Bamboo Newbie - How do I thin, etc.?

everythingirl1July 24, 2009

Hi everybody. I am a bamboo newbie- I bought a 10 gal. bambusa bamboo on clearance from Home depot last year. They told me it was clumping, but I am really not sure.

It had mealy bugs and I just sprayed it with organocide- figuring if it survives, great. If not, no biggie bc it was very cheap. I planted it in a far corner of the yard where it gets brutal full sun. Amazingly, it survived all year, leafed out considerably, and this year it sent up a 15' shoot within a matter of weeks. It is just now branching out. Amazing.

The lower part of the plant just has the same culms it came with - each about 4-5' tall. Do I need to thin the bamboo out so that it looks like those stands where you can clearly see the bamboo poles coming out of the ground? How do I thin (cut culms at the base, etc.?)

Also, what PH does bambusa like? What type of fertilizer? I have given it about 4-5 fish emulsion feedings in the past year (foliar spray) but I just read online that bamboo loves fertilizer.....should I fert. more often?

I planted several slash pines nearby- will the bambusa be okay with the acid loving pines?

THANKS!

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kudzu9(Zone 8a - PNW)

Bamboo tolerate variations in pH, and don't usually need fertilizer once established, although what you're using is fine. You can thin it whatever way you want as it won't hurt the plant...just be aware that whatever branches you prune out will not regrow. Home Depot often mislabels bamboo, so whether you have a clumping bamboo or not may take a few years to find out.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2009 at 12:52PM
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fredgpops(z9 N/ CA)

Best not to thin a new plant for a couple of years. General rule on thinning mature plants is to take out 1/3 of the plant per year focusing on removing mature culms only. Rgds

    Bookmark   August 3, 2009 at 4:00PM
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