Water dry bamboo when ground is frozen?

pinkswineDecember 9, 2009

Is it advisable to water bamboo that is in need of water if the ground is frozen? Jen

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kentuck_8b(__)

The ground freezes in zone 8?

Interesting question, but one that I cannot answer since I have no experience with ground freeze.

Kt

    Bookmark   December 9, 2009 at 9:08PM
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kudzu9(Zone 8a - PNW)

I don't think it's needed, and it might not even be helpful. I never water my bamboo from fall through early spring whether the ground is frozen or not. They seem to do fine in nature without having someone with a hose around!

    Bookmark   December 9, 2009 at 11:05PM
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botanicalbill(9b SWFlorida)

You cant water it if the ground is frozen, you would need to thaw out the ground and then water. But, you do not want it to freeze again as the extra water can damage the root system if it does. The plant should have an extreamly low demand for water if its below freezing, I would wait till spring, it should bounce back.

    Bookmark   December 9, 2009 at 11:07PM
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pinkswine

Yes, lately we've had weather getting down into the teens. I have several one gallon bamboo (lots of different varieties) which were planted last summer. Since they are not well established yet, I am concerned.

    Bookmark   December 9, 2009 at 11:23PM
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kudzu9(Zone 8a - PNW)

pinkswine-
I'm having the same weather as you are, and I'm not worried. Your bamboo are essentially dormant right now. Do they show any signs of stress?

I'd be more concerned that they were mulched than that they were getting supplemental water when it's freezing out.

    Bookmark   December 10, 2009 at 5:38AM
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pinkswine

Some of my clumpers have lost more leaves than I would have expected. I do have a Qiongzhuea tumidissinoda
(Chinese Walking Stick Bamboo)in a pot that looks dried up and sad.It already has fresh mulch. Maybe I should put it in the garage until it warms up.

    Bookmark   December 10, 2009 at 7:14PM
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kudzu9(Zone 8a - PNW)

I've got some Walking Stick that's in the ground, and it looks fine, although it does tend to drop a fair number of leaves in the fall. I'm in the Seattle area and we have had a week of low 20's temps every night for a week and the ground has been frozen here, too. I think the one you have in the pot should be brought in, warmed up, and given some water and light by a window. Q. t. can be expensive, so, if that pot doesn't recover by late spring, send me an email: I've got a pretty big clump, and I could probably send you a division.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2009 at 2:17AM
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pinkswine

That is kind of you. I did as you suggested, brought it inside and gave it water. IÂm hopeful it will recover. How long ago did you plant yours? I read that it is a HIGHLY aggressive runner (that is why I have mine in a pot). Has that been your experience?

    Bookmark   December 11, 2009 at 7:16PM
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kudzu9(Zone 8a - PNW)

Mine's been in the ground about 3 years, and it is a pretty good runner once it gets established. However, the runners stay close to the surface and are only about 1/4"-3/8", so it's very easy to prune them and pull them out; this takes me about 15 minutes a year. It takes work to maintain any running bamboo, but they're much happier and hardier in the ground.

Here's what it looked like this fall:

As you can see, it's planted in a mound. This helps with spotting and dealing with runners.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2009 at 10:44PM
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pinkswine

Wow! It's REALLY beautiful! For some reason my Walking Stick Bamboo is looking even worse now that I've brought it inside. Although I watered it after I brought it inside the leaves look even more dried out. I wonder if the temperature change was too abrupt for it? I've heard of many cases where people thought bamboo was dead, but then it sprouts right back in the spring. I'm hopeful that will happen with mine.

    Bookmark   December 12, 2009 at 4:53PM
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kudzu9(Zone 8a - PNW)

pinkswine-
I don't think you hurt it by bringing it in. Just baby it and put it out next spring, and see if it re-leafs. If it doesn't come back, let me know via email and I'll see about taking out a division for you from my clump...

    Bookmark   December 12, 2009 at 7:59PM
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pinkswine

Yes, I'm hopeful that it will recover in the spring. Thanks much for your help.

    Bookmark   December 13, 2009 at 3:25PM
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