18 messages
08/11/2012 at 00:26
I'm going to put my bamboo in a pot in the ground as a precaution, incase it gets out of control. I'm going to use one of them big rubber buckets. Do I need to put holes in the base for drainage?? Will the roots grow through the holes? If I don't put holes in, and do I risk drowning the plant?
08/11/2012 at 07:16
Yep, without holes you'll have built a pond and it'll drown. What sort of bamboo have you got? If you get the non invasive clump forming ones, then no need to worry.
You can get root control bags for fruit trees:
http://www.readsnursery.co.uk/products/Root-control-bag.html
But don't know how effective they'd be for something more keen like a bamboo. Anyone?
08/11/2012 at 08:06

The key is your variety of bamboo. As above, if it's non-invasive, you don't need to worry about a pot to contain it. If invasive, though, a pot won't contain it. The roots will be out through the drainage holes and off or even up the sides of the pot and out and off.

I speak from bitter experience. I once inherited a garden in which a bright spark of a landscape designer buried an old laundry trough and planted an invasive variety. He left the plug in the trough, he said, to stop it spreading through the plug hole. The roots ran up the sides of the trough and out and off. A nightmare.

08/11/2012 at 08:08
Supernoodle wrote (see)
...What sort of bamboo have you got? If you get the non invasive clump forming ones, then no need to worry.

This is the important point. A few bamboos are invasive. But many are not.

So the first thing is to establish whether yours is an invasive one. You ought to be able to identify the species. There are not many 'popular' bamboos. You might have the label, which might actually say non-invasive or clump-forming.

Alternatively, if you've had the plant growing for a few years, then it should be obvious whether it has behaved itself, or not. There's no point in going to a lot of effort if it is completely unnecessary.

08/11/2012 at 09:00

Not any help to you, just a little anecdote - I have an area of woodland with a clearing in it that can get rather soggy after heavy rain, so I planted what I thought would be a big bamboo that I could use for runner bean poles and staking. But the garden centre had put the wrong label on it and it is a chest high clump forming one with delicate canes!

08/11/2012 at 09:03

Oh blimey, Busy-Lizzie - imagine it had been the other way round - you'd wanted a small clump forming one and got a big invasive one!

08/11/2012 at 10:04
Thanks for the advice guys.

Identifying it may not be easy. I originally pulled up a young shoot from a larger plant at work to get my bamboo. Judging by the leaf and cain colour etc it could still be a number of varieties. The mother plant is around 4 meters tall with a spread of about 3-4 meters.

I've heard stories of bamboo popping up in neighbours gardens 3 or 4 doors down..... surely not???
08/11/2012 at 10:41

There are hundreds of species of bamboo. But the number of varieties sold in garden centres tends to be quite small. If you've seen the mother plant, then that may give you a good idea of its ultimate size.

You say you pulled up a young shoot. That does sound a bit onimous, as though the plant is keen to spread itself around. And you've very helpfully cooperated with it, by taking its offspring back to your own garden.

The most popular bamboo, the one most often recommended on TV shows and readily available in garden centes is Golden Bamboo, (Phyllostachys aurea), and the closey related black variety (Phyllostachys nigra). Neither of those are invasive bamboos. Although they are both unsuitable for small gardens, IMO, simply because they grow so tall, and also tend to flop. Planting in a pot can help to keep them small.

Another common bamboo is Sasa palmata. This is very popular because it has large paddle like leaves, and does appeal to people who want a tropical look. It does have a very distinctive appearance. This leaf image from wiki...

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/d/d4/Sasa-palmata-winter.JPG/800px-Sasa-palmata-winter.JPG

This one definitely is invasive, and should not be planted in open soil in a small garden. That is the one to beware of.

 

08/11/2012 at 12:59

I put a fargesia nitida in earlier this year.  Now I'd heard about Busy-Lizzie's experience, I'm going to watch it like a hawk.  Any sign of unclump-like behaviour and it's coming out

08/11/2012 at 18:56

http://s4.gardenersworld.com/uploads/images/original/15587.jpg?width=544&height=350&mode=max

 

http://s4.gardenersworld.com/uploads/images/original/15582.jpg?width=544&height=350&mode=max

Don't know if anyone else can identify this?  But as mentioned the mother plant doesnt seem too aggressive, so i'm going to assume this will clump

09/11/2012 at 08:34

Those photos are very interesting.

At first sight the leaves do look very much like the dreaded Sasa.

But to my mind, those stems (culms) do NOT look like Sasa. Sasa stems tend to be slimmer and more bendy and do not tend to branch. Yours look a lot more like proper bamboo canes.

So I'm not sure that yours is.

You may be OK, but it needs watching.

The way that invasive bamboos spread is by thick underground roots, which are just beneath the surface of the soil. If a bamboo is non-invasive clump-forming, then it will not attempt to put out long roots near the surface.

