Black Bamboo question

monicatx(z8 TX)October 21, 2005

Hi: Last year my daughter planted two huge pots of what she calls Black Bamboo (the stems are black). It is at least 12 feet high and the pots sit on a sheltered deck in the Austin, TX area. This is zone 8, but her area is sometimes considered zone 7+. The bamboo is doing well.

Today she told me that she is considering planting one of the bamboo plants in the ground. Where she is considering is just fill dirt, partial sun, drains dry easily, deer can reach it, but there is a sprinker system there. Is this a good move?

She has never grown bamboo before and she loves these plants. I know nothing about bamboo. We decided the smart thing to do would be to ask this group for their advice.

What do you think?

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meat(z6 MO)

It should do just fine in that enviroment . I would just caution you to read up on containment of bamboo or at least make sure that you are planting it in a place where you can afford it to spread out.

    Bookmark   October 21, 2005 at 10:18AM
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rob_e(SA TX 8b)

I say"GO FOR IT".remove unwanted culms as they pop up,
to help keep it under control. and should you you
need help reducing it's size.just say "FREE BAMBOO"
R.R.

    Bookmark   October 21, 2005 at 11:33AM
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kudzu9(Zone 8a - PNW)

Momica-
Sounds like ideal planting conditions. If it starts spreding out too much, chopping rhizomes that run near the surface using a sharp shovel will limit outward growth...or she can dig new plants and give them to her friends.

    Bookmark   October 21, 2005 at 12:49PM
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kentuck_8b(__)

It grows very well here in Texas. A very fast spreader and does best in partial to full shade. Keep it watered well during dry spells. Deer don't bother mine at all.

Good Luck

Kt

    Bookmark   October 21, 2005 at 9:03PM
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unautre(8B San Antonio TX)

nobody has ventured a guess as to which of several black bamboos she has.

    Bookmark   October 21, 2005 at 9:13PM
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kentuck_8b(__)

Phyllostachys nigra, the common black bamboo.

Estimated height: 30 feet
Culm diameter: 2 inches
Cold hardiness: 0 degreees F

Kt

    Bookmark   October 21, 2005 at 9:24PM
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monicatx(z8 TX)

Thank you for all the prompt replies. I have forwarded them to my daughter and we'll be able to discuss or actually plant this Sunday.

Thanks again. Monica

    Bookmark   October 21, 2005 at 9:44PM
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strangelove

Yep, you should plant your black bamboo which will do wonders when planted in the ground. Not quite sure if you said you planted them in the ground or if you still have them in containers; but if they have been growing in containers you should have a well developed root ball which will grow really well. I have grown Phyllostachys nigra - Dikokuchiku, "Black Bamboo" that I bought in 5 gallon containers. I let them sit on my deck in 10 gallon containers for a year and they grew to about 6 feet. In a years time the roots had literally filled the entire container. I gave them to my neighbor who could plant them in the ground. We divided the two plants into thirds giving a total of six plants, enough root and rizomes to fill 5 gallon containers. We dug a trench and lined the sides with 5mil rubber sheeting, 2 feet deep, and spaced the bamboo 2 feet appart in a line, so that it would grow to be a hedge. That was about 10 months ago, since they have been in the ground the bamboo are really happy now and shooting to 15 feet. Culms are about 1 1/2 inch in diameter. Really nice bamboo hedge developing.

This winter we plan to divide the plants one more time which should give my neighbor a hedge 24 feet long to cover the entire rear of the backyard, which should give her all the privacy she needs. In the next few months is a good time to plant, since by spring the bamboo will be ready to put up new shoots.

    Bookmark   October 22, 2005 at 5:00AM
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foxd(z5b/6a)

Rubber sheeting as a rhizome barrier?

    Bookmark   October 22, 2005 at 1:36PM
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kudzu9(Zone 8a - PNW)

strangelove-
I love black bamboo and acquired most of mine from someone who had planted it next to his koi pond. After several years, the rhizomes had penetrated his 40 mil EPDM liner in multiple places, and he wanted it removed.

