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Growing Bamboo General discussion - Identification, selection, propagation, care

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  #1  
Old 26th September 2006, 02:53 PM
ladyfromwyo
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: USA - Texas, Anahuac
Posts: 4
Caring for a Buddha's Belly Bamboo - B. t. 'Ventricosa'

Hi Mark
I am new to Texas and found some Buda Belly bamboo on the property. How can I thin it? Can I put small shoots in water to root?? Never been to this type of planting from this part of the world so totally lost. lol ANy help would be appreciated. By the way the main plant is like 25 foot tall with many smaller shoots. Willing to share.
Thx Tamy
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  #2  
Old 27th September 2006, 03:42 PM
Mark Meckes
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: USA - Texas, Austin
Posts: 2,374
How large is your patch of this bamboo? How wide is the clump at the base?
Has it grown into a large specimen plant., is there room enough for it to grow?
Are there dead / tan colored culms in the center?
Does it appear to have been maintained during it's life?
At ground level, are there signs of cut-off culm bases from previous years?

If you can take any pics, you can upload them in your post.

Bambusa tuldoides 'Ventricosa' Photos at BambooFlora
aka Buddha's Belly Bamboo or Buda Belly bamboo if you like ...

This bamboo can grow into a very large wide spreading clump if the conditions are favorable, and it's widely arching culms command a great deal of air space, making it a prominent feature in the landscape. A wild overgrown planting can grow into a tangled mass of live and dead culms, and the old growth can be quite a chore to remove. So it's best to maintain this plant on a regular/annual schedule.

Some maintenance steps ...
- Remove dead poles or older culms that have reached maturity.
- For a larger established planting ...
- Remove smaller diameter live culms that are below an average minimum diameter of the planting. This gives more light, air space and nutrients for the remaining culms to grow.
Culms at the periphery of the clump can be a smaller diameter for a bushier planting, or removed for a higher branched, more open-see-through affect.
Further North, here in Central Texas ... it sends up new shoots in mid summer, and if the conditions are favourable produces the largest shoots.
Then in the late summer/autumn, after some rainfall, it produces another flush of mostly smaller diameter shoots. Many of these don't have enough growing time here to harden sufficiently before first frost. Some may lose half their tops from freeze.
Your bamboo in southeast Texas will have less damage.
Nonetheless I am going to cut out any smaller autumn shoots as a part of early selective thinning.
I should try some out as cooked shoots.

Mark
Mark Meckes - www.bamboocraft.net

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  #3  
Old 28th September 2006, 11:14 AM
ladyfromwyo
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: USA - Texas, Anahuac
Posts: 4




Mark
The patch is about 4 feet wide. The clump at the base maybe 2 foot around. Yes it has grown where there is a main plant maybe 25 feet tall. Since we have cleaned out that area, lots of room for it. I dont see alot of dead in it. Yes it has had trimming on the bottom the last few years.
Can I cut a piece off and start it to root in water? What I would like to do is find some nice containers......like you see in Chinese restaurants and share it with friends. maybe 3-4 inch pieces.
here are some pics.
thx for your help!!!
Tamy
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  #4  
Old 30th September 2006, 05:33 AM
Mark Meckes
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: USA - Texas, Austin
Posts: 2,374
Hi Tamy,
Thanks for posting these pics!

At last now I see what the true 'Ventricosa' form looks like.

Apparently B. t. 'Ventricosa' is an unstable variety that can revert back to a unbelly-like species form.

Here's a pic of our 4+ year old clump which has not yet shown any signs of internodes bellying:


Another thing I've heard is that growing this plant in confined quarters induces it to belly more.

Meanwhile ... I'm happy with the giant form and will see what happens as the years pass by.

Now with regards to your plant ...

From this photo of the base of your clump...


... It looks like it is beginning to get culmgested, ie, it's getting quite thick with growth. Some of the culms will eventually start to die, as is the natural cycling of the culms.
If the clump is never thinned the clump will form a hollow core with most new culms only growing at the periphery.
If thinning is done periodically, it's easier to get into the clump for future thinning.
It's good to try and cut the culms as low to the ground as possible or else they will be in the way in future years, till they eventually rot away.

Now ... what to thin out ...
There's the obvious older culms and any culms that did not grow well or fit with the aesthetics of the plant.
I would snip off lower side branches that are obscuring the view of the bellying culms.

Next in line would be thinner culms which did not belly,

Note that the bellying only happens on the lower portion of the culms.

Do the larger culms in the planting also have bellied culms at their base?

The reason I'm asking is to see whether the tallest growth has reverted back to the large species form or not.
If so, a tough question is whether or not to cut out these larger culms in an effort to suppress portions of the plant that are reverting.

This comes down to the question ...
How big do you want your bamboo to grow in this location?

If you allow it to revert to the larger size, the shorter smaller bellied culms will eventually become shaded out and lose their leaves and will need to be cut out.
At least they will make excellent craft pieces.

My question of the day is ... what's the biggest in diameter that B.t. 'Ventricosa' can grow with bellying internodes.

Quote:
Can I cut a piece off and start it to root in water? What I would like to do is find some nice containers......like you see in Chinese restaurants and share it with friends. maybe 3-4 inch pieces.
You are probably referring to what is known as Lucky Bamboo, which isn't really a bamboo.

But you could try it and see what happens.
I have heard that Ventricosa is tolerant to wet conditions ... but usually getting a Bambusa sp. to root requires a young culm portion ... 1-2 yrs old are best, which contain growth buds at the node .. they are inserted in a potting mix till rooted. The rooting conditions should be warm... 70's?
Btw this is all hearsay as I have not tried this out.
... though I'm curious and may do so some time.

Mark
Mark Meckes - www.bamboocraft.net

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  #5  
Old 30th September 2006, 07:01 AM
ladyfromwyo
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: USA - Texas, Anahuac
Posts: 4
question

Mark
I am not sure what you mean by bellied? My boyfriend has a very large back yard and pool area that is surrounded by plants for privacy . He has been here 3 years and so we are trying to take back control. lol He loves his chain saw right now. You can see somewhat from photo 1 that we have almost totally cleared out the area where the bamboo is... found a really nice permanent gas grill out there lol. I would like the bamboo to spread along the fence in that area for cover as I am going to try and have a garden area for veggies across the area from bamboo. I also have a small green house on the property!!! Will try potting some starts there. DO I keep the soil moist? Or just put them in potting soil as the green house is very humid. Like I say I am from Wyoming and always gardened and had house trees so growing down here is going to be a lesson learned. Thx for your help!!
Tamy
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  #6  
Old 30th September 2006, 04:33 PM
Mark Meckes
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: USA - Texas, Austin
Posts: 2,374
Quote:
Originally Posted by ladyfromwyo
I am not sure what you mean by bellied?
This is referring to the bulging "belly-like" appearance of the internodes at the lower portions of the culms.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ladyfromwyo
I also have a small green house on the property!!! Will try potting some starts there. DO I keep the soil moist? Or just put them in potting soil as the green house is very humid.
Yes the potting medium should be moist and porous.

Mark
Mark Meckes - www.bamboocraft.net

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  #7  
Old 5th October 2011, 01:49 PM
ricshaw
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: USA - Southern California
Posts: 5
Re: Can I cut a piece off and start it to root in water?

To answer the question, short answer; No.

Long answer; Yes it may root and may grow, but the preferred method is to dig up a piece of the clump with roots and plant in a pot.
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