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PostPosted: Fri Aug 04, 2017 5:11 am 
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Location: Arizona
I Also live in the Phoenix area and have been looking at growing bamboo seeds. I'm certainly no expert on bamboo but I know if you plant anything that requires rich soil or at least soil that isn't almost completely deprived of organic matter in the Arizona desert soil it isn't going to grow well. You need to at the very minimum dig a bigger hole than the actual plant preferably much bigger and fill it with rich soil, of course I'm not sure this is your issue if you did actually end up adding compost or something to the plant, but this certainly could add stress on the plant if it's roots can't get through the compacted desert soil and it would also cause a lack of nutrients and overall plant health.

Also I have used shades before when growing plants that can't take the heat as they certainly lower the temperature a lot, so maybe this is something you could try for your bamboo until it becomes established, although IDK if the bamboo would be to tall to do it in a meaningful way. Additionally maybe you could use some sort of misting system to cool down the bamboo if your really serious about getting it to survive. I'm pretty sure you can purchase some that use high pressure and produce an extremely fine mist that evaporates almost instantly so it doesn't add water stress, but again I wouldn't know if this would be a viable method for bamboo, however it can work for other plants such as those in green house, the water evaporates lowering the air temperature and the temperature of the plants.

I hope maybe something here can help you and if I ever do get bamboo growing I will certainly keep in mind the heat as it's been in the triple digits where I live for most of this week so far.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 04, 2017 6:31 pm 
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Joined: Sun Apr 26, 2015 8:02 pm
Posts: 51
Location: Arizona, USA
The Bamboo Plant wrote:
I Also live in the Phoenix area and have been looking at growing bamboo seeds. I'm certainly no expert on bamboo but I know if you plant anything that requires rich soil or at least soil that isn't almost completely deprived of organic matter in the Arizona desert soil it isn't going to grow well. You need to at the very minimum dig a bigger hole than the actual plant preferably much bigger and fill it with rich soil, of course I'm not sure this is your issue if you did actually end up adding compost or something to the plant, but this certainly could add stress on the plant if it's roots can't get through the compacted desert soil and it would also cause a lack of nutrients and overall plant health.

Also I have used shades before when growing plants that can't take the heat as they certainly lower the temperature a lot, so maybe this is something you could try for your bamboo until it becomes established, although IDK if the bamboo would be to tall to do it in a meaningful way. Additionally maybe you could use some sort of misting system to cool down the bamboo if your really serious about getting it to survive. I'm pretty sure you can purchase some that use high pressure and produce an extremely fine mist that evaporates almost instantly so it doesn't add water stress, but again I wouldn't know if this would be a viable method for bamboo, however it can work for other plants such as those in green house, the water evaporates lowering the air temperature and the temperature of the plants.

I hope maybe something here can help you and if I ever do get bamboo growing I will certainly keep in mind the heat as it's been in the triple digits where I live for most of this week so far.


As I said, it's the heat that does them in. Unrelenting heat and high winds, it's like having bamboo in the path of a blow dryer. A day or two might be okay. Two or three weeks in a row at 110F? Not a chance.

Everything was well mulched, planted in good, replacement soil, not native soil. They thrived like crazy when the weather was nice, as I stated in my OP, but the summer dry heat was too much. Soil won't save your foliage. A misting system for 15-gallon bamboos spread in plantings across an entire yard is not practical and would be worthless in the aforementioned wind. Putting shade cloth over a 10 or 12 foot, 15-gallon specimen is also not practical, especially in light of the wind.

I appreciate the advice, and I wish you luck growing from seed, but if you think a shade cloth or soil are going to save you, expect to be disappointed.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2018 9:03 pm 
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Joined: Sun Apr 26, 2015 8:02 pm
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Location: Arizona, USA
Well, it's been a while so I wanted to give an update for anyone following this thread.

My only survivors so far are two B. multiplex 'Golden Goddess', B. multiplex 'Alphonse Karr', B. dissimulator, B. dolichomerithalla 'silverstripe', B. bambos and B. dolichoclada 'stripe' and a single surviving B. oldhamii.

Of these, the 'Golden Goddess' are so so, the 'Alphonse Karr' is 50/50 and might still bite it. The B. dissimulator and b. dolichoclada 'stripe' look very rough. I would put money only on B. oldhamii and B. bambos to survive the upcoming summer, and maybe the 'Golden Goddess' if I was really going out on a limb.

