Dendrocalamus Amoenus questions

irun5kJuly 3, 2010

Hi, I purchased and planted a 3 gallon Dendrocalamus Amoenus about a month ago. A couple questions I'm not sure I have answers for:

1) About a week after planting, a couple new shoots came up. Now, just 3 weeks or so later, those shoots are the tallest ones in the clump. They've grown from nothing to several feet where as the existing culms growth is measured more in inches. Does this seem strange to anyone?

2) The two new shoots appear to have some sort of black fuzz or fur growing on them. It isn't a mold or fungus because it doesn't rub off, it appears to be something the bamboo grew on its own. Not really that different from the fuzz on some lawn weeds, expect this fuzz is black. Is this a normal occurrence?

Thanks guys!

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kudzu9(Zone 8a - PNW)

I can't grow that one in my Zone, but the growth sounds normal for many bamboo. When most of my larger bamboo shoot, it's not unusual to get 2"-4" of height per day. As for your existing culms, they reach their final height in the same year they come up, so you shouldn't expect them to continue to get any higher.

Here is a link to some photos of your bamboo species...see if you can spot anything like the black fuzz you mentioned.

Here is a link that might be useful: D. minor 'Amoenus'

    Bookmark   July 3, 2010 at 9:06PM
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Excellent, thanks for the link. I found the fuzz! Guessing it is normal.*&Genus=*&s=8

As to the existing culms, they're only about 3 feet tall and about as big around as a slurpee straw. It seemed strange to me that they would almost stop growing at that size, especially since new shoots have come up that are now exceeding that size. At any rate, the plant appears to be healthy so I'm sure it will figure out its own way forward in the world :)

    Bookmark   July 4, 2010 at 7:49AM
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Actually, after looking at my plant again, I'm not sure I understand bamboo yet. I assumed when I bought the plant in a 3 gallon pot that the vertical things that made up the plant were culms. However, even though they have leaves and sort of look like culms, they aren't very erect... and as noted, they aren't growing much. They also have "side branches".

The two new shoots are very erect though and even though they are small in diameter, they look more like the photos I've seen. Was the existing growth on my plant when I purchased it just some primordial mass? Or were they real culms that just won't ever fully properly because they came up while in a small pot? (worth noting that the plant was nowhere close to being rootbound when I potted it.)

Thanks for the help so far. Bamboo is fun!

    Bookmark   July 4, 2010 at 8:17AM
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vajdak(8b TX)

That black fuzz is normal. Lots of bamboo shoots have some amount and variation of fuzz on them (on what's known as the culm sheath) and it tends to fall off as the culm matures. My Amoenus has the same thing right now.

As far as the difference in size; the plant you purchased was real small compared to the full grown size it will become so the smaller culms probably do look a lot like regular branches- mine did too. Especially with the larger leaves of Amoenus, the smaller culms will probably not stand very erect. And yes, those original culms are as tall as they'll ever get but new ones (especially the first ones you have now) should be larger each year and take on the characteristic form of that bamboo. BTW- that's one of my favorites- really nice coloration and tropical look.

    Bookmark   July 4, 2010 at 10:50AM
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Vajdak, does your Amoenus freeze back during the Winter?

Do you protect it during from the cold?


    Bookmark   July 4, 2010 at 11:15PM
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Thanks, I'm learning a lot. I guess the goal now is to just try and get as many shoots as possible so they'll keep "sizing up". I'm really curious how long it is going to take for this little clump of 3 foot slurpee straws to become one of the beautiful plants I'm seeing online! I agree this bamboo has a "traditional" stance to it... I love the exposed culms and the erect, tight clumping growth. The unique "ghost" like appearance is just an added bonus.

P.S. Kt, I've heard various reports on the cold tolerance of Amoenus... one local grower told me he doesn't grow or stock it because it isn't cold hardy at all, where as the grower I bought mine from said his plants made it though the last winter with lows in the 20's (including the exact plant I bought.)

    Bookmark   July 5, 2010 at 7:54PM
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vajdak(8b TX)

Kt- it will definitely freeze back here in central TX. I've had two in pots (protected in a greenhouse) and decided to try one in the ground this spring to see if the growth would be any better. If I don't see any difference later on, I'll probably pull it back out before the freezes. So far the pot's winning- fast draining soil has fostered two shoots as opposed to none in the native heavy clay soil here.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2010 at 8:26PM
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"some sort of black fuzz or fur growing on them"

The culm is the individual stem which shoots up from the rhizome. Culms branch out at the nodes. When a new culm shoots up, the nodes are covered in a sheathing. The sheathing often has hair-like structures on it. Sheathing (hair & all) will drop off early on as culm ages.

Here's my hairy Golden Hawaiian (pics just taken this morning)...

Another source of bamboo "fur" is the so-called bloom which develops on the surface of the culms. Your Dendrocalamus Amoenus might get a whitish "bloom" which looks like a powder covering the culm. This rubs off easily and so you shouldn't touch them if you want the effect to last long. It eventually wears off of older culms.

Here (again from garden this morning) you can see how thick the "fur" can get on a Teddy Bear bamboo...

The Teddy Bear can be rubbed without rubbing off the "fur" though the fur can be scratched or worn off. It feels velvety to the touch. (The undersides of the leaves are also velvety).

And here is the white bloom which produces the perception of a blue tint to a Tropical Blue bamboo...

    Bookmark   July 7, 2010 at 11:01AM
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Henon has a waxy gray coating on it's older culms.


    Bookmark   July 9, 2010 at 10:30PM
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