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PostPosted: Thu Jun 17, 2010 5:19 am 
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Location: Middle Tennessee (Murfreesboro) USDA Zone 6b/7a Record low Jan 1966 -14*F Frost free April 21-Oct.21 Location Details
Hello All,

This spring I have concentrated on above ground rhizome production for use in propagation. The basic idea for the technique I am attempting originated with Steve in France, and stevelau1911. One of my prominens plants "dolphined" a thumb sized rhizome and rather than let it submerge into the soil I placed the tip into the drain hole of a 25 gal. pot. My goal is to train the rhizome to circle the pot repeatedly with the coils of rhizome 3-4" apart. As the rhizome advances I cover it with soil to prevent it from being exposed to light and perhaps becoming a whip shoot. I plan on training the rhizome as long as it is warm enough to continue growing, and then to mulch the sides of the pot, put wire mesh over the top of the pot to keep the critters out, and cover with a tarp. My hope is that next year it will send up a culm from the coiled rhizome, and then I can severe the rhizome from the mother plant. If it does not shoot next spring then I will continue coiling the rhizome, and hope for a shoot in year two.

When the coiled rhizome puts up a a culm or two it will be self sustaining and I can examine the rhizome periodically for ripening buds. The plan would be to take sections of the oldest portion of the rhizome for propagation, and continue working up the rhizome as it matures and ripens buds.

The advantages of this techinque of rhizome production is 1. Ease of access to the rhizome. No more digging in the ground! 2. Ability to examine the suitability of the rhizome for propagation. 3. Portability- Take up to the house where there is easy access to water and other necessary things. 4. Accelerated rhizome growth due to soft, fertile soil. 5. I can't think of anything else at the moment.

What I've learned so far. 1. A thumb sized rhizome can push a 25 pot with no trouble! I weighted the pot with bags of soil to give the rhizome something to push against. 2. A rhizome does not want to go in a circle and must be wedged, turned, tricked into circling the pot. Pieces of wood, wedges, the curved bottom of a plastic bottle help accomplish this. 3. This particular rhizome wants to go down/ to dive and if allowed to do so would simply find its way out the other drain hole. To solve this problem I fashioned what I call a "Rhizome tip sled" which allows the tip to follow the level of the soil it meets as it pushes forward. You can change the angle that the rhizome tip travels by adjusting the soil under the "sled".

Here are some pics.


Attachments:
File comment: Prominens rhizomes
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File comment: Using round edge of bucket top to curve rhizome.
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File comment: Rhizome tip sled.
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File comment: Rhizome tip sled in action
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Last edited by David on Thu Jun 17, 2010 6:40 am, edited 3 times in total.
Inserting pics.
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 17, 2010 1:35 pm 
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David, similar but different :drunken: techniques shared with me - Marc from Bambu-u told me that he lays rhizome barrier flat on the ground and builds walls with rr ties around it. Filled with a mulchy soil mix the bamboo will throw rhizomes throughout the bed and the soft soil mix allows him to pick up sections of rhizome to examine for where to snip. I'd think this would work if you did it annually rather than let the rhizomes overlap much. Jerry Burton in OH has the company that maintains the electric line easements dump piles of the shreddings next to his groves and sort of the same thing - easily lift up the long rhizomes that get thrown throughout and snip as needed.

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 18, 2010 12:16 pm 
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cool i need to try that! :D

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 20, 2010 10:44 pm 
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My most mature bamboo, still unidentified, is currently in a large plastic drum, bottom removed, and buried with about three inches of the drum above ground. Last year I had mounded soil over the lip, allowing rhizome easy path to jump and take off. As rhizome expansion was starting, I pulled back the soil to find more rhizomes than I could have guessed, over twenty. I attempted to contain a few of these by sinking pots of various sizes around the drum-planting, and lining them up so that the rhizome would grow into the pots, and then allowing me to simply cut them from the initial planting, and giving me several new plants. So far, there is no sign that it has worked, but if I can find the photos I think that the reasons for failure will be very evident. Your method looks to have a much better understanding of rhizome growth implemented.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 24, 2010 2:50 am 
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Location: Middle Tennessee (Murfreesboro) USDA Zone 6b/7a Record low Jan 1966 -14*F Frost free April 21-Oct.21 Location Details
Here is an update on the Rhizome production experiment. Note that the rhizome has pushed the rhizome sled about 2", and has kept the rhizome tip from diving. The rhizome seems to be growing about 1" per day with all the heat and rain we have had lately. I'm having to cover the rhizome every few days as it grows out from under the potting soil.


