Will this bamboo live?

avery09June 27, 2013

Hey everyone. I'm new to garden web. Just moved to Oregon from Indiana! Most of my house plants are rather small and was wondering if bamboo was a feasible larger houseplant?
Yesterday the people down the road were digging large bamboo out of the ally way and putting it out for trash. i stole a large piece to see if I could grow it?
Being from Indiana, I haven't seen bamboo often. I know they get very large but with pruning can they be kept indoors?
Another question. The piece I took has 5 or 6 inches of root all around... do you think it will live?

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It will definitely live as long as you don't let it dry out. The roots need to be kept moist.

As far as a houseplant goes, it depends on which kind of bamboo you have.


    Bookmark   June 27, 2013 at 9:53PM
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kudzu9(Zone 8a - PNW)

I think that looks iffy. It may live, but normally you need a bigger rootball to insure it survives.

Also, you don't prune bamboo like you do other plants. Whatever you cut off will not grow back, nor will it encourage other growth.

Lastly, why do you want to keep it indoors as a houseplant? In Oregon, this bamboo will be evergreen and grow well. Indoors it may do ok, but it will be a challenge to keep it healthy, alive and looking decent over the long term.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2013 at 12:03AM
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I'm a 22 year old living in a studio apartment. I have a lot of smaller plants but want something that will grow larger. No yard to plant things in sadly.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2013 at 7:31AM
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I'm a 22 year old living in a studio apartment. I have a lot of smaller plants but want something that will grow larger. No yard to plant things in sadly.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2013 at 7:32AM
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kudzu9(Zone 8a - PNW)

If it survives, it will be an interesting experiment for you, but given that it was a large bamboo -- probably some sort of Phyllostachys -- its suitability for your apartment may not be ideal. Good luck.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2013 at 11:18AM
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Thanks kudzu. It will be an adventure, we will see what happens. :)

    Bookmark   June 29, 2013 at 12:59PM
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kudzu9(Zone 8a - PNW)

Good luck. I have grown bamboo inside, but it was in a tall-ceiling room with lots of natural light. Even so, it still was an effort to keep it looking good, particularly in winter when it's dry inside and the plant should be misted several times a week. The link below may be helpful.

Here is a link that might be useful: Bamboo indoors

    Bookmark   June 29, 2013 at 1:46PM
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Some bamboo grows short and is suitable for indoors. I tried to keep a dwarf bamboo indoors, but decided to plant outdoor. I already have so many indoors plants to take care of.

    Bookmark   July 1, 2013 at 12:29AM
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I hope this doesn't offend anyone but, In my opinion the plant will not survive. That is a running bamboo and without the length of rhizome attached the plant may live for a year or two but it will not put up any shoots without rhizome attached. See a running bamboo needs a length of rhizome with viable buds on it to survive. The buds can grow into a rhizome or another culm or cane. Without the viable buds it can never put up shoots. So it may live out it's life but never spread so it will eventually die off. Like Kudzu9 says you need to get a much bigger rootball with rhizome attached to the culm.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2013 at 1:12AM
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Here's my two cents. That bamboo could be a clumping bamboo in zone 8. So, the running theory is not solid. Secondly, all of those hair roots could be removed and it would still thrive. You need to cut it down to just a few nodes though. When new bamboo species are introduced through U.S. quarantine, all of those roots are removed to wash away every spec of sand and tiny bug. I received 21 bamboo divisions from the U.S.D.A for research through UPS and they had barely any root and only a few inches of cane. Four monthes later, all have shot many times and are doing great.
I'm no expert, but I started my bamboo collection by cutting roots out of the ground (not buying plants), so my knowledge comes from hands on experience. One rule is for sure when it comes to bamboo, and that is every rule comes with at least one exception. I have seen the deadest of bamboo roots come back and the heathiest die. I have seen ventricosa thriving in almost standing water. I've had bamboo flower and not die. I grow a particular species not thats not supposed to grow here.
As far as growin indoors, bamboo thrive with at least 4-6 hours of sunlight, so if you have a sunny window, put it there. You need to mist the leaves when growing indoors, because they can become dry inside.
If you could post more photos, I could probably identify it and give you better advice.
Good luck.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2013 at 4:35PM
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If it's a clumping bamboo I think it will survive but a runner I don't think it will survive. Try Pseudosasa Japonica for indoors in a pot. You will be much happier in my opinion. I grow 38 different species of bamboo and have for 15 years. I wish people would pick their words more carefully instead of trying to make people look like idiots. I have several years of hands on experience with many different types of bamboo. I don't comment unless I know what I'm talking about. I don't claim to know everything about bamboo but I don't try to make people look stupid either.

