How is best way to put bamboo in Pots

bamboozled(z8-9 TX)December 14, 2005

I am going to get quite a bit of bamboo and want to put it into pots. This is the clump variety, and was suggested in previous post that it may be a bambusa multiplex type, don't know for certain. The bamboo is about 12 feet tall and the culms are between 1/2" to 3/4 " in diameter.

I would appreciate you guys/girls knowledge on how to divide the plants at their root system, and any and all suggestions pertaining to bamboo. Thank you for your assistance! I have picked up a lot of information from this forum and really enjoy the sharing of information by the members. Someday I hope to be knowledgeable enough to give back.

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rob_e(SA TX 8b)

HI!dividing bamboo is easy,providing you have the right
tools,knowlege and most of all a strong back.
first of all,is the plant you are working with currently in the ground? or has it been dug up.
next,you will need to have all tools,pots and soil ready to go,you dont want the roots exposed for too much time.
use a sharp shovel,saw or loppers to make the cuts at the easiest places.
its better to make large clumps rather than lots of small ones.bamboo is tough,so dont worry about hurting it.
so just start chopping away,you should be ok.
i live in san antonio and could lend a hand if your not
too far away. good luck, Rob

    Bookmark   December 15, 2005 at 12:18PM
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kudzu9(Zone 8a - PNW)

Ditto on everything Rob E suggested. I will only add that I generally prefer to use a root pruning saw on divisions that have been in pots. It's quick and the narrow blade is maneuverable around small rocks in the soil. It looks horrifying to just saw down through the middle of all that rhizome mass, but I haven't lost a pot-stabilized division yet.

    Bookmark   December 15, 2005 at 2:33PM
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bamboozled(z8-9 TX)

Thanks for your replys. I went today and tried using a sawzall, that was a mistake. I should have went and bought that root pruning saw that kudzu9 suggested. It is really amazing how tough those rizhomes are!!!! Rob E, I'm just north of Houston, But I really appreciate your offer to help. Kudzo9, how do you go about using the root pruning saw? Are there any suggestions?
Thank you both again for your input.
Brian

    Bookmark   December 16, 2005 at 8:43PM
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kentuck_8b(__)

I use a machete when making pot divisions. I usually try to quarter the rootmass. The thin blade makes a clean cut through those tough rhizomes. I only use potting soil mix that has NO rocks.

When dividing in-ground clumpers, I use an axe, after I first dig around the culm(s). For dividing in-ground running bamboos, I just use a shovel since I never dig up the large rhizomes, only the smaller ones. In the past, I have used a limb pruner if enough rhizome was exposed.

I, too, have never lost a division from an established pot of boo. Some culms will sometimes die, but that is expected.

Good Luck

Kt

    Bookmark   December 16, 2005 at 10:04PM
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kudzu9(Zone 8a - PNW)

A SawzAll should work if you have a long blade (8"-9"). The root prunig saw I have is about that length and is about 1" wide at the handle and tapers to a point (sort of looks like a very skinny triangle). I usually just unpot the bamboo by lifting it up by a couple of bigger culms and have someone bang on the edges of the pot until it drops off. Then I set it back down, eyeball the rootball for the widest places to go between culms, and just start sawing by making a plunge cut into the center and cutting outward and down; them I'll go around to the other side and start at the center again and repeat. Once I've cut out the chunk I want, I look to see where I can make any other logical divisions in either piece. Then I immediately repot and water my new divisions.

    Bookmark   December 16, 2005 at 10:27PM
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bamboozled(z8-9 TX)

I was attempting to use the sawzall to cut the in ground rhizhomes. My battery went down fairly quick, however I had just charged it and may not have gotten a full charge on it.
Kudzu9 do I read you right when you use the root pruning saw on out of ground rhizomes? I notice that there appears to be very little actual root on the bamboo that I extract from the ground. Is this normal or should there be a lot of rooting.
Another question, have you tried stem or node propagation from the culms?
Brian

    Bookmark   December 16, 2005 at 10:52PM
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kudzu9(Zone 8a - PNW)

Brian-
My potted bamboo have very little rhizome showing aboveground, and they have a pretty decent belowground root mass if they have been in the pot for 6-12 months. When I'm doing divisions of bamboo from in-ground groves, I tend to use a root pruning saw, a corded SawzAll if I'm anywhere near electicity, and a lopper, depending on what I encounter. Typically, I try to get through the rhizomes in the gentlest way I can because I think it induces less shock. I have used an axe, but don't find it very efficient and I don't like the results.
I'm just getting into propagation from rhizomes because my bamboo are sending out a lot of nice runners in my new location.

