Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
  #1   Report Post  
Old 04-04-2009, 04:00 AM
ramyad's Avatar
Registered User
 
First recorded activity by GardenBanter: Apr 2009
Location: London
Posts: 5
Unhappy Dying black bamboo

Dear all,

I hope you can help. I've only been doing gardening for nearly a year now and planted two bamboo clumps last summer.

I put them in the ground at the back of the garden and they were doing fine but over the winter one of them became quite bad. Leaves went brown and fell off and stalks going brown, from black. The one on the left seems to be on it's way out too.

I watered well when first planted, used compost and bone meal to bed them in. Over winter I didn't water them, could this be the problem? There is a covering of bark over the ground to help with keeping the moisture in.

After spending over 100 for these, I'm hoping I've not lost them. Any ideas on saving them.

Thanks very much.
Ramesh
Attached Thumbnails
Dying black bamboo-blackbamboo.jpg  

  #2   Report Post  
Old 06-04-2009, 03:06 PM
Registered User
 
First recorded activity by GardenBanter: Feb 2006
Location: Chalfont St Giles
Posts: 1,340
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by ramyad View Post
Dear all,

I hope you can help. I've only been doing gardening for nearly a year now and planted two bamboo clumps last summer.

I put them in the ground at the back of the garden and they were doing fine but over the winter one of them became quite bad. Leaves went brown and fell off and stalks going brown, from black. The one on the left seems to be on it's way out too.

I watered well when first planted, used compost and bone meal to bed them in. Over winter I didn't water them, could this be the problem? There is a covering of bark over the ground to help with keeping the moisture in.

After spending over 100 for these, I'm hoping I've not lost them. Any ideas on saving them.
If you were sold those as Black Bamboo (Phyllostachys nigra), I think you were conned. I'm pretty sure they are Fargesia nitida, which doesn't have a common name. I think you will agree that the stems of what you bought were actually a dull dark grey rather than the shiny black of real Black Bamboo. Also young culms on Black bamboo are green not black: they turn black in the second year, and I don't think you have any green culms. The acid test is whether the culm sections have a groove in them - real black bamboo has a vertical groove ("sulcus") in each culm section on alternating sides of the culm, and F nitida doesn't.

Disreputable sellers sometimes sell F nitida as black bamboo, because it is black(ish) and a lot cheaper. Though F nitida is a very nice plant in its own right. The plants you have are dying because they have flowered. Anyone with any specialist knowledge of bamboo knows that Fargesia nitida is in flowering mode, and it is necessary to sell seed-raised post-flowering stock to avoid it dying from flowering.

Take them back to the seller and demand your money back. If that is not an option, then they do sometimes revive, though as a much smaller plant, that will probably take about 5 years to get back to the size of the plant you bought. Or maybe really what happens is the seeds fall off and a few germinate and give the impression of the plant reviving, having a similar timescale. Water them as necessary, but don't feed them heavily until they are growing well.

If, however, I have misinterpreted the picture and you do have black bamboo, then come back to us and we'll try to work out what killed it. You shouldn't need to water them over the winter if they are planted in the ground.
  #3   Report Post  
Old 06-04-2009, 07:31 PM
ramyad's Avatar
Registered User
 
First recorded activity by GardenBanter: Apr 2009
Location: London
Posts: 5
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by echinosum View Post
If you were sold those as Black Bamboo (Phyllostachys nigra), I think you were conned. I'm pretty sure they are Fargesia nitida, which doesn't have a common name. I think you will agree that the stems of what you bought were actually a dull dark grey rather than the shiny black of real Black Bamboo. Also young culms on Black bamboo are green not black: they turn black in the second year, and I don't think you have any green culms. The acid test is whether the culm sections have a groove in them - real black bamboo has a vertical groove ("sulcus") in each culm section on alternating sides of the culm, and F nitida doesn't.

