Help with sad looking bamboo!

_JAKE_(5-6)April 11, 2013

I bought an 8ft tall giant japanese timber bamboo in Vancouver (mild weather) And brought it home to my much colder area. The first three nights dipped down to -12 celsius and then got nice and warm. The bamboo is currently planted in the ground with good drainage and an abundance of organic fertilizer and has been watered regularily. Day temperatures range from 10 to 20 celsius and nights don't get cooler than -5. However all but some of the leaves on the very top have turned yellow or dry crusty brown. I can see a new pointy shoot emerging out of the dirt that has ceased growing since I planted it. Is this normal spring time behavior for this species or do I need to interveen and try to save it? And if so what can I do? Thanks for your input!

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kudzu9(Zone 8a - PNW)

That's not normal spring behavior. It would help to know what species you have. If it is really a Phyllostachys, it should be able to handle those temps. I'd like to know how long this plant was in a pot before you bought it. When bamboo divisions are made and potted up they normally need 3-6 months to recover from the shock and to make sure the transplant shock hasn't harmed them. Also, is it dropping leaves? In any case, a photo would help.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2013 at 3:28PM
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_JAKE_(5-6)

I will get a picture up on here another time but no the leaves arnt falling off just withering and drying out. I also have three types of bamboo in the front yard that is doing the same thing if that's another clue?

    Bookmark   April 15, 2013 at 2:08AM
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kudzu9(Zone 8a - PNW)

Are you getting strong winds?

Did the three other bamboo get planted at the same time? If not, how long have they been in the ground? And what species are they?

    Bookmark   April 15, 2013 at 2:49AM
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_JAKE_(5-6)

yes we get some wind from time to time but never anything extreme a few large plants blew over on one occasion. The three smaller bamboos were planted last june and are all hardy to my are according to the people who i bought them from who specialize in bamboo (fargesia natida and phyllostachys aureosulcata and Phyllostachys atrovaginata). They were all green and fine all winter. They were all buried under the snow and then i uncovered them and they turned brown in places a few weeks later. The large timber bamboo (phyllostachys vivax i think) was just planted a couple weeks ago.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2013 at 2:51PM
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kudzu9(Zone 8a - PNW)

My best guess after the info you have provided and the picture is that you have cold damage, and there is nothing you can do to remedy the situation other than wait. I don't think that the bamboo is permanently damaged, but you will lose that foliage. In a couple of months you should have new leaf tips showing.

It is true that the various species you have should be hardy in your Zone. However, "hardy" simply means it won't die in the winter. It does not mean that you won't have leaf damage and culms possibly dying each winter, but being replaced during the growing season. People in your Zone, for example, often lose all aboveground growth each winter (see picture link below for Zone 6 NY).

Here is a link that might be useful: F. nitida

    Bookmark   April 15, 2013 at 11:33PM
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