Planting bamboo in wine barrel

kiettran(Z10SanDiego)February 3, 2007


Has anybody planted bamboo in wine barrel? I wonder the wine residue would hurt the bamboo in any way?



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kudzu9(Zone 8a - PNW)

Bamboo is tough and the residue won't hurt the bamboo. However, after a couple of years it will outgrow the barrel and, like many plants, will need to be divided to keep it healthy. At that time you will say: "Why did I ever plant this bamboo in a wine barrel?" This is because bamboo rhizomes (roots) expand outward until they hit the outer edge of the container; then they circle around. Unless the container has something of an outward flair all the way up, the rhizomes lock it in and it's almost impossible to extract the bamboo without destroying the container. Last summer I helped a neighbor remove his bamboo-in-a-wine-barrel, and it took a long time and the barrel wasn't looking too good when we got done. Proceed at your own've been warned!

    Bookmark   February 3, 2007 at 2:34AM
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I planted my Black Boo (running species) in a half whiskey barrel and they are fine.
I'm more afraid that they will freeze to death here.
I thin mine out alot, so I don't have the overcrowing problem.
Don't forget to mulch and throw dead grass cuttings on it, they love the dead grass as a treat!
By the way, it smelled really bad for about 4-5 days, like whiskey, but the smell went away.
Good Luck!

    Bookmark   February 8, 2007 at 12:41AM
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Kudzu9, yes, I am having that problem this very afternoon!!! I am wanting to divide a bamboo that is in a plastic bin about 16"x20". The sides do flair out a little (it is one of those Rubbermaid kind of tote bins with holes drilled in the bottom). The sides are soft enough to push in a bit, but it seems uninclined to move at all. Perhaps if the soil were dry?

Butterfly4u, how do you thin yours?

Any suggestions gratefully received!


    Bookmark   February 17, 2007 at 6:05PM
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Kiet, long time, no hear.

I've got two big specimens in wine barrels in san diego. you are welcome to come by and take a look if you want to see what they might look like.

kudzu is right (as usual) about questionning whether a wine barrel is optimal for bamboo. I agree, but for different reasons. I think kudzu is focused on running bamboo, and I suspect that you are potentially thinking about a clumper.

As for clumpers, they do just as well in wine barrel as another pot. There are a few differences or standard nursery pots and the like. First, the wine barrels breathe and drain a lot better than the nursery pots. wine barrels are water proof with liquid in them because the moisture causes the barrel slats to swell, thereby creating a seal between all the slats. But as a planter, they dry out and small gaps form between the slats. This adds to drainage, but also to dry out. So you've got to watch them, particular when hot and/or dry, because they will be the first bamboos to scream 'water me now!'

Second, as they are wood, they will deterioate. Wine barrels are typically oak, which is a sturdy hardwood, but doesn't have the anti-decay properties that other woods have, like redwood, cedar and particularly PTDF. Also, as they have spent a life of being moist, them seem to decay pretty quickly.

Third, as with any above ground potted bamboo, the soil seems to get pretty worked over in a year or two. You'll find yourself wanting to pot fairly quickly.

You can avoid/delay some of these issues. You can line the inside of the wine barrel with thick mil drop cloths (or even rhizome barrier, although that gets expensive), a few layers. This helps retain moisture and heat in the soil. The bottom of the barrel, and a few inches up the side due to wicking, will get wet and deterioate, but you'll minimize it with the lining.

Kiet = I've still got white loatian if you want it. actually, i was looking to sell my d. giganteus in wine barrel and l. mei nung in wine barrel as well. let me know if you are interested.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2007 at 6:39PM
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kudzu9(Zone 8a - PNW)

I'm just back to rain in Seattle after 10 days in Mexico, so I only saw your post today. If you're still stuck, the only thing I can suggest is to lay it over on the ground, pound each side of the container with a mallet to loosen up the plant-container connection, and get a friend to help. You may be able to get it out if one person can pull on the culms and the other one can keep a grip on the container while it's on its side. If you want to try by yourself, sit on the ground, brace your feet on the top sides of the container, and pull on the culms. Good luck.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2007 at 3:37PM
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We have grown some really nice bamboo in half wine barrel
planters. They are very attractive and the bamboo does very well. The wine residue was certainly not a problem.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2011 at 11:24AM
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