repotting/dividing Golden Bamboo in containers

pluvious(z7 NYC)September 22, 2006

i've got six large containers of golden bamboo on my back patio. they're all about 8' tall. after 1 1/2 years in their current containers, i'm worried that they'll soon be rootbound. so far, the plants look great, with no discoloration, a good new culm grown in spring and fall. but i'm pretty sure at least one of the containers is in need of dividing/repotting to give the bamboo more space to spread out. i have a couple of questions:

when is the best time of year to do this division/repotting? spring? or now, fall? (as i said, all the containers have some good new culms coming up, their fall growth spurts.) i was thinking that if i did some now, the smaller bamboo with extra soil in bigger containers might stand a better change of overwintering. (last winter was very mild in nyc)

what's the best way to divide the plants? i was planning on tipping the plants on their sides, shimmying them out of the pots, then, cutting them in half and repotting each half in separate pots. what tool is best suited to cutting the roots in half for best division? what's the best way to divide the plant?

many thanks for all responses.

david

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unautre(8B San Antonio TX)

The rhizomes are running now, the plants are active, let them run.

I'd say divide at the ene of the dormancy period, which would probably March up where you are. Specifically, remember when your shoots started appearing late spring, and come back 4-6 weeks before that.

For cutting rhizomes, the best tool I've found is reciprocating saw with 24 tpi metal-cutting blace.

I suppose a good-sized limb lopper would work as well.

You should cut so you have at least 2 culms per rhizoem segment.

I think cutting in half sounds like too big for going back into the same containers, needing the task to be repeated too soon. 1/4 or 1/2?

    Bookmark   September 22, 2006 at 5:40PM
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pluvious(z7 NYC)

new culms started appearing about the end of april last year, so march sounds about right for the best time to divide. i guess that will be the first work i do next spring on my container garden.

thanks for the reply. i appreciate it.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2006 at 2:40PM
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