the bigger the rootball needs to be. Small starts take a very long time to grow large canes. Large divisions(big culms or canes)matures alot faster. In my opinion from 15 years of digging bamboo. Mike be patient my friend my yellow groove has defoliated and regrew all new leaves as well. Kudzu thanks for the heads up. On real hot days I dont wrap I just drape it over and strap it down.

    Bookmark   January 25, 2013 at 1:28AM
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miketropic

im sure I'll be back up for some more bamboo in the spring gardner1 I got a few bare spots in the yard still I won't forget the tarp I need some big divitions this time.

    Bookmark   January 26, 2013 at 3:58AM
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