Hope For Broken Culms?

mbluetyphoon(9)June 3, 2006


I had just bought four 5 gallon containers of Phyllostachys nigra "Hale". I had a little problem transporting them home, which resulted in breaking two extremely long culms at the top of each shoot.

One damaged culm is 12 ft. tall. It is softer and more flexible like a whip, but, unfortunately, was broken in three places at the top foot of the shoot.

The other damaged culm is about 7 ft. tall. It is more woody and harder than the other shoot that was broken. This shoot was broken at a foot and a half from the top.

My husband and I put splints on each culm where they broke, gave them more support by resting them against our fence, and gave everyone a good soaking.

What can I expect to now happen to these two culms? Will they continue to grow? If so, how tall could I expect them to be? Because of these culms breaking where they did, would this influence, like lessen, any future growth of each bamboo plant in each of their individual containers? Is there anything else we can do for these culms? Did my husband and I do the right thing by putting these splints on them?

Thank you for your time and attention to my message!


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unautre(8B San Antonio TX)

I splinted a B. tuldoides culm bent over at about 6 ft off the ground by the wind before it hardened. The nodes above the bend have put out branches and leaves.

Many bamboo vendors ship a clump of 2 or 3 culms, truncated leaving only one or two nodes with branches and leaves, since the reduced root system can't support the nutrient/moisture demands of all the foliage of the full height culms.

I've seen culms pushed over by kids at ground level, with the bend point being pretty well spintered, but the foliage of the entire culm stays alive and green with the culm lying on the ground.

I don't think your bamboo will have any problems surviving the transport damage. It may not make it for other reasons, but for the that damage.

Get it planted in rich soil and keep it moist.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2006 at 11:53PM
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kudzu9(Zone 8a - PNW)

Your bamboo will be fine, but the parts above the breaks may die. Bamboo culms are not like other plants, and culms do not regrow if they are broken off or pruned. You can try splinting, but I'm sceptical. If it were me, I'd prune to just above the culm node below each break, and accept that it will not be until next year that you will get new, full-height growth. (If you don't prune back to just above the culm node, you'll have a hollow tube above the node that collects rain water and may promote rot.)

    Bookmark   June 4, 2006 at 2:43PM
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Genericboi(10 CA)

as long as it's not completely severed, keep it hanging on for as long as possible. the broken parts on top still have carbohydrates and starches or whatever in them still. That is something that the "goood" parts of the plant can still use. once that top part is completely dried and dead, you can cut it off for aesthetics.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2006 at 8:35PM
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