This post was edited by gardener1 on Sun, Jul 7, 13 at 19:42

    Bookmark   July 7, 2013 at 7:25PM
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Dear Gardener1,
I have read this entire post carefully to make sure you were talking about me. I'm 99 percent sure you are, so if you were, I would like to extend a sincere apology for coming off as a know it all.
I did however begin my post with "two cents" and the only remark I disagreed with was that by looking at that picture, factored with the growing zone, that it may not be a runner. I said the "running theory" is not solid. That remark was not to belittle others or make them look stupid. You did however come off with assuredness that the bamboo in question is a runner.
All I said was, it may not be. In your post following mine, you said it may not be a runner. So, I can't figure out where you're frustration is coming from. Nothing I said disagreed or debunked your years of knowledge and experience. I'm sure you are an excellent bambooist. But, this person asked for everyone's advice on the matter and while brevity may not be my strong suit, I only wanted to let them know that the rules of bamboo are very broad and not always steadfast. I will take your advice however and mind my p's and q's if I have anything to say in the future, that is not completely congruent, with others on this forum, especially you.
One more thing though, I too have extensive experience with bamboo, and I don't know everything, but I will comment on the things I do know. Like I said before, I harvest bamboo regularly and remove big whole clumps of bamboo from all over my area. My experience comes from seeing dozens of different species growing in almost every type of environment. My advice comes from that diverse experience. I don't retell what I've read or repeat other posts. My advice is real time, organic and living. The ABS only updates bamboo statistics every few years or so, while I see those updated statistics now. So, I may say something now that will go against popular thought, but I know it, because I grow it, I farm it, I don't go down to the local nursery, buy a potted bamboo, grow it for a long time and call myself knowledgeable.
I have taken 10 bamboo plants of the same species and grown them in 10 different substrates, just to see which grows best or retains the most water or nutrients. I have air layered, ground layered and have companion planted at least 12 different secondary crops with bamboo, while observing the effects. I came to this website to learn new ideas and to share discoveries i've made "hands on" with bamboo, but it seems that is not the same concept others might have for this site.
Mostly, new people to bamboo will post a question about bamboo and about a half dozen "regulars" will give them good advice or tell them to look up a previous post. There doesn't seem to be much interest in learning or exchanging new ideas or concepts, just giving basic advice to newbies or one timers. I can tell you this, some things I see are not "Status Quo" and will not be the same advice that you may give, but you're going to need to live with that. I have backed up what I've said with proof on other posts and would be happy to do so again. If I could have rewritten my previous post with more sensitivity in mind, I might have said this; "I can't tell from the picture if that is a runner or clumper, but because you are in zone 8, it could be a clumper." "Other posters might think it's a runner, so sorry to be contradictory." The funny thing is that it probably is a runner and the only thing I said was because of the lack of pictorial evidence, combined with your grow zone, that it could be a clumper and if it is a clumper, it could live.
As for the long monologue following, it was meant to be a general concept of rules for bamboo, not to disqualify others. When physicians diagnose a patient, they are not offended when the patient follows up for a second or third opinion, because they know they might be wrong. They are not insulted when a second physician disagrees (most of the time). Because they know the theory of medicine is theory. Just like the theory of bamboo. I have dug up and have planted over 1,000 big bamboo plants and clumps, and the more I learn the less i'm sure about, so I will always take exception when someone states a "SureFire" opinion about bamboo, when in fact, there is not enough evidence to be sure. Once again, i'm sincerely apologetic for having wronged you textually, but I don't appreciate the passive-aggressive manner in which you expressed your feelings towards me. The tone of my posts are usually never "I'm 100 percent sure" as your previous post was saying "That is a running bamboo..." Because "I" have enough experience to know better.
Another poster in a different post was looking for bamboo ID help. His picture looked like 'wamin', but because he lives in Asia, he may in fact have a different species of bamboo which displays swollen internodes (not ventricosa), which has yet to clear U.S. quarantine called Eutuldoides 'Swollen internode". It looks very much like 'wamin', but because we don't know of that species here in America yet, we would assume the bamboo in question was 'wamin' or 'ventricosa'. My opinion was that it's 'wamin' but there is still a chance that it is not.
"Freedom is hammered out on the anvil of discussion, dissent, and debate." Hubert H. Humphrey
Intellectual freedom within the walls of this forum will come from debate, not from a popular opinion and not always with a tone of submission. I don't know it all and I don't reply on most posts, especially posts about running bamboo, but when someone is asking for an opinion pertaining to an area where I have enough experience to speak up, I will. And in most cases, I don't give opinions as if they were fact, as you did with the running bamboo statement.
I rue the day when my own pride or hubris, drives my ego to relenquish my responsibilities for making you feel this way, so please allow me to close by once again apologizing for hurting your feelings. My approach at times comes off too scientific with little regard for others. I will work on that.
Good Day!

