Black bamboo question

Lewiston, ID(Zone 5b)

If black bamboo blew over and broke, (in the Seattle area)and the broken cane has been cut off down near the dirt, will it regrow from the roots? Or is this a dead bamboo that needs to be taken out?

Saint Petersburg, FL(Zone 9b)

I would think that it will keep growing it grows off rizomes. I believe that its a slow grower mine is so it may take a little while .

Acton, CA(Zone 8b)

IN my personal experience with black bamboo (Phyllostachys nigra) it is near impossible to kill. All you did was basically cut off a branch. THe bamboo is still very much alive and will regrow more culms soon. I don't know about Seattle, but in So Cal this is NOT a slow species.

Lewiston, ID(Zone 5b)

Many thanks palmbob and irish.

Portland, OR(Zone 8a)

I'm new here (and it's really cool!) so I just saw this question. I've cut down and transplanted p. nigra, and had gorgeous new culms, turning ravishingly black, within 18 months. The new culms were definitely bigger than "newbie" size, though not as big as they might have been prior to cutting and transplanting.

Columbus (Berwick), OH(Zone 5b)

Linden,
I am in a similar region of weather in Ohio. I purchased a pot of black bamboo last year for my yard. It was top killed this winter, but it is very much alive. I want it to spread to fill in a corner of my lot, but am afraid not it will pop up all over creation now. I have been told that when bamboo is top killed that it has a tendancy to run. It is still early and I have no new stalks yet. I will keep you advised. Mine was only noted as black bamboo, but the stalks turned ebony black in a matter of a couple months not a couple of years as has been noted. I think it might be a sub variety that only gets about 20 feet tall. I came across the name somewhere, but can't remember it.

Seattle area, WA(Zone 8b)

I've grown bamboo for years and that's the first time I've ever heard the idea that topkilling makes bamboo run. If that were true, why wouldn't we see large groves of bamboo in marginal bamboo growing zones? It's true that Black bamboo is a runner, but I doubt that your weather will do anything but slow it down. If you want to be sure that it stays where you want it you can either trench around it and install bamboo barrier (a specialty product which you can find doing a Google search), or you can rhizome prune, which simply means chopping down about 8-10" with a sharp shovel all around the perimeter you want to maintain. Do this once or twice a year in the late fall. Any runners that you chop through will turn into worm food and are unlikely to regenerate beyond the chop line. If you do get any stray shoots coming up, just snap them off at the soil line before they get big. Make friends with your bamboo and don't be afraid of it!

Columbus (Berwick), OH(Zone 5b)

Lol...I am not afraid of it. I am giving it free reign. It is something I read somewhere. I have not been able to find the source however. Thankyou very much for the advice. Thanx Kudzu. 1rst year 3 small stalks. This year already 9 stalks starting to pop out of the ground through the mulch!

Canton, IL(Zone 5b)

Hey, Kudzu! Thanx from me, too. Have 15-20' high running bamboo to plant in 20' strip (minimum), block light from neighbor's sodium vapor horror. Suppose strip should be at least 4' wide. ??? Have been sweating over containment. If 10" rhizome prune is enough, then maybe my small tiller would do the job -- goes down to 10". Easier than fighting with barriers, I should think; and if I'm willing to let the stuff scoot a little farther, change the cutting path. Comments?

Montebello, CA(Zone 10a)

I dont think a tiller will do the job, its best to dig down
around the parameter you want to keep contained.
Do this twice a year and you should be good to go.

Seattle area, WA(Zone 8b)

Juneliz-
If you run the tiller around the perimeter you want, then you should get most of it. To be safe, you can always go down a little bit further with the shovel once you're run the tiller around and loosened up the soil. Even if you miss something, you'll see the new shoots coming up and it would be pretty easy to figure out where to chop to sever the fugitive.

Merritt Island, FL(Zone 9b)

Is it p. nigra or b. lako? I have black bamboo but it isn't the running kind, its the clumping East Timor Black.

