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 Post subject: Re:black bamboo
PostPosted: Mon Nov 02, 2009 1:33 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 09, 2009 7:06 am
Posts: 11
Location: Beijing, PRC
A little update and some photos.

this is my makeshift setup: a cut up plastic cup with drainage holes and potting soil for the bamboo, a mug for a tray, and a tied plastic bag for humidity.

I decided to bring it in this week as we have been having unseasonably cold weather and snow! Tonight may drop to -5C and the glass around my balcony doesn't add that much protection. After tonight it will be back up above zero and I guess I will leave it on my balcony to winter. Black bamboo in the ground should survive Beijing winters, since it grows in the ground in a park not too far from here, but I wanted to postpone dormancy a little longer as it is also getting over transplant shock, drying out, and doesn't have much in the way of roots. Should I just leave it out on my balcony after tonight or should I keep it in my room? Would dormancy help save this pulling?

BTW, you can see that there has been some die back since I planted it. What do you guys think?


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 Post subject: Re: Re:black bamboo
PostPosted: Mon Nov 02, 2009 1:57 pm 
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Joined: Sat Oct 01, 2005 9:14 pm
Posts: 3728
Location: Brown County, Indiana.
Personally, I think that you do not have nearly enough rhizome and root mass and I'd suggest that you start over. If it fits in a coffee mug, it is awfully small and destined to struggle for a long time - at best.

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Brad Salmon, zone 5b/6 Southern Indiana
Winters -20 to -25C. Summers 30 to 35C , humid. 115 cm annual precipitation, frost free from May through early October. 259.3 meters elevation. Growing 150+ species. http://www.needmorebamboo.com/


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 Post subject: Re: Re:black bamboo
PostPosted: Tue Nov 03, 2009 8:28 am 
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Posts: 564
Location: Greater Seattle, WA, area; Zone 8. Summers:mainly 60's-70's. Winters are rainy, but above freezing except for a few 15 deg F days; 1-2 days of snow max.
guy-
I'm sorry, but I have to second Brad's motion. When you first described this in another thread as a "bamboo cutting/pulling," I sensed trouble. To have success with a transplant like this, you really do need a lot more root mass. The smallest root ball I ever take on a very small plant is about grapefruit sized, and preferably much larger. I think you are thinking of treating this bamboo like other plants that may just need a bit of root to survive. Unfortunately, bamboo has its own requirements and having a good size piece of rhizome is one of them. Another is that you need to plant it, not set it in a container of water. If you want to succeed, you need to get another division, which will mean using a shovel and root pruning saw to separate out a decent size root ball, and you should try to get it out of the ground with as little disturbance as possible. Then get it planted in a pot or in the ground pronto.


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 Post subject: Re: Re:black bamboo
PostPosted: Tue Nov 03, 2009 12:57 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 09, 2009 7:06 am
Posts: 11
Location: Beijing, PRC
Thanks for the opinions. I guess I'll be lucky to have a living plant by spring. Oh well, this is what I had to work with. If it doesn't make it, I may look around in the spring for another specimen. I was planning on growing it as a bonsai if it survived. It isn't sitting in water, but potting soil. There was very little root mass, so I didn't really need a bigger pot.

I had heard that you could even get bonsai from cuttings with little or no rhyzome. I guess black bamboo isn't so tough?


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 Post subject: Re: Re:black bamboo
PostPosted: Tue Nov 03, 2009 4:37 pm 
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Location: Greater Seattle, WA, area; Zone 8. Summers:mainly 60's-70's. Winters are rainy, but above freezing except for a few 15 deg F days; 1-2 days of snow max.
Black bamboo is tough, but all running bamboos need decent size root mass to survive. Also, you cannot grow bamboo as bonsai. As I mentioned above, bamboo are not like many other plants. Any thing you trim off is gone for good, and pruining will not stimulate any new growth. The shoots come up each year and reach their full height in a few months and never get any taller or larger in diameter. Subsequent years' growth may get bigger, and you cannot control it. Trying to form bamboo like a bonsai will simply give you a choppy, stumpy, and possibly dead plant. If you have ever seen bonsai-size bamboo, it is because someone was growing a species that was naturally a miniature, or it was the first year's growth of a plant that was going to get much bigger in the future. You cannot "train" it.


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 Post subject: Re: Re:black bamboo
PostPosted: Tue Nov 03, 2009 7:55 pm 
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Joined: Wed Feb 09, 2005 7:30 pm
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Location: Zone 5b/6a Bloomington, INElevation: 770-790 feet Location Details
kudzu9 wrote:
Also, you cannot grow bamboo as bonsai.


I've read websites that talk about growing bamboo as a bonsai with lots of instructions and pictures. I have had the urge to try my hand at it, but it is on my long list of things to try, along with hydroponic gardening of bamboo. (I have a plan!)

Image
Image
Image
Image

There are lots more images including bonsai Buddha Belly Bamboo.

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 Post subject: Re: Re:black bamboo
PostPosted: Tue Nov 03, 2009 8:12 pm 
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Location: Greater Seattle, WA, area; Zone 8. Summers:mainly 60's-70's. Winters are rainy, but above freezing except for a few 15 deg F days; 1-2 days of snow max.
foxd-
Thanks for posting those pictures. I agree those are bamboo bonsai, and I stand corrected. However, some of those culms are clearly truncated, and they are not pleasing to my eye (or are small because they are using one of the miniature Pleioblastus species). When I think of bonsai, I think of plants that look just like the full-size thing...just a lot smaller. I shouldn't have been so emphatic, but I was trying to adjust expectations with the original poster that he couldn't just take a chunk of Ph. nigra, use typical bonsai techniques on it, and get something that was pleasing and resembled a miniature Black bamboo.