Disreputable sellers sometimes sell F nitida as black bamboo, because it is black(ish) and a lot cheaper. Though F nitida is a very nice plant in its own right. The plants you have are dying because they have flowered. Anyone with any specialist knowledge of bamboo knows that Fargesia nitida is in flowering mode, and it is necessary to sell seed-raised post-flowering stock to avoid it dying from flowering.

Take them back to the seller and demand your money back. If that is not an option, then they do sometimes revive, though as a much smaller plant, that will probably take about 5 years to get back to the size of the plant you bought. Or maybe really what happens is the seeds fall off and a few germinate and give the impression of the plant reviving, having a similar timescale. Water them as necessary, but don't feed them heavily until they are growing well.

If, however, I have misinterpreted the picture and you do have black bamboo, then come back to us and we'll try to work out what killed it. You shouldn't need to water them over the winter if they are planted in the ground.
I'm not sure why you are doubting the authenticity of them as they were purchased from a very reputable and highly respected supplied. They also have the groove along the stems that you say are proof of an authentic variety.

If they are flowering then why is the one of the left still green? Not as bushy as it was when I first bought it but it still looks alive to me.
__________________
Newbie Gardener with small town house style back garden.
  #4   Report Post  
Old 07-04-2009, 03:53 PM
Registered User
 
First recorded activity by GardenBanter: Feb 2006
Location: Chalfont St Giles
Posts: 1,340
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by ramyad View Post
I'm not sure why you are doubting the authenticity of them as they were purchased from a very reputable and highly respected supplied. They also have the groove along the stems that you say are proof of an authentic variety.

If they are flowering then why is the one of the left still green? Not as bushy as it was when I first bought it but it still looks alive to me.
I didn't know you bought them from a reputable supplier.

OK, I guessed wrong. What I said has been the answer to every one else's "why is my black bamboo dead" question, but as you can see I wasn't totally sure from the distance shots.

Black bamboo does tend to defoliate in the winter in the British climate, and it is very late into growth in the spring, could even be end of June before it does anything. So maybe you just wait a few more months to see if they are OK really. It's been really dry where I live the last 6 weeks or so. If it is like that where you are, and stays like that, water them regularly and abundantly, as they are fairly new into the ground.
  #5   Report Post  
Old 27-04-2009, 10:13 PM
Registered User
 
First recorded activity by GardenBanter: Apr 2009
Posts: 2
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by echinosum View Post
I didn't know you bought them from a reputable supplier.

OK, I guessed wrong. What I said has been the answer to every one else's "why is my black bamboo dead" question, but as you can see I wasn't totally sure from the distance shots.

Black bamboo does tend to defoliate in the winter in the British climate, and it is very late into growth in the spring, could even be end of June before it does anything. So maybe you just wait a few more months to see if they are OK really. It's been really dry where I live the last 6 weeks or so. If it is like that where you are, and stays like that, water them regularly and abundantly, as they are fairly new into the ground.
They look like the real P. nigra to me and I think they will both send up some smallish new shoots next month, and then there should be no looking back unless we have a serious summer drought and you take a long holiday...


Reply
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules

Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Bamboo wanted. Have Black bamboo and "Alphonse Karr" Annabel United Kingdom 2 12-06-2003 03:56 AM
black spots, Black Spots, BLACK SPOTS!!!!bbbbbblllllllaaaaacccckkkkkk ssspp Unique Too Roses 7 16-05-2003 04:08 AM
black spots, Black Spots, BLACK SPOTS!!!!bbbbbblllllllaaaaacccckkkkkk ssspppOOOTTTSSSS!!!!!! Roger Roses 6 12-05-2003 10:56 PM
black spots, Black Spots, BLACK SPOTS!!!!bbbbbblllllllaaaaacccckkkkkk Radika Kesavan Roses 0 11-05-2003 04:44 PM
Is my lewisia dying back or actually dying! Lynda Thornton United Kingdom 2 23-10-2002 06:36 PM


All times are GMT +1. The time now is 09:08 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Copyright ©2000 - 2019, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright 2004-2019 GardenBanter.co.uk.
The comments are property of their posters.
 

About Us

"It's about Gardening"

 

Copyright © 2017