Kingston, OK(Zone 7a)

I went to the store to get some black bamboo and could not afford it @ 100.00 for a gallon pot. If yours run's away from you, save me a part for postage. Mybe ???? Will trade if I have anything. Just got started last year on gardening. Thought it would look good on one end of the pond.

Seattle area, WA(Zone 8b)

TARogers5-
That's a ridiculous price to be asked to pay for Black bamboo. A reasonable price for that size is $15-25. You are in a place where bamboo is not readily available, which probably explains the price gouging. There are many fine bamboo growers that ship plants for a modest fee. Here is one:

http://www.bamboosourcery.com/bamboo.cfm

Check out the price for Phyllostachys nigra.

If you're up for a little drive, here is a place that sells locally (no shipping) in Oklahoma City:

http://www.alligatoralley.com/bamboostock.html

If you do a Google search, you should be able to find many others.

Seattle area, WA(Zone 8b)

TARogers5-
One other thing. I see you're talking about planting bamboo by a pond. If it's a natural pond, that's fine, because water is a natural barrier. But, if it's an artificial pond with a flexible liner, running bamboo has been known to send rhizomes under the liner and then come up and pierce it. You should use in-ground bamboo barrier with a runner (such as black bamboo) if it's anywhere close to an artificial pond.

Flat Rock, NC(Zone 7b)

I am also looking for some p. nigra. If anyone who has some is willing to trade, please e-mail me with a "wants" list, and I'll see if I have something you may be looking for. Thanks so much.

Byhalia, MS(Zone 8a)

All these posts are such a wealth of knowledge. I have been thinking of trying black bamboo for awhile now. Think I would have any luck in the 7-8 zone in MS? Very humid, very hot and not many days of freeze but also, not tropical. What do you think? Also, if anyone out there has any they are cutting back to control I would LOVE to have some starts of a proven grower. Can do SASE (pay for box and all) or trade. Please let me know and thanks for the informative thread on this species.

Seattle area, WA(Zone 8b)

fivelabs-
You should have no problems growing many bamboo, including black. I'm in Zone 8 (Pacific NW) and I've got about 25 species in the ground and all doing great. It's usually above freezing here, but we did have 3 straight days of 15 degrees F last January and it didn't damage any of my bamboo. One other thing. There really isn't exactly such a thing as a bamboo start. There are some bamboo (specifically tropical bamboo) that can be propagated from cuttings, but it takes some skill. You can't do that with black bamboo, so typically people get a field division, which is a decent sized root ball and at least one culm.

Flat Rock, NC(Zone 7b)

Well, does anyone know of a place to get some p. nigra at a decent price? All the ones I can find are $125.00 & above! I'm not an expert, but that seems kinda steep!

Byhalia, MS(Zone 8a)

If anyone is willing to send a division with at least a culm I would be willing to pay for the shipping regardless of weight. I know these are runners so I am sure they have to be cut back. I cannot find anyone around here that sells them at any price and tired of being burned with online orders. Also willing to trade. Thanks.

Kingston, OK(Zone 7a)

I am on the want list too when someone needs to cut back to keep it in bounds.

Acton, CA(Zone 8b)

Go to the ABS website (I think it's ABS.com) It's the American BAmboo Society web site and they have long lists of suppliers all over the country, many will mail you bamboo... you should be able to get a gal of phyllostachys nigra for about $10. Maybe a 20gal pot would be over $80, but I sure wouldn't pay more than that.

Kingston, OK(Zone 7a)

Still looking for someone who is trimming back and has some for trade.

Flat Rock, NC(Zone 7b)

Me, too, TAR. If anyone does, please let us know. I have some small starts of a hoya I could trade.

Deep South Coastal, TX(Zone 10a)

Are there two different kinds of black bamboo? Mine is very slow growing and has never sent out a runner(had it three years). What am I doing wrong?

Acton, CA(Zone 8b)

There are many kinds of black bamboo... only one is called Phyllostachys nigra, though. There are several clumping species of black bamboo that will never send a runner, that probably would grow great in your climate. You probably have one of those kind... unless your phyllostachys is never watered or sickly or you're growing it in concrere.