I remain convinced that growing tropical clumpers in Phoenix is just not feasible given the weather pattern in the last few years, not to mention the increasing prevalence of spider mites, which thrive in the hot summers, when the winds make it impossible to reliably apply any miticides.

Not sure what experiences others are having, but I still haven't met anyone in the Phoenix area who can successfully establish clumping bamboo in this climate. Silence speaks volumes.

I hope this is helpful and spares other people from the time, energy, frustration and of course money that I wasted trying to stick with this hobby. If you're in Phoenix and thinking about growing bamboo, at least tropical clumpers, my honest advice is to save your money and grow something else.


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PostPosted: Mon May 07, 2018 5:17 pm 
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Joined: Fri May 09, 2014 6:09 pm
Posts: 185
DesertDweller wrote:
T9D wrote:
Sorry to hear man. But it also looks like you picked all the wrong bamboo to plant. No way any clumper will live there. And all the rest seem wrong too. I ditched clumpers the first year.

When I did my search for bamboo I searched for the most heat and drought tolerant plants. But for me they also have to be cold tolerant and wind tolerant. I think anything also cold and wind tolerant are also stronger in the dry harsh heat too.


With all due respect, not being in our climate, I am not certain how you reached that conclusion about clumping bamboo. Nearly all the bamboo were grown in Tucson, 90 minutes South of here, where they had heretofore grown fine at the private nursery from which they were obtained (for decades at that). To wit, runners never grew worth of crap for me, and I tried at least four or five varieties (including Spectabilis in fact), all of them 15-gallon. I have never seen successfully grown running bamboo in Phoenix, not once. Even the zoo seems to exclusively grow clumping bamboos, as does every nursery I know with an old growth stand of bamboo.

Nothing wrong with putting your opinion out there, but it seems a bit ill-informed I think. Blanket statements about what will grow here from someone a thousand miles away that has probably never grown bamboo here just comes across the wrong way. There are plenty of clumping bamboos growing here, big stands at the zoo and some nurseries. They've been here for decades and I suspect that is why they persist and survive better than my newer transplants (and as noted above, not all have been lost either). As with many plants, smaller specimens are more vulnerable to weather extremes and the pests than larger ones, and extremes have become the new normal the last few years. If I had started 10 years earlier, I probably wouldn't have as many problems.


I didn't realize you replied until now. Anyway, well clumpers obviously don't do well there right where you are at since you've proven what I said is true. Plus 90 minutes can be enough of a minor climate difference to matter, zoos and nurseries especially can be micro climates and probably well protected inside their compounds. Me dealing with very inhospitable dry heat and wind is very relevant to where you live. My parents had a home in Arizona, I'm well aware of the climate. In the summer it feels exactly where I'm at now. Nobody in my town grows bamboo well here except me. Mine is the tallest and largest, and healthiest. Maybe instead of writing off me and bamboo you could try what I said. I did a LOT of experimenting. What you are doing isn't working. So be open for more suggestions until you get it to work. Get rid of the clumpers and try decora. I know for a fact Decora has worked in horribly inhospitable desert climates especially in Arizona.

Start with Decora. Get a truck load of compost. Mix it all in. Put a barrier up so it helps contain the moisture in an area. Plant decora. Put bark chips or wood chips on top to keep moisture in. Maybe even put some concrete stepping stones all the way around the edges to maintain moisture until it grows there. Get a small sprinkler and water for 3 hours a day in the morning. Yes that sounds nuts. But that's what you have to do. Maybe even put one of those camo canopies they use in the military. https://www.turbosquid.com/3d-models/ca ... del/552337

It's already been proven decora can and does live there, ask any nursery that sells it, they have tons of customers in Arizona. You can be stubborn and give up or you can be a little more open to help. Otherwise all of us will keep enjoying our beautiful bamboo groves in our hot windy areas and I guess you can just go enjoy some cactus from now on.


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PostPosted: Mon May 07, 2018 6:14 pm 
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Joined: Sun Apr 26, 2015 8:02 pm
Posts: 51
Location: Arizona, USA
T9D wrote:
DesertDweller wrote:
T9D wrote:
Sorry to hear man. But it also looks like you picked all the wrong bamboo to plant. No way any clumper will live there. And all the rest seem wrong too. I ditched clumpers the first year.

When I did my search for bamboo I searched for the most heat and drought tolerant plants. But for me they also have to be cold tolerant and wind tolerant. I think anything also cold and wind tolerant are also stronger in the dry harsh heat too.


