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PostPosted: Tue Feb 23, 2016 6:20 am 
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Joined: Fri Feb 19, 2016 4:26 am
Posts: 3
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Hey,

I recently got a Phyllostachys Aurea, golden bamboo. I have it potted and indoors next to a window. It's the first time I've tried taking care of bamboo, let alone a plant, and I'm having a hell of a time. I purchased a water meter and have been making sure that it reads moist and not wet and got a package of slow release fertilizer for it. Despite this the tips of the leaves began to turn brown.

I read it could be from overwatering, fertilizer burn, or even just from tap water. So, I stopped watering it till the leaves began to curl so I could water it again with room temperature filtered water that has been left out to get any cholorine out but then I noticed an aphid infestation. Never knew what aphids were they multiplied pretty bad. I purchased some insecticide a few days ago, got rid of the aphids, then removed the bamboo from the pot and left it out to dry out in the event I gave it too much water as the meter kept reading "moist" even after a few days.

Now through all of that, some leaves have brown/dark areas on them and the stems holding the leaves are turning yellow/brown. The stalks are still green themselves. Some older and even some newer leaves are wilting.

I feel like I may have gotten in over my head when deciding to try and take care of a bamboo plant. I stuck the meter into the soil and it read dry, so I thought maybe this was caused by a combination of damage from the aphids and a lack of water. I gave it just enough water to where it barely reads "moist" on the water meter.

I figure people here know way better than me what I'm currently doing wrong. Does anyone know where I'm going wrong and what my next step in taking care of this plant should be? Thanks!

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 23, 2016 2:11 pm 
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Joined: Sun May 06, 2012 1:28 pm
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Location: HALIFAX, NOVA SCOTIA
Bamboo Society Membership: EBS - Germany
Welcome.

It helps greatly if you enter your city and state to your profile.

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johnw coastal Nova Scotia


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 23, 2016 3:03 pm 
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Joined: Fri Feb 19, 2016 4:26 am
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Location: Los Angeles, CA
Los Angeles, CA. It is indoors next to a window but it is not getting full on sun due to location.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 23, 2016 6:48 pm 
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Joined: Sat May 26, 2012 10:09 am
Posts: 248
Location: Austria
asdf11138 wrote:

I recently got a Phyllostachys Aurea, golden bamboo. I have it potted and indoors next to a window.


Do you have anywhere outside you could possibly put the plant? Garden, balcony etc.

I've had a phyllostachys nigra indoors for about a year (also a small phyllostachys aureosulcata aureocaulis and pseudosasa japonica for a little less time).
When I finally admitted that it is a bad idea to keep phyllostachys indoors the plant was in a very sad state.
We are talking about an east facing giant window, me misting the plant twice a day, neem and other insecticides against spider mites and whatnot bugged it and good soil.
Once I planted it outside it recovered quickly and is doing really well.

I've attached a picture of the plant when it was still looking good.

I really can't give you any advice on how to successfully keep phyllostachys indoors for prolonged periods of time (a few months is usually no problem) and haven't seen any evidence on the web that this works well under regular circumstances.

What I do have indoors is a bambusa seedling (probably bambusa bambos) which has been doing fine for a couple of years now.
Generally some of the tropical clumpers can be kept indoors with reasonable results (they tend to grow somewhat spindly and are prone to pests like spider mites)

Good luck with your plant and if it doesn't work out at least you know that growing phyllostachys indoors is kind of one of the holy grails for bamboo enthusiasts ;-)


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 23, 2016 8:49 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jan 16, 2011 12:05 am
Posts: 1334
Location: Ljubljana, Slovenia
Pseujdosasa japonica or Hibanobambusa can do OK indoors, even if you keep them in low light and if they don't receive any cold to enter dormant phase. Phyllostachys bamboos are tricky and usually reject growing in containers, hate warmth and dry air and soon fail because of lower light levels.