    Bookmark   December 17, 2005 at 2:07AM
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bamboozled(z8-9 TX)

This bamboo is so thick it is really difficult to get between the culms to the ground. I am going to ask an embarrasing question. Is the whole cane of the bamboo from where it comes out of the ground to the top a culm, or is the culm an up shoot that has no leaves as yet?
The rhizomes I encounter are approximately an 1" -1 1/2" thicklike intertwining mass. It is impossible to know where to cut. Can the culm that accidently gets severed where it joins the rhizome sprout roots if it is placed in rooting hormone and placed in damp medium?
Again I thank you all with your suggestions and expertise.
Brian

    Bookmark   December 17, 2005 at 10:21AM
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kudzu9(Zone 8a - PNW)

Well, we haven't figured out what bamboo you have yet, and it might be a clumper which can have a denser and more compact root mass. If there's no obvious place to cut, you just do the best you can: plunge in between culms and cut straight down.
By the way, the culm is typically the total cane from the ground up. First bamboo shoots, and then it elongates, hardens off and leafs out to become a culm.

    Bookmark   December 17, 2005 at 12:23PM
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bamboozled(z8-9 TX)

Here is some more pictures, in hopes it will help with identification of this bamboo. Thanks for any suggestions you may be able to provide.



    Bookmark   December 17, 2005 at 6:49PM
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kentuck_8b(__)

Bambusa multiplex "Golden Goddess" is what it looks like, especially in the third picture. It also has the sooty mold at the nodes that is characteristic of the bambusas.

Kt

    Bookmark   December 17, 2005 at 7:53PM
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kudzu9(Zone 8a - PNW)

Kentuck-
I was leaning that way, too, on the I.D.

bamboozled-
If it's B. multiplex, that means it's a clumper, which I generally find are more challenging to divide. The last time I divided a clumper, I could only make partial progress with my saws, and we ended up taking a very substantial, sharpened shovel, and pounded on the footrests with a 3-pound sledge for about 15 minutes until we were able to split out a chunk of rootball.

    Bookmark   December 17, 2005 at 8:07PM
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kentuck_8b(__)

In my earlier post, I stated using a machete to divide potted bamboos. These potted bamboos are mostly clumpers, which is why I use the machete. Anything else that I have used is tough to use and very damaging to the rhizomes. A couple of good swift chops with a well honed machete leaves a clean cut.

I should mention though, that it helps to have good aim when swinging it, and you need to buy one that is tough, army surplus stores carry some of the best quality.

Kt

    Bookmark   December 17, 2005 at 8:47PM
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mikemcg(Z8bTX)

I think Kentuck is correct identifying this as B.m. 'Golden Goddess', but the leaves look a little larger than normal to me. Also I notice some slight variegation on the leaves especially on the earlier pictures, and perhaps a white stripe on one of the culms. If you get a lot of new variegated leaves in the spring and a white stripe on the culms it might be a stunted B.m.'Silverstripe'.

Mike near Brenham TX

    Bookmark   December 17, 2005 at 8:51PM
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kentuck_8b(__)

Mike, you have a good eye for detail. It also crossed my mind, but I ruled out Silverstripe, due to the yellowish colour of the culms and the light coloured leaves.

My Silverstripe has very deep green culms and leaves, but as you stated, it does seem to have more than normal striped leaves and even culms, so it shouldn't be ruled out as a possibility. Also, mine being deep green could be environmental.

Mike, I still have some plants for you, just haven't had much 'day' time to set up a delivery or a meeting. I dug up and potted another division of Moso last night in the dark. I was going to do more but it started raining.

Kt

    Bookmark   December 17, 2005 at 9:19PM
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bamboozled(z8-9 TX)

I had gone to a couple of the links that was provided to help id and I thought the bambusa multiplex golden goddess was the closest that I could find that resembled what I have. I had a piece of the sulcus from near the ground that was a deep green with white thin stripes going from end to end.The green and the white stripes were of symetrical proportions I will see if I can take a picture of it and put it on for observation. Thanks again for your time and suggestions!
Brian

    Bookmark   December 17, 2005 at 9:34PM
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