How much time should I wait until I'm able to divide my bamboo?

Genericboi(10 CA)January 31, 2009

Last week, I removed a culm from my B. Vulgaris 'Vittata' that began growing mid November. There were very few leaves growing at this point. There was also no root growth at the base. So I decided to remove the new growth(daughter w/no roots) along with the old growth(mother w/roots.) Unfortunately, it's not making it. The daughter is beginning to really dehydrate and shrivel. I probably should have waited until there was a least some root growth on the daughter?

So my question it....how long do I have to wait(time from initial growth to separation) until it would be safe to begin dividing? Is it a different amount of time depending on variety of bamboo? Is there a way for me to tell if there's root growth without having to dig. What's a good rule of thumb? 4 months? 6 months? 1 year? Wait until there are leaves? Spring? Summer? Fall?

There are some pretty large ones in my back yard that began growing in September that I want to pot and place at the front of the house. I wanted to divide them before it got too hot. I know it's still winter, but here in Los Angeles, it's been in the 60's to high 70's.

Thank You!

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kudzu9(Zone 8a - PNW)

I think you are expecting too much from your plant. First, you do not want to be taking out new growth until probably the next year (or at least wait until fall if it's shooting in the spring). Second, when you do make a division, you want to be able to take a decent size rootball; depending on the species this could be any size from large grapefruit, to basketball, to even larger for bigger bamboo). It's hard to tell about amount of root growth without probing the ground or digging. Usually it's not a problem for me since I only take out something that's obviously well-established and well leafed-out. Lastly, you don't want to be taking divisions when a plant is shooting or about to shoot.

    Bookmark   January 31, 2009 at 6:00PM
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