So the best thing is just to see what's beneath the surface of the soil. Take a few spots about a foot away from the plant, and scrape down about an inch, and see whether there are any long exploratory roots radiating out from the plant. The absence of surface roots now doesn't mean that the plant might not put some out when it grows more. Just keep an eye out for any, now, and in the furture.

Or was the shoot that you got, from the parent plant, coming up from a long root just beneath the surface that had been sent out by the parent plant.

It's only a little plant, just keep an eye on it.

09/11/2012 at 09:51

Looks likea Phyllostachys, possibly Golden Bamboo (Phyllostachys aureocaulis)

09/11/2012 at 13:31
blairs wrote (see)

Looks likea Phyllostachys, possibly Golden Bamboo (Phyllostachys aureocaulis)

Golden bamboo (Phyllostachys aurea) has very different leaves to Sasa.

I have several of both plants in my garden. The two leaves at the left are Golden bamboo, the one on the right is Sasa...

http://s3.gardenersworld.com/uploads/images/original/15595.jpg?width=350

Typically, the leaves of Golden bamboo are 20-25mm in width. Sasa is much bigger, typically 80mm in width.

But your bamboo might be something else.

09/11/2012 at 18:56
Georg Faust wrote (see)
blairs wrote (see)

Looks likea Phyllostachys, possibly Golden Bamboo (Phyllostachys aureocaulis)

Golden bamboo (Phyllostachys aurea) has very different leaves to Sasa.

I have several of both plants in my garden. The two leaves at the left are Golden bamboo, the one on the right is Sasa...

http://s3.gardenersworld.com/uploads/images/original/15595.jpg?width=350


Typically, the leaves of Golden bamboo are 20-25mm in width. Sasa is much bigger, typically 80mm in width.

But your bamboo might be something else.

Your right - re looking at the plant, the leaves are very large! Much larger than Golden Bamboo.

09/11/2012 at 21:25
Georg Faust wrote (see)

Those photos are very interesting.
At first sight the leaves do look very much like the dreaded Sasa.
But to my mind, those stems (culms) do NOT look like Sasa. Sasa stems tend to be slimmer and more bendy and do not tend to branch. Yours look a lot more like proper bamboo canes.
So I'm not sure that yours is.
You may be OK, but it needs watching.
The way that invasive bamboos spread is by thick underground roots, which are just beneath the surface of the soil. If a bamboo is non-invasive clump-forming, then it will not attempt to put out long roots near the surface.
So the best thing is just to see what's beneath the surface of the soil. Take a few spots about a foot away from the plant, and scrape down about an inch, and see whether there are any long exploratory roots radiating out from the plant. The absence of surface roots now doesn't mean that the plant might not put some out when it grows more. Just keep an eye out for any, now, and in the furture.
Or was the shoot that you got, from the parent plant, coming up from a long root just beneath the surface that had been sent out by the parent plant.

It's only a little plant, just keep an eye on it.

the darker looking shoot is new growth, which came up from the base of the original shoot, and the stem of the original shoot is very rigid (garden cane like) for such a small shoot (0.5cm thick).

As yet i havent been able to identify any roots spreading under the surface, so i think i'll be safe, but i'll keep an eye on it.

How far beneath the surface would invasive roots be if was spreading as such?

10/11/2012 at 03:03

We have six of the Sasa bamboo's in very large pots as a screen standing on slabs,they are over seven feet tall, we started out with one in a pot, but it got so big we had to devide in half so if it is the sasa type and you plant in a pot in the ground you will have to remove it and devide it in half as in two years it will outgrow the pot,also in  dry wheather you will have to water it as it will get very dry in the pot even in the ground.

10/11/2012 at 10:07

The large leaves of Sasa are big, unusual and attractive. As Noweed says, the plant makes a good screen and can be grown satisfactorily in pots. I have some growing in lawn, and it's not difficult to control. This is mine...

http://s3.gardenersworld.com/uploads/images/original/15621.jpg?width=350

The photo just below shows the stems (culms). This plant is several years old. But none of my stems appear like thick bamboo canes. They are all thin, spindly and flexible, which is why I thought yours might possibly be something else...

http://s3.gardenersworld.com/uploads/images/original/15622.jpg?width=350

These two thick tough roots are what the spreading roots look like. They are about 1 inch below the surface, and this is about 1 metre from the plant...

http://s3.gardenersworld.com/uploads/images/original/15623.jpg?width=350

The roots don't normally spread more than 2 or 3 metres from the plant without putting up some shoots above ground, so if that area is kept under control, then there's no problem.

There are some other species (with small leaves) that are invasive, but these tend to be more obscure species, and not readily sold in garden centres. Sasa is the most common. Any spreading bamboo, of any kind, will spread by roots similar to Sasa's. A clump-forming bamboo does not put out any lateral roots like that.

10/11/2012 at 10:22

Agh ... ! Memories. Bad memories. Hideous memories.

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