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I bought $140 worth of bamboo from John Nelson at Bamboo Texas in the fall of 2005. I noticed that many of his plants appeared unhealthy and were stricken with red spots. I asked him about it, but he brushed me off saying it was nothing and they would perk up in the spring. Not knowing a lot about bamboo, I took his word and made my purchase. When I got them home, the leaves immediately began to turn yellow, then colorless. I had plenty of new growth, but within days it succumbed like the rest of the plant. I contacted John, but he was totally in the dark about what might have infected the plants. He said he would ask around and try to figure it out. I reminded him that I commented on the condition of the plants when I bought them. I did take one plant back and exchange it for another. I did some research, and this appears to me to be bamboo mites. The leaves turn yellow looking almost verigated. The yellow area spreads until the entire leaf is colorless. Then other leaves develop the same. During the last 6 months, John has ignored most of my emails and phone calls. The few times I have caught him by phone, he promised to call me back (never did) or meet with me the following weekend to look at or exchange the plants (never did). Occasionally he answered an email with a few lines saying we could (finally!) meet over the weekend, but when the weekend came, again, he wouldn't return my calls or email. At one point I told him about Floramite, a professional product I can't get. He said he would buy it and give me some. Then he said he bought it, but my emails and calls to meet him went unanswered. Finally his wife called me. I said that after 6 months of sick plants and numerous broken promises, I would like my money back. She said she would ask John. Guess what? She never called me back! What a horrible experience! $140 down the drain! If he would have just met with me, I could have shown him the plants. If he would have been available the many times he said we could meet, we maybe could have resolved this. Instead he and wasted my time for six months! And my money!
I found this guy on the internet. I live in Houston, so I called him to arrange an appointment to check out his bamboo. I drove clear across town, at least an hour, but it was well worth it. His backyard was filled with bamboo, hundreds of plants. You could tell that he takes his hobby very seriously. I bought two varieties, giant timber and giant black. The giant timber was a very healthy variety with multiple culms. The giant black was very small even for a one gallon. Both plants are doing well but I have decided to wait to plant the 'giant black' till it grows out a little. This guy was friendly and knowledgeable.
I have ordered plants from Nueces River Groves. These folks are great. My plants were ordered from their web site and picked up during their Spring Fling. The plants were perfect and the people great. You can't beat the prices or the plant quality. These folks are the best and I will do much more business with them.