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Much to learn

Posted by olddawg 5 (My Page) on
Sun, May 19, 13 at 15:17

If there is a area on the site that I should have found, please direct me and I will read.

Questions and intent;

I never knew I could grow bamboo in my climate and please correct me if indeed I can not, yet I see I may be able to.

What I've read so far, is it's more of a grass than a tree.
If this is so, then it's harvest-able annually.
Again please correct or direct me...

If so, does it re-grow from it's base or from the new rhizome?

First of many questions.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Much to learn

Yes, there are several varieties of bamboo that will survive and grow well in your areas.

Culms can be harvested annually but they need to be a few years old so that they are harder and won't rot as fast.

It spreads through it's rhizomes and thus puts up new shoots from the rhizomes.

Continue asking...


RE: Much to learn

Thank you and I shall, since asked.

Can I then assume, unlike a grass, new growth is only from the new rhizomes?

Once cut/harvested, that rhizome is done/dead/should be removed?

Started asking a lot more and was getting way a head of myself....

RE: Much to learn

If you cut the culm down to the ground or below the ground, it generally will not grow any limbs, and will die back to the rhizome, although I've had a few culms that I cut down to ground level, grow short limbs from the uppermost remaining culm, but the culm itself will never grow back.

New shoots emerge from underground rhizomes, but the rhizome shouldn't be removed once the culms are cut since the rhizomes are still supporting nutrition for other culms.

Does this help?


RE: Much to learn

Yes it does Kt!
And thank you.

The assumption would then be, stronger growth due to multiple rhizomes feeding culm.
There must be a point of diminishing return?

My intent/hope is to harvest it.
Looks like it could be a tri-annual harvest.
Even if that would be the case, still something that could be worked with.

Let's talk size of area required.
I would like 18 culms harvested annually.
Since a certain number of rhizomes per culm should remain, then how big an area should I be looking at?

RE: Much to learn

You are in a colder growing zone than I am here. Soil type and amount of water also play a part in how fast the bamboo will grow and spread in the amount of area needed for a certain number of culms.

I have a 9' X 27' full of Henon and I get about 25 to 40 new culms each year depending on how many I take out the previous year, but not all are all large...some are a bit smaller so you will have varying sizes. If I take out too many, then next years culms will be smaller.

Once a bamboo grove is established, and the older culms are a few years old, then you can cut the older culms out each year, but you may have to mark them to keep from mistaking them from younger culms, but you will have an annual harvest.

A larger grove area is always better, but mine is doing fine in it's small area.

My Henon grove is over 12 years old.


RE: Much to learn

The information you are giving is very helpful!
Once again, I thank you for your time.

It's beginning to sound to me like I need to dedicate a 10'x20' area.

First though was to set-up 3 seperate and plant 3 seperate years to make harvest easier.
But this would put it down to 3'x7' areas, which I am now believing probably won't work.

The assuption is, the large area is to allow the rhizomes to die off naturally, compost, and allow the plant to control itself.

Hopefully I'm getting this right...

So happy you mention soil type!
You reading my mind?

Happy pH level?

RE: Much to learn

I could be reading your post wrong, but I just thought I'd point out that the life of the rhizome is a lot longer than the life cycle of anything above-ground. They aren't constantly living and dying or anything like that. When you cut down some culms, the rhizomes they are attached to remain in the ground alive -- they'll continue to store food and grow roots for the rest of the plant. They also branch out with new rhizomes, and grow new shoots.

Whether 3x7 is enough, I think depends on the species you want to grow.. If you have something in mind, or some general characteristics you're after, maybe someone could make a recommendation. Otherwise, you might check out some place like bamboogarden (no affiliation, except that I buy my boo there), and see what looks interesting.

RE: Much to learn

I am new to bamboo also. I just want to add that most bamboo need well drained soil, but I have found one for damp or well drained is Phyllostachys Atrovaginata or Incense bamboo. It is zone 5 hardy and gets up to 2 3/4 inches thick culms. At least that's what a book on bamboo that I bought claims.

RE: Much to learn

Poaky1, that's kinda funny, cause that's one of my next choices..

RCB, The question evolved around 'point of no return'. Again, just trying to understand before, shall I say, diving in the pool.
At some point, with harvesting, I assume you should remove original rhizomes. What point I have no clue.. Hense question.

Given a 3x7 plot, harvested annually (bi/tri or..) and rhizomes continually stay. Wouldn't the plot fill and restrict growth at some point?

My mind works with the balance of the running plants around here.
I was hoping for confirmation of thought...
Most of what I have I allow a mass of three to four runners to remain before I section them off.

But, these still grow, unlike, what I'm learning, Bamboo will not once harvested.

Like I said, Much to learn.
Enjoy and am learning from the input!
Please continue... I have more to learn.

RE: Much to learn

Poaky, I think this may be one of my last resorts of bamboo for my 'wants'. Reaching 2"plus in Zone 5 is probably pushing the hope. Yet if it reached 1.5", I'd be real happy, 3/4" I'm still okay!!

Bamboogarden was mentioned in an above post, and I've started a conversation with them (as with another).
So far, recommendations are for 'weeping' types of bamboo for any sort of success.

Not sure what you're headed for, but an ornamental plant was not 'my' goal.

As the Subject title says...
Much to learn

Appreciating all I have so far!

RE: Much to learn

You can grow a clumping bamboo called fargesia. It's one of the most cold hardy of all bamboo.

RE: Much to learn

My clump of Henon has never been rhizome pruned. I just cut the older culms as I need them and let the newer younger ones age a couple of years or so.

The older rhizomes will die back if the above ground growth is kept in check.


RE: Much to learn

Thank you both for the input!

I'll look into the Fargesia, hadn't look at that yet, or have and don't recall the name.

Kentuck, that's what I assumed if you don't cut them out.
They'll control themselves naturally.

Well, I have some more homework to do.

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