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Care and Planting Guide

The following conditions must be met in order for the successful growth of your newly purchased bamboo: Sunlight, regular irrigation, good drainage and at least occasional fertilization.
The most important part of your bamboo plant is under ground. If the rhizome and root system are planted in muck or boggy conditions it will not survive. It may be necessary to build up a small berm and plant in that area so that any excess water will drain into lower areas. Soils which are sandy and drain well are the best. An addition of peat moss into the planting hole will benefit the plant by providing a lower ph then the native soils of SW Florida.
  Fertilizing and Mulch
Bamboo should be fertilized with a palm fertilizer. The best times of year for fertilizing are early Spring, several times during Summer, and Fall(September). The added micronutrients and iron are good for preventing yellowing of bamboo foliage. Here in southwest Florida there are many sulfur/iron fertilizer mixes in both granular and liquid form that are known to work well and show favorable results. Weed and feed fertilizers should not be used on bamboo since it is in the grass family and the weed mix might cause die back. Heavy mulch is helpful to place around the base of the plants to insure adequate moisture is available during winter drought periods. Aged horse or cow manure is recommended as one of the best growing media.
  Instructions for planting your new bamboo
1. Dig a hole that is slightly larger than the size of the pot, and several inches deeper.
2. Remove the plant from the pot. If the bamboo does not slide out easily you may be required to cut the pot off the roots of the plant.
3. If the roots have formed tightly into the shape of the pot you can score the roots with a knife to discourage them from growing in a circular pattern. Make sure to avoid any areas with new growth.
4. Place the plant in the hole so the pot soil is even or slightly below the level of the existing soil.brbrbrbr
5. Backfill the hole with the existing soil mixed with a rich topsoil or a manure compost. Water in the plant to make sure there are no pockets of air around the root ball.brbrbrbr
6. Follow the watering and mulching directions listed above.brbr
Expect some shock to occur for up to a month after planting. This will show up as yellowing/orange leaves which will eventually fall off the plant. New leaves will grow on the same stems shortly after.
  Pests and Diseases
As with all plants, bamboo can have certain pests that like to attack them. The following are the most commonly seen, especially during the spring and summer months when the plants have new tender tissues.
1)MEALY BUGS: small cottony white soft bodied insects found in the nodes or new shoots of the bamboo. Secondary pest will be black sooty mold at the joints as well as ants or bees which like the sticky residue left by the mealy bugs. SPRAY AND DRENCH WITH BAYER INSECT,DISEASE AND MITE CONTROL OR
If you wish to thin your bamboo you can remove some of the older growth after the second year. Make sure to take no more than 1/3 of the culms. To trim your bamboo cut the culms near the base just above the node. You can use a small hand saw or reciprocating saw to trim your bamboo once yearly. It is not good to remove the newest culms unless they are growing into an unwanted area. It is also possible to remove some of the branches to reveal the canes and a more open area in the bamboo. If you are planning on using bamboo for a hedge, windbreak or natural screen the spacing is an important detail. Depending on the species and density of the plant they should be planted anywhere from 3 to 8 feet off center.
Most tropical bamboos require at least four hours of direct sunlight on the leaves per day. If you grow your bamboo in partial or broken sunlight the number of new shoots per year may not be as high as if it were grown in full sun. Some bamboos will stretch or elongate their nodes in an effort to reach the sunlight.
To make sure your bamboo gets a healthy start after it is planted, diligent watering is a must. Your bamboo must have adequate water for at least the first year after planting. It is important to get the roots fully established and healthy so they can sustain the plants. Daily watering for the first couple of weeksthen as needed based on weather conditions. The bi-weekly watering schedule which is allowed in most communities works well. Winter droughts can adversely effect bamboo plants, so add some extra water even after the first year if it is dry. If you notice the leaves starting to curl it is a sign of inadequate water supply. You are only over watering if the soil stays muddy or retains water for long periods of time. LEAF DROP WILL OCCUR FOR A COUPLE WEEKS AFTER PLANTING DUE TO TRANSPLANT SHOCK. New leaves will replace the lost ones.
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