Turning Black with Sticky hairs

Controlling pests of bamboo

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MidwestBambooGarden
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Location: Columbus,OH

Re: Turning Black with Sticky hairs

Post by MidwestBambooGarden »

Here are some pictures of my Bambusa multiplex 'Silver Stripe'.
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MidwestBambooGarden
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Location: Columbus,OH

Re: Turning Black with Sticky hairs

Post by MidwestBambooGarden »

Here are some pictures of my Bambusa textilis gracilis.
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Glen
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Location: Southeast Texas, Zone 9a

Re: Turning Black with Sticky hairs

Post by Glen »

I have grown all of those for years, and I am confident that your plants are in good health. They look about as good as my potted plants, which are grown outdoors in a fairly ideal climate for Bambusa sp. From a plant health perspective, I see no reason to spray them with anything. A systemic insecticide applied to the soil would probably help to control the mealybugs, if you are not willing to tolerate the presence of these insects.

The plants show a little chlorosis. If you are not fertilizing them, I would recommend Miracle-Gro, mixed at 1 tablespoon per gallon, applied every week. http://www.miraclegro.com/smg/goprod/mi ... /prod70342

Remember that bamboos are heavy feeders, and when well fed, they grow quickly, filling their pots, and requiring repotting and/or division. You want to make sure that they always have enough soil volume that they do not dry out between waterings. If they are rootbound, and you have to leave them alone for a while, they can be placed temporarily in a shallow tray of water, to prevent them from drying out too badly.
MidwestBambooGarden
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Re: Turning Black with Sticky hairs

Post by MidwestBambooGarden »

Thank you Glen! You have been very helpful. I will pick up some Miracle grow and try that.
What are your thoughts about fertilizing them with an Osmacoat twice a year?
When I bought them I was told that they had been fertilized with Osmacoat and that I would wait to fertilize till the spring.
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Glen
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Re: Turning Black with Sticky hairs

Post by Glen »

There is no perfect fertilizer. However, very cheap fertilizers are more likely to burn plants, if used improperly. I use many different fertilizers, based on plant needs, and fertilizer price and availability. Osmocote is an outstanding, high quality fertilizer.

If you are not familiar with the numbers on fertilizer packages, read this: http://www.ext.colostate.edu/mg/Gardenn ... .html#what

Some fertilizers, including some Osmocote formulations, contain ingredients that should not be used indoors. If you get Osmocote, make sure it is one that is labeled for indoor use, if that is your intent. Keep in mind that they make many different formulations, with many different useful longevities. Fertilizing frequency should be based on the longevity of the specific formulation you get. If you use Osmocote, take note of how long it will last, and remember that its longevity is shorter at higher temperatures. I normally use Osmocote toward the beginning of the growing season, and add some other fertilizers later. If your plants are mostly dormant in the winter, there is no need to fertilize them then. I do not fertilize Bambusa sp. when the weather is cold.

Also, many of the Osmocote formulations do not contain micronutrients. For potted plants, I normally use at least some fertilizer that contains micronutrients, just in case. You can spend a lot of time trying to diagnose micronutrient deficiencies, or you can just make sure you use plenty of fertilizer.

This product would probably meet your needs: http://www.amazon.com/Osmocote-Outdoor- ... B00GTDGMHC

Remember, bamboo is a grass, so it wants a high amount of Nitrogen. The regular formulation of Miracle-Gro contains plenty of Nitrogen, and all the trace elements you need. For my outdoor potted bamboos, I normally use a combination of Miracle-Gro and a little high nitrogen lawn fertilizer, like this: http://www.scotts.com/smg/goprod/southe ... prod100036

I should also add that Nitrogen is used very quickly in my subtropical conditions. I would probably not add any lawn fertilizer to my potted bamboos if I lived in Ohio. Miracle-Gro alone should be adequate.

I have never used Osmocote on bamboos for several reasons. First, Osmocote is the most expensive fertilizer that I normally use, so I save it for more delicate plants that need it. Bamboo seems happy with about anything. Also, it can be hard to track down Osmocote with the high Nitrogen amounts that bamboos prefers, AND micronutrients. Some Osmocote formulations are mainly packaged for large scale use. I assume you do not want to get 50 pounds of Osmocote.

All this is to say, my recommendation is:
Potted bamboos: Miracle-Gro
In ground bamboos: High quality lawn fertilizer. I suppose manure would be better if you happen to have some chickens around.
MidwestBambooGarden
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Re: Turning Black with Sticky hairs

Post by MidwestBambooGarden »

Thank you Glen! there is so much to learn about when starting off. I really appreciate the help!
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