Bamboo turning brown

Noclue80July 28, 2014

live out in AZ, and got 6 clums of is doing poorly and for the past 2 years hasnt grown any new shoots which they just started to recently...the leaves are not turning brown...but they are still soft to the touch...

They are getting the same amount of water as the other clums which have not turned.

I am worried this clum will die and the new shoots will die as well..can anyone diagnose or provide some insights into what is happening and ideas to correct it.

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Hello, From the photo it appears to be planted in a low area and the soil is much damper than the surrounding. Over water (and the resulting fungus) is possible. Is that area damp from just normal watering or is there some possible runoff from some undesirable location (esp. a pool)?

    Bookmark   July 28, 2014 at 6:26PM
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kudzu9(Zone 8a - PNW)

Arizona...what kind of temperatures have you been getting?

P.S.: It's "culm," not "clum."

    Bookmark   July 29, 2014 at 4:54AM
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I am currently in zone 9a...we been getting about 105-115 lately. however the heat has not affected the other plants, and is against the southwall..with a palo verde providing shade to the area.

Since its against a block wall..I will check behind the wall to see if the water is leaking out the other side as the my side of the wall sits higher then the other and water may escape very easily.

the wetness you see is that it just got watered.

If is fungus is there a product that will fight the fungus?

    Bookmark   July 29, 2014 at 12:16PM
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Are you watering with city water?

Bamboo is sensitive to chemicals in water sources--flouride, chlorine.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2014 at 12:20PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

if brick..could the wall be leaching into the soil??? .. its planted close enough to it ....

is the wall south facing.. ???

how about a further back pis.. so we can see the whole situation ...


    Bookmark   July 29, 2014 at 12:29PM
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Correct I am using city water. I had my chlorine test and is at 1.2...fluoride unsure..since the bamboo is on its own line for extra watering reasons I can see about a filtration on it...

yes, The wall is facing south, can brick material cause that?....right now I have this other photo I can upload another one when i get off can see the other clum to the left and its is really taking off with lots of green and shoots popping up.

I also saw that I have an extra line to this one for an extra 2 gals/hr of water....

    Bookmark   July 29, 2014 at 2:28PM
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Here is the full plant at 7pm..I checked the water loss. Still unsure what is happening...any more ideas?

P's sorry about the landscape..for some reason it shows portrait but then goes full landscape when loading

    Bookmark   July 29, 2014 at 10:10PM
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Somehow bamboo and Arizona sounds like an oxymoron. Bamboo are water lovers, any other Arizonans grow bamboo? (Okay, I know at least one species of cacti thrive here in NJ even though rainfall can range from 45-80 inches/year, but bamboo in Arizona?)

    Bookmark   July 30, 2014 at 4:03PM
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actually there are over 100 species of bamboo that grow in desert conditions.

Bamboo is very hardy when it comes to heat above 110 degrees, such as Timber bamboo. when it does get hot it gets really humid here during the monsoon season which help them cope.

We also have alot of orange groves here that thrive really well...if you ever visit you actually see how green phoenix area is naturally around our Greenbelt.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2014 at 12:14AM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

wall is south facing ...

you could literally be baking it.. in afternoon sun.. and it cant pump enough water.. to offset the heat ...

the wall could also be retaining heat.. long into the night.. which is usually a recovery period ...


    Bookmark   July 31, 2014 at 6:42AM
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sagolover(10a SoCal)

Is bamboo really so sensitive to chlorine? Tis could be the reason why the black boo my son has started to go south... not in a good way. I water all my seedlings with filtered water but the mature plants with tap water. So this could be a reason why it's not doing good? It looks almost like the one in Noclue's pics... :(

    Bookmark   August 3, 2014 at 3:40PM
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kudzu9(Zone 8a - PNW)

I do not consider bamboo to be sensitive to normal amounts of chlorine. I'm on city water and have lots of bamboo.

As for your son's black bamboo, mine is flowering this year and it looks terrible and will probably die. Bamboo flower rarely, but, when they do, it often happens over a 2-3 year period on a worldwide basis; it's called "gregarious flowering." This could be the reason your son's bamboo looks bad. Have him take a close look at the branches for seed heads. The link below has some pictures of what my black bamboo looks like.

Here is a link that might be useful: Ph. nigra flowering

    Bookmark   August 3, 2014 at 6:28PM
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sagolover(10a SoCal)

I know about flowering bamboo. I thought Phyllostachys nigra sp. was not flowering anywhere... yet. I did research regarding any flowering bamboo before purchasing it. If this is the case... I'll be sooo sorry for him... :((

    Bookmark   August 5, 2014 at 10:49PM
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kudzu9(Zone 8a - PNW)

One of the problems is that flowering is unpredictable, so, even if there are no reports of flowering, it doesn't keep you safe...although it can't hurt to try to improve your chances as you did.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2014 at 2:56PM
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I guess because the bamboo is around with many plants, the nutrients that the bamboo needs are not getting into it. Because it is new and the plants around it are older then their roots are more developed.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2014 at 9:04PM
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kudzu9(Zone 8a - PNW)

I've grown bamboo for over 15+ years, and my experience with about 80 different species is that they do not get out-competed for nutrients regardless of whether the plants are young or old.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2014 at 10:37PM
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mikess(San Diego)

I've got lots of bamboo (I've always called it "Golden bamboo" since the limbs are gold) and have always watered with city water. With the drought and increase in water prices I'm no longer so lavish with my watering so a couple months ago started watering with well water. Many of my plants and trees have responded well to the well water but although the bamboo is producing lots of new shoots out of the ground, the already existing bamboo is turning brown - actually a very light brown, almost white.

I'm really disappointed at what's going on since a lot of my bamboo was still green and healthy looking despite the drought conditions and me not watering, but even the healthy green bamboo is now turning brown. I've been spraying the leaves with the well water as well as soaking the ground so have stopped watering the leaves.

I've not had the water analyzed yet but know from reports that my groundwater is high in manganese and iron. When I first turn the hose on I smell the rotten egg smell of hydrogen sulfide gas. That could be the culprit.

Any experiences with this phenomenon anyone?



    Bookmark   October 12, 2014 at 4:23PM
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