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PostPosted: Thu Apr 12, 2018 1:19 am 
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Joined: Fri Oct 24, 2014 4:41 am
Posts: 63
Location: San Diego CA
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Ive had this guy in this pot for probably 3 years already and it’s never thrived as much as I’d like. Compared to my other runner at least looks green. I water both regularly at the same time. It sure if maybe too much sun? Any suggestions? I’m in San Diego zone 10 I believe


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 12, 2018 10:47 am 
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Joined: Mon Nov 03, 2008 12:28 am
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Location: Island off Cape Cod Massacusetts
It would just be a guess from this distance, but it could well be root bound if it has been in the same pot for 3 years. Once root bound they will tend to have slow decline.

I would think in full sun it would have some black culms by now too. If you can get it out of pot, check for signs of root rot as well as root binding.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 12, 2018 1:35 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jan 16, 2006 12:30 pm
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Location: My plants grows in Prague and another 3 places in The Czech republic, zone 6.
TC plant? Maybe it caused slow development.

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 12, 2018 5:37 pm 
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Location: St. Louis area Location Details
Do you fertilize?

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 13, 2018 12:02 am 
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Joined: Fri Oct 24, 2014 4:41 am
Posts: 63
Location: San Diego CA
Alan_L wrote:
Do you fertilize?

Thing is that it’s always looked like this. This plant was from a 5 gallon pot when I transferred to the pot it’s in now it had A LOT of room for roots. And it’s never really been very green or pretty. I actually had two exactly the same and gave one away. My buddy still has it and his still doesn’t look any better than mine. As far as fertilizer I do throw some in on occasion even did recently but nothing in on a schedule. I know this is kind of hard to troubleshoot. Maybe it’s just getting too much sun but from what I understood p. Nigras like full sun


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 13, 2018 4:31 am 
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Joined: Sun Jan 16, 2011 12:05 am
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Location: Ljubljana, Slovenia
If I would have to guess, I would say it needs more root space. It has quite some shoots above ground, so it needs a lot of roots to compensate the water loss through transpiration. If it behaved like that from the beginning, there must be another reason. Try without fertilizing it for a while, it could easily be fertilizer burn. Does the pot drain out well or does the water stay inside for a while? If it doesn't drain well, salts end up building inside even if you keep it properly watered. If it gets occasionally waterlogged, end result could also become similar to your bamboo.
San Diego sun could be a bit harsh on it, especially combined with heat. I would not rule that out either. When I was away for 14 days during the hottest part of the summer and nobody cared to water one of my potted bamboos, it dried out completely. It began as lush green, superb looking bamboo and as I came back it had rolled leaves that were already getting straw color. It lost around 80% of leaves and looked similar to your bamboo for a while, because even the new growth on the same culms started showing leaf damage. I then gave it away, but I suspect it fully recovered in the following spring.

I would plant it into new, possibly larger pot with fresh soil mix. I would make sure it drains well and allows some space for the roots and new rhizomes. You can make two divisions and place them into two pots. If you place one of them into more shaded and wind-protected place, you might also see it grow better.

Good luck

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 13, 2018 1:46 pm 
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Joined: Sat Oct 01, 2005 9:14 pm
Posts: 4569
Location: Esparto, CA
Bamboo Society Membership: ABS - America
I container grew mine for 2 years before planting recently and it sized up as expected. I do not think San Diego heat is anything near what mine experienced so I think you can eliminate that. I wonder if the soil is too heavy/wet, so the drainage questions are good leads. Tissue culture plant is also an interesting possibility.

I see a couple of neighbors here with potted bamboos and theirs all are the same size/appearance, short shrubby growth about 3-4 feet tall and full pots. Those pots look like 15 gallon or smaller so maybe pot size has lots to do with it. I bought a 5 gallon in fall of 2015, had it up potted to a squat 30 gallon pot by spring of 2016 and it had consumed most of the soil in that by summer of 2017. It grew as expected even in full all day sun with many days > 100F, fed lots with manures.

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