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 Post subject: Re: Re:black bamboo
PostPosted: Wed Nov 04, 2009 2:27 am 
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Location: Zone 5b/6a Bloomington, INElevation: 770-790 feet Location Details
It will be interesting to see if guygardner is successfully in bonsaiing(sp?) his black bamboo.

Admittedly different techniques would be used when creating bamboo bonsai, but I could see the charm in appling some of the tricks we know of for large bamboos to a bonsai version. For instance, in the latest ABS magazine Brian Erikson has made bamboo grow in spirals using old tires. Now imagine a real bamboo shoot made to grow in the spiral pattern of Lucky Bamboo. Same technique, but on a smaller scale.

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My Bamboo List.

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 Post subject: Re: Re:black bamboo
PostPosted: Wed Nov 04, 2009 3:40 am 
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Joined: Thu Jan 01, 1970 12:00 am
Posts: 1527
Location: Zone 5 in WA State Location Details
At the ABS conference in 2004 there were a number of bonsai bamboos.

Here is a photo of the black bamboo.
Image

There was also a P. aurea that looked like a 4 foot tall miniature grove that did not have the canes cut.

Bill


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 Post subject: Re: Re:black bamboo
PostPosted: Wed Nov 04, 2009 4:24 am 
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Location: sydney
Mmm,
dont know what is happening in the root zone.
needs min 200 mm rhizome, preferably with roots. should be moist not wet .and definitely above freezing!!
Cut back foliage and leave 1 max 2 leaves.
they may die over winter but it is the leaf buds that are important

In theory propagating runners in autumn is the way.
freezing is ...unfortunate and it wont work until bamboo is well established. so take to bed...

try a few. they may shoot in april/may

good site
http://mrbamboo.com/care


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 Post subject: Re: Re:black bamboo
PostPosted: Wed Nov 04, 2009 4:27 am 
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Joined: Sat Mar 05, 2005 10:00 pm
Posts: 564
Location: Greater Seattle, WA, area; Zone 8. Summers:mainly 60's-70's. Winters are rainy, but above freezing except for a few 15 deg F days; 1-2 days of snow max.
Bill-
Are those juvenile culms or are they succeeding in using bonsai techniques to somehow control size without topping?


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 Post subject: Re: Re:black bamboo
PostPosted: Sat Nov 07, 2009 8:21 am 
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Joined: Fri Oct 09, 2009 7:06 am
Posts: 11
Location: Beijing, PRC
Quote:
I've read websites that talk about growing bamboo as a bonsai with lots of instructions and pictures.


Could you send me a link? I've also been looking for information on how to go about it, but I have seen it done.

I'm more concerned with keeping the cutting alive. If I manage that, then I'll go on to try and train the plant as a whole as a bonsai once it recovers and after I've given it more room to develop.

I would have preferred more rootmass to work with, but I'll have to make do.

Another beautifully bonsaied bamboo from Chengdu China:

http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=htt ... CAcQ9QEwAA


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 Post subject: Re: Re:black bamboo
PostPosted: Sat Nov 07, 2009 2:43 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2009 4:13 pm
Posts: 2580
Location: St. Louis area Location Details
I saw that photo too, and it made me question bamboo bonsai. There are a couple of old, topped culms, but that's it. I guess all new rhizomes and shoots are removed, but that means that once those existing culms die, that's it for the plant, right? So you'll get 5 or 10 years out of it? To me, what makes bonsai specimens so cool is that they're gnarled old trees (usually), but miniature. A mature plant 30, 50, 100 years old.

So is bamboo bonsai really the same thing? Plus, doesn't "bonsai" translate to "pot tree" or "tree in tray"? "Tree" being the key word. :)

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My blog: It's not work, it's gardening!


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 Post subject: Re: Re:black bamboo
PostPosted: Sat Nov 07, 2009 4:51 pm 
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Joined: Sat Mar 05, 2005 10:00 pm
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Location: Greater Seattle, WA, area; Zone 8. Summers:mainly 60's-70's. Winters are rainy, but above freezing except for a few 15 deg F days; 1-2 days of snow max.
Alan-
I feel a little better...at least one person agrees with me!


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 Post subject: Re: Re:black bamboo
PostPosted: Sat Nov 07, 2009 5:39 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jul 19, 2007 12:20 am
Posts: 1873
Location: Kerby, OR Location Details
I think you are right Alan, litteraly translated anyway! I know that one of the bonsai that I saw that I was most impressed with was a bonsai chrysanthemum of all things! it was a plant on rock planting, and with the tiny flowers, it was extremely cool. I think the info on it said that it would live 3 or so years....
the art of bonsai is to give the IMPRESSION of age, rather than actual age. some of the trees however, take many decades to fill out and start looking right, so they are cared for meticuously and passed from genearation to genereation. I have a korean boxwood that I have been training now since 1989, and it is nowhere near ready! most of my other plants I have accidentaly killed off over the years, its hard with our hot dry summers to keep a plant in a tiny pot!

I have three western hemlock that I dug from the wild that I will start working on in a couple years, one of them has real potential.

Bonsai- the perfect hobby for the procrastinator! :lol:


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