Attachments:
File comment: Rhizome growing tip
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File comment: Rhizome pushing sled
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IMG_0268 [640x480].JPG [ 100.01 KiB | Viewed 7216 times ]

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 24, 2010 3:37 am 
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Good job, it looks to be working very well!

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 25, 2010 5:58 am 
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I just noticed there was a new on experimentation with bamboo.

As long as the pot is tarped or mulched during the winter to prevent soil from freezing, this technique looks pretty flawless as an entire rhizome gets to go into a pot with the slide which should better the chances of getting more shoots in the pot. The only drawback is that a significant portion of the mother plant's energy will be taken away, but that shouldn't matter if you have a large grove already.

I'm have one going on my rubro right now from last year's rhizome which only has 1 whip shoot that was bound to come out and aborted the operation on the parvifolia since I didn't want to comprimise its size next year.

The one thing I've noticed as the in-ground runners have groved out is that rhizome growth seems to be delayed this year maybe because there is so much more energy storage capacity in the culms to fill out before switching the growth to under-ground. Last year many started running before June, but this year after inspecting my bissetii for potential whip-shoot divisions, I'm finding no rhizome growth yet.

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 25, 2010 4:07 pm 
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Location: Middle Tennessee (Murfreesboro) USDA Zone 6b/7a Record low Jan 1966 -14*F Frost free April 21-Oct.21 Location Details
I have three prominens divisions remaining after one died during the winter, and I traded one with Brad for hisipda. They are all planted and have been vigorous, perhaps only second to rubro. Each plant has several of those thumb sized rhizomes but only one porpoised, and I decided to dedicate that plant to propagation, and leave others to grow unimpeded. I think it will slow its growth somewhat but propagation is a priority at the moment so it wins out over size up.

I think you are wise to let your parvi grow without propagating at the moment. You will have a stronger bigger plant sooner.

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 19, 2010 7:28 am 
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My parvifolia is now clearly breaking the 7-ft diameter area of mulch/manure with newer rhizomes, but I'm planning on leaving that one alone until it puts on some significant size given how rewarding it is supposed to be in zone 6.

I will however bother my P Bissetii which has way too many rhizomes getting produced this year with experiments.

Here's my plan which I might have to wait off a few weeks due to it getting above 80F every day which is not very favorable for propagations at this scale.

1. Take several advancing rhizome tips approximately 6-8 inches long and cut off the advancing tip end to prevent a demand for water/nutrients.

2. Peel back the sheaths, cut vertical incisions throughout the bottom part and dip it in grow gel.

3. Get several cups, fill them up with moistened peat moss and stick the divisions in the cups.

My assumption here is that advancing rhizomes should have a good amount of energy stored within them and that some photosynthesis can occur when most of the sheaths are pulled back so as long as it is possible to stimulate root growth, these mini divisions can become self sufficient, reach homeostasis and that the immature buds can mature enough to generate a rhizome leading to a very small division. Has anyone already tried this type of a division before?

I have a few more ideas since I believe that traditional ways of propagation are just not effective enough since bamboos often get too large to propagate and deliver shippable sizes. On juvenile bamboos, we also worry about taking away too much plant material from the mother plant.

Would Juicy roots be a good rooting gel?

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 19, 2010 2:18 pm 
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Steve - good luck with this new project, if you get a single viable plant form this I'll be amazed so let's see what you come up with - be sure to use the very light colored new rhizome, it will be the most immature and loaded with immature buds.

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 30, 2010 1:11 pm 
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David, any developments with the great rhizome sled? I have started to use the same basic trick, though I utilized the top of a water bottle, and only got the bugger to curve 3/4 around the inside of the pot before it arched up and decided to whip-shoot, I believe in protest. If I had stayed on top of it, I would have kept it down and forced it to continue filling the pot.

You think that keeping the rhizome covered in lightly moistened soil at all times will help to keep it growing and running around the pot? I think the inside of the water bottle lost soil and when I wasn't looking it began to spend time in open air, enough to trigger the whip-shoot reaction.