With all due respect, not being in our climate, I am not certain how you reached that conclusion about clumping bamboo. Nearly all the bamboo were grown in Tucson, 90 minutes South of here, where they had heretofore grown fine at the private nursery from which they were obtained (for decades at that). To wit, runners never grew worth of crap for me, and I tried at least four or five varieties (including Spectabilis in fact), all of them 15-gallon. I have never seen successfully grown running bamboo in Phoenix, not once. Even the zoo seems to exclusively grow clumping bamboos, as does every nursery I know with an old growth stand of bamboo.

Nothing wrong with putting your opinion out there, but it seems a bit ill-informed I think. Blanket statements about what will grow here from someone a thousand miles away that has probably never grown bamboo here just comes across the wrong way. There are plenty of clumping bamboos growing here, big stands at the zoo and some nurseries. They've been here for decades and I suspect that is why they persist and survive better than my newer transplants (and as noted above, not all have been lost either). As with many plants, smaller specimens are more vulnerable to weather extremes and the pests than larger ones, and extremes have become the new normal the last few years. If I had started 10 years earlier, I probably wouldn't have as many problems.


I didn't realize you replied until now. Anyway, well clumpers obviously don't do well there right where you are at since you've proven what I said is true. Plus 90 minutes can be enough of a minor climate difference to matter, zoos and nurseries especially can be micro climates and probably well protected inside their compounds. Me dealing with very inhospitable dry heat and wind is very relevant to where you live. My parents had a home in Arizona, I'm well aware of the climate. In the summer it feels exactly where I'm at now. Nobody in my town grows bamboo well here except me. Mine is the tallest and largest, and healthiest. Maybe instead of writing off me and bamboo you could try what I said. I did a LOT of experimenting. What you are doing isn't working. So be open for more suggestions until you get it to work. Get rid of the clumpers and try decora. I know for a fact Decora has worked in horribly inhospitable desert climates especially in Arizona.

Start with Decora. Get a truck load of compost. Mix it all in. Put a barrier up so it helps contain the moisture in an area. Plant decora. Put bark chips or wood chips on top to keep moisture in. Maybe even put some concrete stepping stones all the way around the edges to maintain moisture until it grows there. Get a small sprinkler and water for 3 hours a day in the morning. Yes that sounds nuts. But that's what you have to do. Maybe even put one of those camo canopies they use in the military. https://www.turbosquid.com/3d-models/ca ... del/552337

It's already been proven decora can and does live there, ask any nursery that sells it, they have tons of customers in Arizona. You can be stubborn and give up or you can be a little more open to help. Otherwise all of us will keep enjoying our beautiful bamboo groves in our hot windy areas and I guess you can just go enjoy some cactus from now on.


It's nice to hear that you (and apparently nobody else) can successfully grow a species not discussed in the OP, in another climate, in another state. Good for you, I guess? Not much help to anyone growing the readily available bamboos in Arizona, dealing with the climate and pests here, which was the point of the OP. Also, for the record, I've lived in this state my entire life, been to countless nurseries in pursuit of bamboo, and have never seen decora offered even once. I'd happily ask any nursery that sold it, but there aren't any. Seems odd given your claims of its superiority in our climate, but I digress.

Not sure what you hoped to accomplish, but I'm really not interested in further indulging an obvious troll. I tried my best and did what I was willing to do. Growing a species I dislike, and/or putting up a mil-spec canopy are not on that list, nor will they ever be. :roll:

I tried to be respectful in my replies, as all the other posters were to me, but it seems beyond your ability to reciprocate. That's a shame, but not really unexpected on these types of forums.

Thanks for your input and have a great day. :thumbleft:


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PostPosted: Tue May 29, 2018 4:28 am 
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Joined: Tue May 29, 2018 4:25 am
Posts: 2
Location: AZ
Im in Peoria,AZ with lots of plants please PM me so we can talk.


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 24, 2018 1:55 pm 
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Joined: Sat Oct 01, 2005 9:14 pm
Posts: 4604
Location: Esparto, CA
Bamboo Society Membership: ABS - America
Having a small slice of your weather, day 3 in a row temps between 100-108F with gusty winds blowing the patio table over, some of the Bambusa sp. are curling during the day trying to hide from the sun, the Borinda in full sun are looking a bit pale but hanging in there.

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Brad Salmon, zone 9 Esparto, CA
www.needmorebamboo.com


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