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New to Bamboo: Root rot bc of wet soil?

Posted by everythingirl1 9 (My Page) on
Wed, Aug 19, 09 at 19:16

Hi all. I was lucky enough to get a large species of bamboo from a neighbor (5" wide stalk - got a 6' piece with a new culm coming out). However, the plant was dug from the ground and left on the side of the house for 2 days. When I got it, the leaves were curled up but still green. I put it in a large container with water and let it soak up the water overnight. The next day I planted it in an area of the yard that slopes down and has clay soil amended with 25 % compost. I staked the bamboo with twine because winds were toppling it down.

The first week it did fine- I watered it every day and the plant looked great. The second week I noticed that the leaves had started to curl although it had rained for several days. I also noticed that the ground was sopping wet. I have been watching it for the last 3 days and the leaf curling has not gone away despite constant rain. Today, I dug it out and when I did there was a huge sucking sound from the ground and an acid smell from the soil. When I took a closer look at the bamboo stalk, I saw that it was starting to turn brown-black in places. So, I dug it out and put it in a 45 gal pot (without a bottom) filled with compost half-buried in the ground. I am hoping that by raising it there will be better drainage. I can't keep it in a pot because it is just too big but I was trying to save it from drowning in that clay soil.

What else can I do? Is it going to die? Is that acid-sour smell from root rot?

I'll be sooooo sad if she doesn't make it! Boo hoo!

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RE: New to Bamboo: Root rot bc of wet soil?

  • Posted by kudzu9 Zone 8b, WA (My Page) on
    Thu, Aug 20, 09 at 12:06

It's not clear what you started with. Did you get a decent size root ball? Also, if what you got was some root with a new culm, that would be a portion of the plant that is least well established and likely to fail as a transplant.

It's hard for me to comment on your soil. Bamboo usually do well in even poor soil, and have a high tolerance for water (unless they have their feet in standing water for days). Leaf curl is a symptom of too little water or simply that the plant began dying almost from the start. As for whether there is something in your soil that is a problem, I don't know.

In addition to all this, the best time to take a division of bamboo and transplant it is when the plant is semi-dormant...late fall through early spring.

Unfortunately, from what you've said, I doubt that this plant will recover.

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