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PostPosted: Sat Feb 16, 2019 8:35 pm 
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Joined: Fri Feb 12, 2016 9:06 pm
Posts: 132
Location: Magnolia Springs, Al Zone 8b
Bamboo Society Membership: ABS - America
Can you spell out your fertilization program and why this is your preferred method? Please indicate if you’re growing running or clumping.

Thanks my Fellow Bamboo enthusiastic.

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 17, 2019 5:56 am 
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Joined: Sun Jan 16, 2011 12:05 am
Posts: 1334
Location: Ljubljana, Slovenia
Spring, right before shooting and once they start to leaf out in the summer. I neglect my clumpers and forget to fertilize them. Well, they don't seem to need it anyway.

Fertilization in the spring hopefully allows larger culms and lower number of aborted shoots. Summer fertilization helps the bamboo leaf-out and develop as much as possible so it can upsize the following spring. I never fertilize in autumn and sometimes skip the spring. I don't want a hard freeze to damage an actively growing bamboo.

I use manure pellets for my younger seedlings and 15-15-15 NPK for the larger bamboos.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2019 8:13 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2009 4:13 pm
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Location: St. Louis area Location Details
I fertilize before shooting, early summer, then late summer. Sometimes those last 2 slip to mid-summer and early autumn. I always use Milorganite. I don't use stronger stuff because I don't want to get it wrong.

Many (all?) turf grasses can store nitrogen during the late fall and winter, to utilize upon waking up in the spring. Does anybody know if bamboo does that too?

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2019 7:40 am 
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Joined: Sun Jan 16, 2011 12:05 am
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Location: Ljubljana, Slovenia
Alan, that is the opposite to common belief that fall fertilization would trigger active growth. I didn't find any info regarding that topic. Some tests should be done. :)

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 20, 2019 9:19 am 
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Joined: Wed Sep 20, 2006 5:28 am
Posts: 289
Location: Southeast Texas, Zone 9a
Running Bamboo:
I try to fertilize:
1. In mid-January, while shoots are forming underground - to encourage large shoots
2. Some time soon after the new culms are leafed out - to encourage a full foliage crop for the year
3. In the fall, when temperatures have cooled a little and soil moisture is adequate - rhizome growth seems to peak during this period, so I want to maximize productivity

Clumping Subtropical Bamboo:
I try to fertilize:
1. March or April, after new leaves start to grow - this seems to be the time when new rhizome growth begins, and I want to encourage them to be as large as possible
2. Every month or two through October - subtropicals grow more or less continuously during this period if moisture is adequate, and they love fertilizer and are fairly salt tolerant

The above statements apply to my experiences in USDA zones 8b and 9a in Southeast Texas. I have never experienced temperatures cold enough to damage Phyllostachys, so I can not comment on any negative effects of fertilizing these late in the year. As far as tropicals go, I have seen no evidence that late fertilization makes them more susceptible to freeze damage. I want these plants to go in to winter with good color and vigor, as I believe this makes them most able to withstand cold winters. This is quite the opposite of what I would say about something like citrus.

Running bamboos are generally stressed when it is hot, especially if it is too dry, so I generally do not fertilize them much during the heat of summer, especially if rainfall is not adequate. These plants are already somewhat salt sensitive, so I do not want to overfertilize and exacerbate the problem.

I generally do not use controlled release fertilizer on bamboo, since it is expensive, and bamboo seem happy with anything with high nitrogen. I do often use lawn fertilizer that has a portion of slow release nitrogen.

With potted plants, I usually start fertilizing when stated above, but then I will try to fertilize all types every month or so. Small potted plants get special attention, and are watered in such a way as to keep salts leached out of the pots. These plant have often not settled in to their mature growth patterns, and will grow whenever it is warm enough, so I try to make use of that fact. If I use controlled release fertilizer on bamboo, it is on these potted plants.

I do not normally fertilize if torrential rains are expected, since the fertilizer will be wasted. Unfortunately, this does sometimes mean that a fertilization window is missed, but that is gardening :) .


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 27, 2019 1:09 pm 
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Joined: Wed Oct 17, 2012 6:02 pm
Posts: 37
Location: Zone 7a Oklahoma City
To tell you the truth I can't tell if fertilizer helps or does anything for my bamboo at all. :lol: :lol:

I usually fertilize early March and subsequently in July.

It's like a money black hole. I can easily dump hundreds of lbs of fertilize if I get carried away.


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