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Bamboo Sprouts Dying

Posted by garden_sprite New York (My Page) on
Mon, Jun 15, 09 at 17:51

Help! I live in Long Island New York and I am growing a bamboo screen for the last 2 years(planted them in may 2007). THis is the first year that I am noticing alot of bamboo sprouts growing and was so excited that my screen is filling in.

Toda i went out to look over my garden since we had a slight reprieve from the rain - about 10 days its been raining here I think. I noticed there were lots of little bamboo sprouts that looked odd. Only a few inches tall and very pale yellow. I touched them and they were very soft and I could totally pull them out of the ground without any effort. There are so many of them and I dont know what happened.

Right before we had this neverending rain I added some lawn fertilizer to the top of the soil. I added Super Green by Vigoro its 35-0-5 and its a slow release kind that feeds for 5 months. I was told to get any lawn fertilizer that had a high first number bc thats what the bamboo needs.

Please anyone with any advice on what is happening to them I would appreciate any tips to save my bamboo.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Bamboo Sprouts Dying

What you're describing sounds like the natural process of aborting shoots. It shouldn't happen to all of them, but some percentage. The bamboo will start more shoots than it needs to, in case some get eaten or otherwise destroyed. But if they all survive, the bamboo will itself terminate (abort) some of its shoots. How many are growing well and how many are dying?

RE: Bamboo Sprouts Dying

  • Posted by kudzu9 Zone 8b, WA (My Page) on
    Tue, Jun 16, 09 at 12:48

It's hard to say what's going on here. Bamboo like water, but don't want to be in wet soil well does your soil drain? All that rain may have caused the fertilizer to release faster than necessary, or you may have laid it on too generously. I also suggest you try a different fertilizer in the future (or none at all). I use a slow release product with a more balanced nutrient mix (Osmocote Outdoor, 19-6-12), and I only apply it when the bamboo is getting established during the first 1-2 years. Even though bamboo is a grass, that fertilizer you used might not be ideal for growing strong bamboo.

RE: Bamboo Sprouts Dying

A few of my new shoots aborted, as well - three shoots, to be exact. They were more exposed than
the others, and varied in height from two inches to fourteen inches. These shoots had also
emerged later than the others, so I figured it may have been that those culms simply missed the
critical period. When I was out in the yard yesterday, however, I noticed two new culms
shooting from the middle of the bamboo bush - with each culm about three feet long now.

Last year, the first culm that appeared (March 8th) died from two nights below freezing.
But, from the base of that culm, a new bush grew - which actually put out four smaller


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