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Bamboo + Salt...
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Author:  ZZZ [ Sat Oct 13, 2018 11:29 pm ]
Post subject:  Bamboo + Salt...

Hello--

My beautiful Dendrocalamus Minor Amoenus--Ghost Bamboo--was swamped with salt water due to the abnormally high surge caused by the hurricane earlier this week. I have been watering generously every day, but it's very depressing.

Any chance this will make it?

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Author:  ZZZ [ Sun Oct 14, 2018 1:46 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Bamboo + Salt...

PS-- Is it possible this is wind damage and not the result of salt inundation? The lower leaves (protected from wind by other foliage) are still mostly green.

Author:  needmore [ Sun Oct 14, 2018 2:34 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Bamboo + Salt...

Howdy, I have no experience with salt issues, I can imagine all that one can do is water the area like mad, perhaps there is something that the salt will bond with you could disperse

http://www.calciumproducts.com/componen ... emove-salt

I suppose it could be wind as well or a combo, in either case I'd water liberally.

Author:  ZZZ [ Sun Nov 11, 2018 10:58 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Bamboo + Salt...

Just 2 hours of high salt water as a result of the surge from the hurricane last month has crippled my previously beautiful line of exotic bamboo. The Ghost Bamboo took the worst hit. The clump is a few years old and this summer it really started to take off...all a memory now. Of the 8 or so 20' culms, it looks like two have made it through and are now showing bright green leaves sprouting out at the nodes; the rest of the culms are losing their color and are beginning to look like furniture.

My plan is to build a raised bed out of 7" x 9" railroad ties to ensure this bamboo is protected going forward. Two questions. 1) Can I expect that with two surviving culms this Ghost Bamboo will once again flourish into a lush clump, or will it be forever compromised? 2) A landscaper friend says that bamboo is different from other plants in that you can throw dirt over it (by building a raised bed of two-high railroad ties that will raise the surface by about 1 foot) and not have a problem. Is this true, or would I be better to dig out the clump and raise it up? Should I wait until winter to raise it up?

Hoping to save this and avoid the hassle, expense, and waiting time of starting all over again...

Thank you.

Author:  jd. [ Mon Nov 12, 2018 8:09 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Bamboo + Salt...

Even one surviving culm can push new growth in time. :)

For fastest recovery, it would be best to avoid disturbing the existing rhizomes and allow new rhizomes to grow into the newly added soil. This strategy is not without risk from another high salt water event. Yet such an event does not occur every season, so the odds would be in your favor for success.

If the rhizomes are not disturbed, modestly raising the soil level seems reasonable any time outside of shooting season.

One drawback of a raised bed is increased sensitivity to unusually extreme winter cold, but this effect only applies to new rhizome growth that has adapted to the higher soil level. Short term, we may expect the existing rhizomes left in place to show increased resistance to cold due to their greater depth under added soil.

Author:  ZZZ [ Mon Nov 12, 2018 2:16 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Bamboo + Salt...

Hello JD, and thanks.

Salt water inundation will not be a potential risk for at least another 10 months at this point.

I am in zone 10a, so frost in the winter is not a factor.

If I'm understanding, your experience is that I can "bury" the rhizome with @10" of topsoil without causing further problems?

Let's say hypothetically that this particular clump of Ghost Bamboo is allowed to grow at this point for 5 years free of further salt water hinderances. Five years from now, will this be a fully flourishing clump of bamboo as if this incident hadn't happened by virtue of the fact that two culms have survived, or will it be a compromised, thin clump?

Author:  Glen [ Tue Nov 13, 2018 6:54 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Bamboo + Salt...

ZZZ wrote:
I can "bury" the rhizome with @10" of topsoil without causing further problems?

It is true that, unlike woody plants, tropical bamboo root systems are fairly tolerant of being buried. This is not the same thing as saying that it is good for them. If your soil is very well drained, and you do not get any terrible floods in the near term, the plant will tolerate burying better than if you do it right before a wet period. If you were deciding whether to bury the roots of an established plant, I would have no reservations, but I can not guarantee that it will do no harm to a very weak plant.