I am very gun-shy when handling exposed rhizome, especially the soft, growing point. Last year I was repositioning a three foot length of Incense rhizome back into it's designated area, and I broke off the ( I think the technical term is apical meristem?) growing tip. You or anyone have any experience with breaking that? Is it the end of the world? I have read that all it does is trigger one or more rhizome to begin growing from buds further back on the rhizome, usually in the same direction that the broken point was heading in. If this is the case, then it could be an advantage, ounce a significant amount of rhizome has circled a pot, the tip could be broken to encourage more rhizome to begin growing, hopefully in the pot as well. However, I kind of like the idea of allowing the rhizome to whip-shoot after having circled the pot a bit, thinking that it gives the pot-contents a small culm to support it if you wanted to divide it this year.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 30, 2010 2:23 pm 
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Location: Middle Tennessee (Murfreesboro) USDA Zone 6b/7a Record low Jan 1966 -14*F Frost free April 21-Oct.21 Location Details
The rhizome sled was working very well until its fumble fingered driver broke the rhizome growing tip! :oops: I keep the rhizome covered at all times to prevent a whipshoot from forming. I use bricks on top of the potting soil to keep the rhizome tip down.

It appears that I may be able to redirect lateral rhizomes toward the edge so not all is lost, in fact, it may be a way to produce more rhizomes and more potential divisions.

Careful with the growing tip!

Keep us posted on your progress.

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 22, 2010 4:10 am 
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Quote:
Steve - good luck with this new project, if you get a single viable plant form this I'll be amazed so let's see what you come up with - be sure to use the very light colored new rhizome, it will be the most immature and loaded with immature buds.


Here's my results: BTW I have a lot of this stuff to experiment with so I don't mind keeping my Bissetii the same size for next year.

Rhizome piece with no roots & no foliage: Rotted away after about 2weeks.

Rhizome pieces with some foliage, but no roots: No rooting occured, leaves dried up and failed.

Rhizome pieces with roots, but no foliage: Buds elongated however it looks like they ran out of energy and failed.

Rhizome pieces with some roots and a bit of foliage: After curling for a few days all 3 seem to be stabilized these guys are still alive with more root/ leaf growth. These are basically tiny bissetii whips with a few leaves and 3-4 root hairs which I applied juicy root on and half these mini divisions survived, but haven't made their own rhizomes yet since it has only been a month. I think the root stimulator is making a difference since lots of new feeder roots have formed.

I think this should work for most other phyllostachys species, but I'll have to try it to prove its effectiveness. You can get them to make these tiny whips by encouraging the rhizomes to grow almost on top of the soil which activates some of the buds and roots and then covering them up a bit and water consistently to get them to grow roots, but I won't call this a success until these guys start making rhizomes.

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 25, 2010 8:05 pm 
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Howdo!

I've been trying this method out, primarily with my bisettii, which seems to be one of the most profuse rhizome-producers I've seen. This morning I decided to to try this method on the phy. atrovaginata that I planted last year at my mom's place, with the promise that I would make sure to come by each year at the appropriate times and make sure that the buggers don't escape. My method of containment is the 'trench' method, and my choice of backfill is bark and wood chips, which seem to invite the rhizomes to cross the trench in a very shallow manner, which is perfect for finding and cutting, redirecting them back to their area, or in this case, forcing them into the bottom of a large nursery pot. I am still searching for a source of these large 'squat' nursery pots that I have seen around, and may have found a source today.

Here is the plant that I am trapping the rhizomes of:
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And here is the first rhizome that I carefully dug and guided into the bottom of the nursery pot:
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And the second rhizome. This one will receive a 'sled' in the form of a cut water bottle bottom. This type has had somewhat variable success with the bissetii rhizomes, I believe because when using the sled method you need to keep the soil exceptionally moist, and help the rhizome along, I don't think that in every case the rhizome meristem will easily push the sled along and allow itself to be directed so easily. I think the rhizome somehow knows that 'something's up', and will either abort that tip as the growing meristem, or otherwise switch up it's game. So, when using this method, my observational advise is that while it appears to be a great method to use in the creation of a new individual boo in the summer and fall rhizome growth period, it is not a hands-off method by any means, but I am beginning to understand that there is nothing in bamboo propagation or cultivation for that matter that is 'hands-off'.
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From here, I plan to allow them as much rhizome growth in pot, and then perhaps force the growing tip above ground, and try to create a whip shoot, and once that has developed, and I am confident that there are both sufficient leaves and roots to support the contents of the pot, I will sever the new plant from the mother and see what happens. This whole process may take longer than the optimal time that I would like for a new individual to harden up before the big cold, so these might just have to be brought indoors, or taken to a semi-greenhouse/coldframe that is in the works over at the juvenile bamboo forest across the river. I'll let you know how this all goes down.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 25, 2010 8:09 pm 
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forgot one thing, a piece of rhizome cut from one of the runners that I fumbled and broke the tip off of. It provides an idea of how many nodes on the length of the first rhizome pictured in the previous post.
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