How long until height occurs in Buddha Belly species?

msmorningsong(SW FL 10A)February 20, 2013

I am soon to acquire both a dwarf and a standard buddha belly bamboo, standard in 15 gallon, dwarf in 7 gallon. Both are approx. 6 feet tall now. How fast do they grow? Florida soils, but amendments will definitely be added. (suggestions are appreciated from you experts) TY for any and all help you might offer me

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Exactly what species are you talking about?


    Bookmark   February 20, 2013 at 8:24PM
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kudzu9(Zone 8a - PNW)

The plants you have are unlikely to "grow" unless they just put out those culms a few weeks ago. Once a culm comes up, it reaches its full height in a matter of weeks and will never get any taller. If you prune it to stimulate growth, you will simply be cutting off something that will never grow back. The growth you will get will be in the future when new shoots come up. If you have a healthy plant, each year's culms will be larger than the last until the bamboo reaches the maximum size for its species and for your growing conditions.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2013 at 9:31PM
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msmorningsong(SW FL 10A)

Thank you very much Kudzu. That has cleared that little thought right up, lol.
My reason for asking is what many probably grow it for-as a privacy fence. It will only need to go to about 10 feet in height to give me what I need-get rid of view of nosey, nutty neighbor.
Since in Florida, and what they call soil here is actually sand, any suggestions on proper soil?
*Kentiuc- species/cultivars are Bambusa ventricosa - Buddha Belly 'Kimmei' and Bambusa vulgaris 'Wamin' - Dwarf Buddha's Belly.

*Which now raises yet another question: I have previously read that the dwarf 'wamin' needs some (dappled?) shade? Is placing this bamboo under large canopy tree a good idea? I have option of either morning sun, or afternoon sun, with protection from either.
(protection from morning and then strong afternoon, and reverse.) Where is best to place?
TY again for my newbie questions-answers to this really lovely bamboo :)

This post was edited by MsMorningSong on Thu, Feb 21, 13 at 12:22

    Bookmark   February 21, 2013 at 12:19PM
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Bamboo grows quickly and can reach full maturity within a single growing season. If you are trying to limit the growth of buddhas belly, keep it deprived of water if possible. This will make the stems stick out like a big fat buddha belly, hence the name.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2013 at 12:58PM
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kudzu9(Zone 8a - PNW)

I wouldn't over-think placement: these species typically like full sun, but will do fine with less. The maximum height listed for the Buddha Belly varieties is about 15-16 feet under ideal conditions.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2013 at 5:34PM
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Bambusa ventricosa - Buddha Belly 'Kimmei' here in Texas reached it's full height in about 4 years. It topped out at just over 40 feet. It does not put on the 'bellies' except when I grow it in a pot. In the ground, it shows no signs of any swelling on the internodes.

Bambusa vulgaris 'Wamin' here, has never gotten over ten feet(yet), but it will make bellies no matter what. Heavy shade, all sun, wet soil nor dry soil will make any difference at will belly no matter what.


    Bookmark   February 21, 2013 at 8:51PM
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kudzu9(Zone 8a - PNW)

I was unclear; I was only talking about the dwarf varieties...but kentuck is right about the size of the standard B. ventricosa, which is listed at having a max height of 55 feet!

    Bookmark   February 21, 2013 at 11:49PM
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msmorningsong(SW FL 10A)

TY everyone for your help! I feel a lot more confident about my efforts. Will post pictures when I have them.
Love knowing Wamin will belly no matter what. And Texas-type soil is most likely what I have.
I was also unclear kudzu-I am not really trying to limit height as much as making sure it covers view of strange neighbor asap, so really meant how fast it will grow.
And placement of the Wamin-this one is DH's and he is fairly new to gardening of any kind, and want him to succeed-this way he'll keep helping me with my endeavors. (Summers here will bake you in 5 mins. watering help essential, lol)

    Bookmark   February 23, 2013 at 12:43PM
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kudzu9(Zone 8a - PNW)

I didn't think you were trying to limit height. However, to try to clarify what to expect in terms of growth:

Bamboo usually sends up shoots only once a year. The shoots will typically grow a couple of inches a day, and reach their full, permanent height in several weeks. However, you may or may not get any new growth in the first year or even two after you plant your plants in the ground because bamboo often puts most of its energy into establishing a root structure first.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2013 at 3:07PM
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msmorningsong(SW FL 10A)

Ahaa...that makes perfect sense. I think with your remark on growing a few inches per day for several weeks I might get them tall enough the first year, and certainly the second.
They will be planted on a raised island, that will also give me some added height.
TY :)

    Bookmark   February 23, 2013 at 3:12PM
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kudzu9(Zone 8a - PNW)

I've had some large, mature bamboo grow as much as 4" a day. You will be fascinated once your plants start shooting. Sometimes the first year's shoots will not grow as big as the existing culms, but, each year after that, the new ones will get bigger than the previous ones until the plant maxes out.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2013 at 3:16PM
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Ok. Let's clear this up. Bambusa Ventricosa "Buddha belly", which is the original buddha belly, has a tendency in humid environments to grow without swollen internodes, rather, it has long straight internodes. If you want it to "belly", you have to keep it in a pot, or keep it slightly underwatered, or both. Same rules apply to Bambusa Ventricosa Kimmei. Now, bambusa vulgaris wamin, the second species to be commonly named buddha belly, is less cold tolerant, but will dependably produce swollen internodes. Any of these species are considered dwarfs if their internodes swell. Wamin is an open clumper and ventrioca is a tight clumper. As for growth rate, a healthy bamboo shoot grows to it's maximum height in about 40 days. So if its to grow to 100 ft, then it will grow an average of two and half feet per day. Some have been measured to grow up to four feet in one day. The width of the shoot does not change. So if you see a buddha belly like this one in my garden, is five inches thick, then that's how thick the shoot was when it came from the ground. After the 40 days, the shoot becomes a cane, dropping it's sheaths, branching and leafing out. Each year, a healthy bamboo cane (culm) sends up one or more shoots, up to a maximum of eight in it's life time. Each cane will live about ten years before dying. But by that time there will be lots of younger canes around it. As the canes mature, their inner walls get thicker, but the cane remains the same thickness.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2013 at 3:15AM
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msmorningsong(SW FL 10A)

Excellent information! Thank you John. That cleared up many lingering questions! :)

    Bookmark   March 18, 2013 at 8:36AM
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