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PostPosted: Sun Dec 01, 2019 3:39 pm 
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Joined: Sun Dec 01, 2019 3:19 pm
Posts: 4
Location: Germany
It is winter in Germany at the moment and in my opinion my potted arrow bamboo which I planted in June is showing signs of distress. I fertilised the soil shortly after I planted the bamboo with a long term (~three months) fertiliser high in nitrogen. The water I'm using for the bamboo is tap water which I put in a watering can on the balcony for a week before I use it. I read I can get rid of the fluoride and chloride that way.
Is the coloring of the leaves to be expected in winter or am I looking at a serious issue? Is the tap water hurting the bamboo after all? Did I overfertilise?

I went to the gardening center right around the corner where I purchased the plant and the ones in stock are not looking like this. Their leaves are green with a few dying, old leaves. But almost all the leaves of my plant are kind of brown/browning. New leaves on my plants are green, "older" ones are like you see in the pictures. Those leaves are about 2-3 months old.
After a hot summer of intense watering, I watered conservatively during the last months. Down to 1.3 gallons once a week. Still I do not see dry soil in the pot. For now I decided to cut back on watering until I'm beginning to see really dry soils or V shaped curled leaves. I have 6 covered holes in the pot for drainage and as far as I can see it is working (when I water the bamboo, excess water is flowing out of the bottom of the pot).
The pot is a bit more than three times the size of the pot it is growing in in the gardening center, so there is room for the bamboo to grow (at least in my opinion).

I started noticing this phenomenon end of October and thought I might have an issue with pests. There where some spots of mealybugs, but not a huge colony and I exposed them to the weather by removing dead bark around the spots and wiped them off.
This is how the leaves looked end of October:
https://imgur.com/a/7PMJwws

Now the leaves are looking like this:
https://imgur.com/a/iUbMvVj

I'd appreciate any ideas. :cry:


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 01, 2019 7:17 pm 
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Joined: Sun Dec 01, 2019 3:19 pm
Posts: 4
Location: Germany
Someone on reddit suggested this might be a sign of over-fertilisation. I'm thinking about leeching away the excess salts by thoroughly watering (and draining at the same time) for a few days. But this would be counterproductive if the roots are damaged. I'm unsure how-to proceed. :|


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 02, 2019 6:23 am 
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Joined: Sun Jan 16, 2011 12:05 am
Posts: 1391
Location: Ljubljana, Slovenia
Could be fertilizer burn. That's not normal browning of leaves. If they grow normally and just have some individual culms that are affected, cut them and try not to overwater.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 02, 2019 12:04 pm 
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Joined: Sun Dec 01, 2019 3:19 pm
Posts: 4
Location: Germany
Someone on reddit had the same suspicion. I was thinking about trying to leach the soil for a few days to possibly flush out excess fertiliser, but in case the roots are damaged by water already this could be the final blow. Would you advise to just wait it out?


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 04, 2019 3:05 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jan 16, 2011 12:05 am
Posts: 1391
Location: Ljubljana, Slovenia
Since bamboo is quite resilient, I think that should work. I did have very similar signs of damage during first and perhaps second year. When I planted them outside they started to thrive.
Pseudosasa japonica, however, can get quite aggresssive. It's not really a running bamboo, but it acts like one. In cooler climates it might be clumper, but here, I noticed it runs runners quite far away and in a year or two, you find the grove move a bit. Just to remind you, placing it outside might not be the best possible option. :)

I would just leave it or if it's large enough, make a division and plant it into fresh soil mix. Pseudosasa japonica was impossible to kill here. I've had them in pots I completely neglected. During the summer they were completely dry, during spring and autumn, there was water standing in the pots, during the winter, I left them in a protected place with shortage of water - again. Somehow they managed to survive the torture. I wouldn't worry about it too much.

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 04, 2019 8:29 pm 
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Joined: Sun Dec 01, 2019 3:19 pm
Posts: 4
Location: Germany
Thank you for the encouraging words. :thumbright:
I'm looking forward to spring season and how my plant will develop and will report back.
Thanks again!


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 05, 2019 2:06 am 
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Joined: Thu Feb 12, 2015 3:38 am
Posts: 411
Location: Emmett Idaho
Bamboo Society Membership: ABS - America
mine would do this at my last house. I just assumed it was winter look. Cold and damp. in the spring the new leaves would push green and nice

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Jason Floyd
Hangtown Farms

Emmett Idaho
Zone 7A
Potato country


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 06, 2019 5:00 pm 
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Joined: Mon Oct 31, 2016 7:19 am
Posts: 60
Location: Canada BC Creston Z7a
This exact thing happened to my Semiarundinaria fastuosa when I kept it inside for the winter. I think it has to do with being too damp/cold/not having enough light during the winter months. My plant barely made it through it (or looked that way at least) I'm sorry but I have no suggestions on how to improve its health unless you have a good grow light.


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