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PostPosted: Thu Sep 29, 2011 4:07 am 
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Location: upstate NY zone 6B Location Details
This bamboo gets a sprinkler turned on pretty much every day it is dry and sunny, but it's also the only one that seems to have mold starting to grow on the culms ever since it started cooling down. I don't think it has any negative impact on the growth however it makes the plant look less attractive. I've seen this on plants that I've received and it seems to go away during the summer however this is the first time I've seen it forming on my own bamboos.

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It's less noticeable from a distance, but still takes away from the beauty just a bit.
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 29, 2011 11:21 am 
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Location: zone 7b Clemson, SC
Steve, I was always taught to never water any plants during the heat of the day, especially with a sprinkler, since the evaporation of all that water creates a very humid atmosphere around the plant that encourages the growth of mold/mildew, so if you are sprinkling during the day it may help to only do that in the late evening/night instead. Even better may be to use a different watering system altogether on that plant, such as drip or watering straight from a garden hose (again, only in the evening/night). Fortunately, I haven't noticed that sooty mold on any of my plants yet (besides a couple that came to me that way, but new culms haven't shown any growth, even after 2 summers) which surprises me since my area is so humid.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 29, 2011 11:41 am 
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That does happen with humidity. You can wipe those culms down. Not fun when there are lots of them, but with only a few culms it's easy enough.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 29, 2011 12:36 pm 
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Location: Zone 5b/6a Bloomington, INElevation: 770-790 feet Location Details
The usual explanation for not watering during the day is that the water droplets can form magnifying lenses that focus the Sun's light causing burn spots on the leaves.

If I water during the day I water the soil and never noticed a problem.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 29, 2011 5:44 pm 
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Location: upstate NY zone 6B Location Details
The only problem is that moso culms have a rough texture so by wiping them, I can lessen the mold, but won't be able to get it all off, but that's a good thing to keep in mind that constant humidity will lead to the growth of mildew/ mold. The rhizome progress is actually very impressive for a bamboo that is under 5ft tall, and it's one of the bushiest so I think next year's growth should cover up the moldy culms, and a drip system should probably be in place instead. I'm still impressed that some of the rhizomes have made it about 3ft in length, but this guy will definitely need good winter protection to explode next year which is when I'll purposely feed it lots of manure and high nitrogen to stimulate as many shoots as possible. I do however have a feeling that this will try to create a few giant culms as opposed to many little ones since the rhizomes are close to 1 inch in diameter, but we'll see eventually.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 29, 2011 8:09 pm 
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Location: Southern New Jersey 7b about 5 mins from Philadelphia, PA
Don't forget your at the northern end of Mid Atlantic tropical moisture event. Record rain coupled with humidity has created a mold explosion. I have moss and lichen on my normally dry concrete step. Frost coupled with a early dry winter should kill off the sooty mold.

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 01, 2011 1:55 pm 
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I have some vivax aureocaulis that looks a lot like your pics. I didn't water it at all this year. It's about 12 tall and has been in the ground 2 or 3 years. The foliage looks great, but when you get about 10 feet from the plants you start to notice the canes are discolored a bit. Of course this area is noted for its high humidity. I don't see any thing like that on my Moso nor Madake but it shows up easier on the yellow colored vivax aureocaulis.


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 01, 2011 3:01 pm 
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Location: zone 7b Clemson, SC
foxd wrote:
The usual explanation for not watering during the day is that the water droplets can form magnifying lenses that focus the Sun's light causing burn spots on the leaves.

If I water during the day I water the soil and never noticed a problem.

Never heard that explanation but it makes sense too :) I actually water my boos during the middle of the day sometimes out of necessity, but mostly late in the evening, and I always water the soil. Personally, my main taboo with watering is with sprinklers, since it creates an incredibly humid atmosphere that molds/mildews would logically thrive on. It amazes me how some people I know water their lawn with sprinklers almost every day in the summer and then spend a fortune on chemicals to treat the disease it causes!

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 01, 2011 3:11 pm 
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Personally I don't think that watering practices will have any effect on the presence of the mold, I've mentioned this stuff here previously as I've had it for years. Winter does not have an impact other than providing a dormant period, the culms stay covered and it starts over again when the weather conditions are appropriate.