If it were me, I wouldn't bother with 5 mil plastic. It won't provide a barrier, but will restrict draining and the subsurface flow of water. If you want to control it, practice rhizome pruning with a sharp shovel once or twice a year in the fall. You can get barrier that's specific to bamboo, but it requires digging a 30" deep trench and costs about $2 per running foot...and it doesn't always work either. I'm cheap and lazy, so I rhizome prune.

    Bookmark   October 22, 2005 at 2:00PM
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koniferkid_nj(6)

A Garden and Pond Center by me planted bamboo in 45mil pond liner as a barrier.In 3 seasons, they had the bamboo penetrate it and cause severe damage to their main pond which is over 10,000gal.Major disaster...I use 60mil rhizome barrier but still am worried someday it will go thru it because the beds are only 8by8feet.I will have to rhizome prune soon...

    Bookmark   October 22, 2005 at 2:09PM
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strangelove

Oops didn't mean to alarm anybody, 5mil is way off, it's 60mil TPO and it's reiforced with a fiberglass mesh. Better than nothing right and my roofers left me with a lot of extra so it's free.
I know that it's really hard to keep the rizomes from poking through, but I had to say something to my neighbor so she would agree to put the bamboo into the ground. So far so good with the root barrier and if the rizomes do wander thats ok too, I can just dig them up and re-plant them somewhere else or rizome prune like you say.

Here is a link that might be useful: Link to TPO Ultraply used as rizome barrier

    Bookmark   October 24, 2005 at 3:59AM
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tobydmv(DFW)

Why not pot them at ground level in a cedar box?
I've been considering this but i'm not sure black bamboo does well in my zone in full sun 7. I was thinking of
1x4 bottom with 1x6 sides 8' long. Drill holes in the bottom to drain..any thoughts on that?

    Bookmark   October 26, 2005 at 11:44AM
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seattleboo(Everett, Wa)

Sand, sand, and more sand. Easy to weed, easy to root prune, looks tropical, lasts forever! Dig the ditch, pour in the sand. Make a drink with an umbrella. Enjoy.

    Bookmark   October 26, 2005 at 7:17PM
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aerieaviary_gmail_com

I just bought some black bamboo (Phyllostachys nigra) that comes in a 3.6 gallon pot, and is about 6 feet tall. It has no black culms yet. I am planning on planting it in a high density resin pot that holds about 20 gallons and keeping it in our sunroom/ aviary that has 9' ceilings. The label on the bamboo says not to drill drainage holes in the pot (as I would ordinarily do- these HDR planters don't have any to begin with) but I wanted to check people's opinion on this before I fill the thing with gravel and dirt and the bamboo itself. Thanks for your help!

    Bookmark   July 2, 2009 at 7:38AM
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kudzu9(Zone 8a - PNW)

I don't know why there would be an instruction to not have drainage holes unless it would be to prevent rhizomes (roots) from escaping. I always keep my bamboo in pots with drainage holes as it is much easier to maintain proper moisture levels. If you have any rhizomes come out of the holes, this can easily be dealt with by pruning them off when they appear...it's no big deal. Lastly, if you are growing bamboo indoors, you should consider misting the leaves, especially during the winter heating months.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2009 at 1:50PM
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suzeprich(6)

I planted a rhizome in June, in part sun (dappled at best) on a hill with good drainage. Added compost and rain has been steady all spring & summer. I am in 6/7. Mulched well. The plant has already at least quadrupled in size & its beautiful. I am looking forward to a grove. Deer are all over the place here & they never touch it. I plan to Rhizome prune per Kudzu's advice. Good luck w/ yours!

    Bookmark   July 30, 2009 at 11:10PM
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subtropix

Deer never touch bamboo! In fact, they seem to love to retreat to thick groves for protection. Time to import those baby panda though!

    Bookmark   August 1, 2009 at 3:20PM
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monicatx(z8 TX)

Yes. This is a hard year for deer in my area but they have not come near my daughter's black bamboo. I haven't seen any panda's tho.

monicatx

    Bookmark   August 1, 2009 at 3:47PM
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