    Bookmark   July 10, 2013 at 6:11PM
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Runner or clumper, it would most likely survive here in my area. With that many roots, I get about a 95% survival rate at any time of the year, although in the hot Summer heat, it is tough on a fresh transplant.

Obviously, it would need to be planted in a shady area or even better, in a pot and kept well watered.

I cannot speak for other regions as bamboo(and other plants) react quite differently in different areas.

Runners are more difficult with that small amount of roots, but it's survival rate is still very high. I've recently dug clumpers with less than 1/3 that much rootmass and they have all survived.

Transplanting is only half of the job. How well it is taken care of after transplanting will tell whether the bamboo will survive ort not.


    Bookmark   July 10, 2013 at 9:44PM
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kudzu9(Zone 8a - PNW)

Let's hope Avery posts back in a month or two so we find out what happened....

    Bookmark   July 10, 2013 at 10:27PM
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I dug(pulled up) four Moso culms and each had about that same amount of rootmass and each lived. I think that the area or geography has a lot to do with survival rate. Here, with high humidity, things will easily survive as long as they never dry out.


    Bookmark   July 11, 2013 at 9:52PM
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Hey everyone!
Just an update. That bamboo did end up dieing. But to my amazement a piece that the landscapers had dug out and forgot to pick up off the pavement is growing wonderfully in the middle of the sidewalk! So that is my new bamboo. I will do my best to post pictures of this plant later today. My original plant had started to take root but the soil wasn't well drained and the old roots ended up rotting off the stalk.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2013 at 12:00PM
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I must apologize myself for coming off so angry. I'm sorry but it just sounded like you were saying that I had never grown a bamboo that wasn't purchased in a pot and that I had never grown a bamboo from rhizomes so I couldn't possibly know what I was talking about. But I have done many of the same things you have and my experience although may not be quite as extensive as yours I'm only commenting on my own experience as well. I'm sorry if I took it the wrong way and I hope we can put this behind us and learn from each others experience. I hope all your bamboo does well. I accept your apology and hope you will accept mine. Thank You

    Bookmark   July 16, 2013 at 7:34PM
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Gardener, Sorry to come off so impolitely. I'd love to start over.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2013 at 11:24AM
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