Moscow, TN(Zone 7a)

I found P. nigra in 5 gallon pots for 22.99 at Home Depot this past summer. Scooped up two of them. I live in West Tennessee.

Flat Rock, NC(Zone 7b)

Wow, shadowgirl, you got a heck of a deal!!!

Seattle area, WA(Zone 8b)

Calalily-
I would guess that you have a running version of black bamboo as these are the most common and affordable. It's not uncommon to not see runners for several years while a plant establishes itself. However, do you also mean you don't have any new shoots/culms? If it has really been three full years without any obvious growth, I'm thinking it's not getting enough water or nutrients.

Kingston, OK(Zone 7a)

Ok I will have brug cuttings for trade for some Black Bamboo. Also some Christmas Amm bulbs.

Corrected for spelling

This message was edited Nov 6, 2004 4:17 PM

Deep South Coastal, TX(Zone 10a)

Kudzu, there have been two or three canes, they start out green and turn black, so I'm thinking it's the running kind. They aren't fat, they are skinny canes and only one or two new ones per year and no more than 3 ft tall.

Acton, CA(Zone 8b)

Hmmm... still sounds like a clumper. I had a 1 gal Phyllostachys nigra (cost about $12 at the time) and in just two years it was about 5'X 15' spread... not really dense... but to the point I had to start hacking it back a bit. Now, 6 years later, it's a massive clump and already in just about all the planters nearby (20-25' away). All the black bamboo species I have seen grow up green and later turn black, by the way.

Deep South Coastal, TX(Zone 10a)

OK, I'll give it some plant food and more water and see if it grows a bit faster.

Seattle area, WA(Zone 8b)

I don't know of any bamboo whose culms come up green and turn black other than P. nigra. So...I think it's a runner that's not getting enough water/fertilizer.

Montebello, CA(Zone 10a)

Gigantochloa Atroviolacea comes up green then turns black.
I have a patch and I'm getting ready to divide it once april rolls around.

Loxahatchee, FL(Zone 10a)

All of the black bamboos start as green shoots that darken over a period of months. Exposure to sunlight seems to excellerate the process. Besides the temperate species P.nigra, tropical species include Bambusa lako, Gigantochloa atroviolacia, Dendrocalamus asper Betung Hitam, and Dendrocalamus brandisii Black. Those are in the U.S. - there may be more that haven't been imported yet.

Oakland, OR(Zone 8a)

In the PlantFiles, under the catagory of Bamboo you will find a whole list of vendors specializing in bamboo. I know there are two with very good ratings here in Oregon. Their names don't come to me offhand, but both have all sorts of species of bamboo, some of them at very reasonable prices. The ones in the upper prices are usually the larger (older) clumps with more culms and of rarer species. Some of the clumper bamboos are supposed to be hardy down to -20. These are in the group Mountain Bamboos and does include the Fargisa species.

Kingston, OK(Zone 7a)

Finally got a gal pot of Black Bamboo from a store that went out of business.

Ocala, FL

All I know is that I bought at a garden sale is Black Bamboo, How do I know what it is and where to planat it. I was told when I bought it is was a slow spreading Bamboo. I don,t know what fast or slow is with Bamboo since this is my first plant.
Just noticed the other day a tall shoot up so moved it out of screen area, but its only one tall shoot. the rest are small. Please tell me if anyone knows, how to trim
and care for this plant. I want to see the best of it.
Thanks Cyndi

Dublin, CA(Zone 9a)

Do you know the Latin name of yours? The one that's most commonly called black bamboo is Phyllostachys nigra, and it's a running bamboo so if you're planting it in the ground you'll need to use root barriers. Whoever told you it was a slow spreader obviously thought it was a clumping bamboo. The only clumper that comes up in Plant Files when I put in black bamboo as the common name is Bambusa lako, but some of the comments in the entry suggest that one's more rare.

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