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PostPosted: Sat Jun 25, 2011 9:18 am 
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Location: upstate NY zone 6B Location Details
After growing several batches of moso seedlings, I've figured out that they do better in the ground in being grown in pots, but this time I'm dealing with kwangsiensis seedlings which seem to show slower growth starting off, but they are speeding up now so I had to move some of them out of their 1 gallon containers. One of the problems I have encountered with smaller containers is that they tend to get lighter color leaves probably because nutrients get washed away which may be why my moso doesn't do well in pots. Ironite would probably help, but I only use it when I absolutely need to because that stuff is expensive.

My experiment is putting one of them up to a 15 gallon container which will hopefully moderate temperature and give more growing room, sort of like a raised bed. I fill the pot up first 1/2 way with dried leaves so I don't have to use so much soil, and to help drainage which doesn't seem to hurt the bamboos. I also use my own potting mix which consists of stuff from my compost pile, peat moss, pine mulch, milorganite, worm castings and mushroom compost. My goal is to get larger culms, and the only reason I'm keeping all of them potted is so I can protect them much easier over winter so they get well established before getting planted.

Here's the plant currently at 1ft tall just up-potted to it's 15 gallon container. My goal is to get 1/2 inch diameter shoots by next spring, and have it well established in it's pot, but I'm probably asking for too much.
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I use much smaller 3-5 gallon pots for the rest of them which will probably go on ebay next spring right before they shoot next year.
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I'm also going to use a wall o water to heat up this seedling since they have made vegetables such as peppers and tomatoes grow twice as fast as shown here. This tomato seedling in the WOW was about the same size as the others when I put it on, but since then, the size difference has kept on growing.
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 29, 2011 10:02 am 
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That's nice experiment you are performing.....
I will also try the same just in the fashion you mention in the thread......

Thanks Steve for sharing your thoughts and experiments.....


mark Denaley


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 29, 2011 8:35 pm 
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Location: Ljubljana, Slovenia
I have quite a lot of Moso seedlings and I've been working on similar experiment.

I've kept several seedlings in large pots and keep others in smaller containers.

Large container allows bamboo to grow faster, culms upsize way faster and plants can be easily maintained. Watering every few days, compared to always dry small pots is really important, especially if you are not at home for several days. You never know who, if anyon, will water your precious seedlings. :)

On the other hand, every Moso seedling behaves a bit differently. One is dark green and healthy, others are a bit more yellowish-green. I have several with very pale green color in large containers and they are almost as large as the green one, but they are lagging behind with every shooting cycle. These seedlings are showing some leaf curl at full sun from 12AM-4PM when the darker green leafed seedling enjoys the scorching sunbath. I thought leaf color is related with lack of nutrients in the soil. I'm testing that now and I foliar feed the problematic bamboos. I'll see if there's any improvement in a few weeks, until then, I hope I see them shoot as much as possible. :)

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 29, 2011 11:11 pm 
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Location: upstate NY zone 6B Location Details
I also find that moso tends to get very light colored leaves when they are planted in pots, especially smaller ones so therefore I try to put many of them in the ground which darkens them up very fast. Kwangsiensis seems to not have this problem so I guess it's OK to pot grow them. I might stick a few kwang seedlings in the ground once they are established in their 5 gallon pots in another couple months just to see if they also prefer the ground better than being potted.

Here's a picture of moso seedlings showing the difference in leaf color between recently planted ones, and the ones that have been in the ground since early spring. I think on average, the ones that were in the ground grew a bit faster than the ones in pots maybe because they had darker leaves.
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 30, 2011 3:47 pm 
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Location: Ljubljana, Slovenia
Steve, that's interesting. Same light green color.
I'm now almost certain it is nutrient related issue. Since I started spraying them with water soluble fertilizer that should have all major nutrients and whole bunch of micro elements, needed by plants to grow, some of them started to darken a bit.

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One of the seedlings was getting totally yellow at one point and like I said, I've started spraying it with fertilizer. Since foliar feeding enables it to receive nutrients even if soil is too alkaline or acidic, there should be visible improvement. Now it has darker leaves (oldest leaves are still the same color, fresh foliage is looking greener every day), but leaves are still a bit damaged before they unfold. They seem to dry out on leaf edges (second picture from below).

I'll see if darkening continues and if I can cure leaf damage on one of the plants.

One of pale green bamboos is now starting to shoot. There are four shoots emerging at this time - so far it looks like they will be smaller than dark green seedlings shoots (4 shoots, just like this one). Slower upsize, with much more troubles growing. I've had several seedlings that almost died (some are still struggling) because they were not growing properly.


I used the same soil in all containers. If there is nutrition problem, it might be caused by bamboo deficiency, perhaps in the roots. One of the seedlings (last photo) managed to grow normally green shoot. Looks like they can be cured by themselves, but most of them don't even survive the first few shooting cycles.

Seedlings from same seed supplier on one of french bamboo forums showed same problems. Many bamboos were sickly pale green or yellow.

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