hardy bamboo didn't produce new shoots

egk47(Z6 OH)July 8, 2006


I have a small hardy bamboo patch (I believe it is "black" bamboo) that is 4 years old. When I planted the root, it produced one shoot, the next year two new shoots, the year after that 5 new shoots, but two were broken by my kids. This year the bamboo produced no new shoots. The older shoots are growing. Should I be concerned?


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kudzu9(Zone 8a - PNW)

If it is black bamboo (why do you think this is the species?), it's hardy to about zero F. In your Zone, black bamboo could be marginal, depending on the actual winter temps, the siting, the wind exposure, and the soil/water conditions. Having said all that, this is not normal for an established bamboo. You should be getting more and larger culms each year. What happens to existing culms in the winter? Do they defoliate?

    Bookmark   July 8, 2006 at 12:34PM
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egk47(Z6 OH)


The company sold several types of hardy bamboo and black is the one I remember it being. I could be wrong.

It was a mild winter and the culms do not defoliate. The bamboo looks fine, except for not producing any new culms this year.

Thanks for your help!


    Bookmark   July 8, 2006 at 2:56PM
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egk47(Z6 OH)

PS The bamboo is shielded from much of the wind by the neighboring house and the fence. It get more than 6 hours of sun a day and has been through colder winters than the last one.


    Bookmark   July 8, 2006 at 3:01PM
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kudzu9(Zone 8a - PNW)

I admit to being baffled. It sounds like it's healthy, and it's hardy enough. And you've had it in the ground far long enough to be well-established. Usually by the third year a transplanted bamboo is busting out with new culms. Just keep watering and fertilizing it this summer and hope for the best next year. If you would care to post a digital picture I'll see if I can offer anything more.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2006 at 12:33AM
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egk47(Z6 OH)


I realized that there is one other change. The canes are not standing as straight as before. They are bending over. I'll try to attach two photos to another thread.


    Bookmark   July 12, 2006 at 9:04PM
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kudzu9(Zone 8a - PNW)

I'd love to see pictures...

    Bookmark   July 13, 2006 at 2:31AM
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egk47(Z6 OH)

I discovered a patch of bamboo shoots about 4 feet away from the original patch in the grass! Most were broken, but I put a tomato cage around an unbroken one. I hope to transplant it, either this fall or spring (which would be better?)

Is sprouting 4 feet away from the original plant normal?


    Bookmark   July 13, 2006 at 2:34PM
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My black just put up its first culms for the year and I'm in 6b. Maybe you'll get something yet.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2006 at 4:29PM
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kudzu9(Zone 8a - PNW)

Transplant it while it is still relatively dormant in early spring before there is any shooting activity.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2006 at 1:05PM
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chuckr30(z5, GR-MI)

I'd say, for some reason, your bamboo is putting more energy into roots this year than into shoots. Could be due to the mild winter just past.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2006 at 10:41AM
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