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Yellowing leaves, tips browning, cane die- back on newish plants

12 years ago

I did some searching here, but couldn't find an answer. I've got a client with about 15 15g Alphonse Karr bamboo. Currently about half are not doing very well.

I know bamboo loose many leaves in Spring, as I've grown them before. Originally, that's what I thought it was-- and told the client so about months ago. Now, however, this looks worse, and has been continuing longer than I'm used to-- a lot of yellowing, dying at tips of leaves, and some shoots dying back as well, top to bottom. We planted them all back in Nov. They're mulched, etc. and the plants look, frankly, terrible. I can't figure out what this is a symptom of, and therefore I can't figure out how to fix the problem. Ugh.

This winter in CA there's been a lot of rain (by our standards), so we turned off the irrigation a few months back. He's been watering them by hand 2-3 times a week. He says he rests the hose on them, goes away for a few mins and then comes back and moves it again. First I thought it wasn't enough water, then I thought perhaps it's too much, or a lack of a certain nutrient. The water table _is_ high there, as there was some flooding in the back of his yard this winter which he had to pump out. When I pulled back the mulch, the soil was definitely wet.

I normally don't fertilize, but these were so expensive, I feel like I'll do what I need to do to make them successful. But perhaps it doesn't need it. Does bamboo typically respond well to fertilizer of some sort? Perhaps I should be watering it less?? I've set the drip system to start watering 2x a week, for an hour each time. As the rootballs are pretty big, I've given each one 4-5 1 gallon drip emitters. I'm anticipating summer, when things get warmer, as I've found they need irrigation to really thrive. Do you still think this is too much though?

Just looking for some much needed advice from those with more experience.


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