I was an optimist too and figured out that they hate being inside when perfectly healthy bamboo lost 90% (in only about 14 days) of leaves and nearly died. Tropicals like Bambusa will most likely grow fine.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 23, 2016 8:55 pm 
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Joined: Fri Feb 19, 2016 4:26 am
Posts: 3
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Tarzanus wrote:
Pseujdosasa japonica or Hibanobambusa can do OK indoors, even if you keep them in low light and if they don't receive any cold to enter dormant phase. Phyllostachys bamboos are tricky and usually reject growing in containers, hate warmth and dry air and soon fail because of lower light levels.

I was an optimist too and figured out that they hate being inside when perfectly healthy bamboo lost 90% (in only about 14 days) of leaves and nearly died. Tropicals like Bambusa will most likely grow fine.


Ah, okay. Gotcha. Too bad. I love the Aurea too.

Thanks for telling me about the japonica and the hibanobambusa. If I decide to continue trying to keep a bamboo plant indoors then I'll switch to one of those. Maybe I'll just go with a "bamboo" palm haha. Thanks again Tarzanus!


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 24, 2016 9:33 am 
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Joined: Wed Sep 20, 2006 5:28 am
Posts: 289
Location: Southeast Texas, Zone 9a
A few tips for the future:

"Filtered Water" means many different things. For plants, you generally want to reduce total dissolved solids (TDS). This means water for plants may need to be purified through distillation or reverse osmosis. Most inexpensive drinking water filters are not useful for plants, as they do not remove the substances that harm plants, even though they may make the water taste better.

Read this: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Total_dissolved_solids#Practical_implications

I highly recommend that you get one of these useful devices to determine if any filtered or bottled water is actually low in TDS: http://www.ebay.com/itm/New-LCD-Digital-TDS3-TDS-Meter-Filter-Pen-Temp-PPM-Tester-Stick-Water-Purity-WP-/121641976344?hash=item1c526d4218:g:WXoAAOSwPcJVSEP~

If you decide to buy water for your plants, make sure it is purified using distillation or reverse osmosis. This is the kind of filtration that the plant needs.

You want to start with low TDS water and then add necessary nutrients through a high quality fertilizer. Fertilizer increases TDS, but is necessary, so you need to start out with water with a reasonably low TDS.

It is possible that the chlorine in your water harmed you plant. When I was on a municipal water supply, I suspected that the chlorine harmed some plants, including Phyllostachys, but I was never certain, as I also had high TDS.

Leaving your water out will not necessarily remove the chlorine. Many water systems use chloramine, which is more difficult to remove from the water. Read this: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chloramination

An aquarium water conditioner can remove both chlorine and chloramine. This is one example: http://www.kordon.com/kordon/products/water-conditioner/amquel-plus

When I was using high TDS, chlorinated water, I found that Bambusa species handled the water better than Phyllostachys, so you could consider Bambusa multiplex as an indoor plant, if your Phyllostachys experiment fails.

A previous poster mentioned Pseujdosasa japonica and Hibanobambusa. I have not grown any bamboos indoors, but Pseujdosasa japonica did handle my high TDS, chlorinated water very well. During a dry summer, I lost my Hibanobambusa. It may have been some other cause, but I suspected the water was the problem.

I would not let your plant dry until the leaves curl. Use a good quality, fast draining potting mix, keep the soil moist, letting it dry slightly between waterings, but do not let it stand in water. If you have to use high TDS water, flush a lot of water through periodically to reduce salt buildup.

I have not used a moisture meter, so I can not comment on their effectiveness, but you will gain skill with determining correct moisture through trial and error.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 24, 2016 12:23 pm 
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Joined: Sat May 26, 2012 10:09 am
Posts: 248
Location: Austria
The pseudosasa japonica I grew indoors did ok but did not produce new shoots (the lack of a cold period I assume).

Glen wrote:

I have not used a moisture meter, so I can not comment on their effectiveness, but you will gain skill with determining correct moisture through trial and error.


To me the simplest method is still the classical "finger probe". Stick your index finger into the soil (at least two joints deep). Slight dampness is usually enough moisture.


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