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 02, 2011 1:59 pm 
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Location: Dallas, Texas (zone 8)
I received a robt young division with black sooty mold. I cleaned it all off. I never used synthetic fertilizer on it, high nitrogen is known to cause black sooty mold on other plants, why not bamboo. Mold hasn't returned.

My deal on watering which I look at as an art, is to do it very deep and then wait until signs of stress in the plant, as long as possible until rewatering, in other words, and roots will grow downward very deep and create a much healthier plant.

In this record drought in Dallas, Ive watered my lawn less than five times all summer and it's as nice as any lawn on the street. I water it over a one or two day period to get maximum saturation. I have no mold or fungus problems, and never use synthetic fertilizers or poisons on anything.

I never see any snakes around here, and there has been an explosion of voles, I'm going to start putting out traps or start breeding snakes. The little rodents have a gold mine out there with a dozen species plus on a suburban lot.

Favorite bamboos here in Dallas so far, dulics, atrovaginata, and parvifolia for dark green in alkaline soil. Bambusoides and viridis stay dark and do very well with the heat stess and alkaline soil, as well and I hope to have some fat culms before vole armageddon or whatever happens in the future.


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 02, 2011 11:19 pm 
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Location: plus 700ft in the Santa Cruz Mtns, 8 miles from the Pacific 35 miles S. of San Jose
I get aphids, mold, mildew on my madake every year. Bambusoides have a special attraction for them all.
I did not water my madake all summer and did not encounter any problems. 1) This is a very large grove and it generates a significant amount of shade. 2) I get 60 to 60 plus inches of rain in winter so it has a good base for summer. 3) My grove has a lot of mulch so the winter rain goes deep. 3) Bamboo is drought tolerant. I don't water any of my plants more than once a week. 4) if you are in a area with gophers, moles, and voles, drip water systems attract this criters. 5) A good friend and collector over waters his running bamboo and it looks terrible. I think watering does play a role in the general health of bamboo. 6) I'm planting 10 gal plants in ground with a 4 to 5 inch (below soil level) well so water accumulates from my once a week watering. 7) My bamboo guru says water from top down. I'm not sure of the logic but I try to incorporate top down every few weeks and my plants seem to respond. Rgds


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 03, 2011 11:57 am 
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Mackel in DFW wrote:
...I never used synthetic fertilizer on it, high nitrogen is known to cause black sooty mold on other plants, why not bamboo...
I haven't heard this before. I wonder what the logic/biology is behind this? I can see how high nitrogen can cause a lot of new growth which is softer with higher relative water content (is that right?) and this can provide conditions for the mold, but that wouldn't seem to apply to existing bamboo culms.

Are there studies you can point me to about this? I'm not saying it's not true, I just want to learn more.

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 06, 2011 10:45 pm 
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Location: Dallas, Texas (zone 8)
Aphids and other piercing-sucking insects are very attracted to high nitrogen plant tissue, so several universities recommend to lay off the high nitrogen, especially when there is high humidity or drought.

One could intuit as well, that high nitrogen may interrupt the immune system of the plant and it's general health by throwing it out of homeostasis, forcing it to readjust at a time when it is already vulnerable to seasonal environmental stresses.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 07, 2011 4:07 am 
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Location: upstate NY zone 6B Location Details
After getting around 50lbs of home-made worm castings added to it, almost weekly additions of grass clipping, lots of compost & manure, it's definitely looking among the bushiest with impressive rhizome growth too, but too much pampering may be causing the mold, but the tarp is coming on in about 2 months so I'm OK with the ugly appearance for now. I've found that when I had it on vivax aureocaulus, it burned off after many sunny days of summer so it may be a seasonal thing too.

It also seems to not really affect the portion much of the taller culm that is not shaded by the heavy foliage so the constant dampness must be a contributing factor. If this is as hardy as a regular moso seedling, then a cloth tarp should be sufficient, but I might as well use a commercial grade thicker tarp just to make sure since I have this stuff.

Here's another angle just for fun.
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