Of course, digging the plant to reset it is also going to cause harm to the plant, so it is a judgement call. Personally, I would probably dig the plant and reset it. 10 inches is a lot of soil on a weak plant.

ZZZ wrote:
Let's say hypothetically that this particular clump of Ghost Bamboo is allowed to grow at this point for 5 years free of further salt water hinderances. Five years from now, will this be a fully flourishing clump of bamboo as if this incident hadn't happened by virtue of the fact that two culms have survived, or will it be a compromised, thin clump?
The weakening of the plant alone will have no long term effect. If any viable piece of the plant is exposed to good growing conditions, it will thrive. Viable mostly means live rhizome and rhizome buds.

Author:  Tarzanus [ Tue Nov 13, 2018 7:08 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Bamboo + Salt...

I usually apply dirt on top in more than one application. When starting raised bed, water usually drains much better. The problem would be, that raised bed will be above its roots and rhizomes for a while. You can raise it in steps.
When salt gets leeched out of the soil it shouldn't harm the bambo and the issue would repeat itself only if another hurricane brings sea water to its feet.

Author:  ZZZ [ Tue Nov 13, 2018 11:00 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Bamboo + Salt...

Hello, and thank you for your responses. While it still kills me to look at this bamboo that had *just* started to really flourish this summer, I am thrilled to find that two of the culms are showing thick green leaf sprouts at the nodes.

We are out of the rainy season here. To confirm what the previous gentleman advised: is it ok if I build the raised bed, and as salt water inundation is no risk for nearly another year, shall I add dirt @an inch or two at a time every 6 weeks? This would seem a better alternative to digging up the now-weakened rhizome...no?

New culms begin to shoot up in May. Can I expect a nearly full recovery by the end of next summer?

Thank you once again.

Author:  ZZZ [ Sun Dec 02, 2018 2:56 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Bamboo + Salt...

Original poster here.

It has been exactly 2 months since the hurricane surge, and it's still so frustrating to think that 2 hours or so of salt water approaching the level of my exotic bamboo could have caused such damage.

My Ghost Bamboo and my Bambusa Emeiensis V are hanging on by a thread. While the former has 3 or so culms that still show a bit of green in them, only 1 has begun to sprout green leaves. On the latter, there are 2 culms that still have green leaves.

My question for anyone reading who may have experience in this area: Shall I expect a very compromised plant going forward? Come spring time, should I not expect new culms popping up all over? If a particular culm is dead, does that necessarily mean the part of the rhizome itself is dead? Let's say for simplicity that the rhizome were one of those large wall clocks back in elementary school, laying flat on the ground. If the culms from numbers 1 going around through 10 have died as a result of the salt water but culms 11 and 12 have survived, does that mean that the majority of the actual rhizome is dead and there will only be future growth around the 11 and 12?

My apologies for the potentially remedial question. I am building much higher dirt berms around the bamboo area--I enjoy it too much to give in and just plant the same crappy palms as everyone else around here does--and I'm trying to determine if these bamboo plants will be viable going forward, and if only marginally so, I will need to procure more.

Thank you.

Author:  Tarzanus [ Sun Dec 02, 2018 6:03 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Bamboo + Salt...

No way to tell for sure, you should just wait and see. Rhizomes can often survive even the harshest conditions like fire, frozen conditions and even herbicide application. Don't be too worried and just hope for the best. Like you mentioned already, you should know their fate in the spring.

Good luck

Author:  ZZZ [ Sat Dec 08, 2018 8:57 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Bamboo + Salt...

For whatever reason, there is virtually no info on the internet regarding bamboo and salt inundation. Anyone researching this in the future might want to consider my experience: Chungii/Blue Bamboo can withstand being swamped with salt water while other tropical exotics (Lako, Emeiensis F & V, Ghost Bamboo, Asian Lemon) cannot.

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