bamboo plant problem

5 Mar 2006
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West Midlands
United Kingdom
I've been given a bamboo plant (phylostachys nigra- the black bamboo) that was taken out of someones garden. It's currently in a bag along with some soil, and I'm still deciding where to site it. Does anyone know if the plant can tolerate full sun, partial shade, full shade etc? How about strong winds? (the plant is about 40-50 cm wide and just over 2m tall.)

my big problem is woodlice around the roots? is this normal? or should I do something about it? there seem to quite a few craling in and around the rootball. I was thinking of submerging the whole rootball in water for day, and hopefully drowning them. Will this work? or will I need some kind of chemical, or should I just leave them?
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woodlice only eat dead and rotting wood. They are probably cleaning up rubbish for you. They will not eat a live plant.
wouldnt plant in full sun. bamboo are woodland plants growing under higher trees. Partial shade will do nicley but somewhere thats not too dry.

Before lanting I would soak theroot ball and also fill thehole with water and let it drain away. Nothing to do with the woodlice which are Ok but to stop the surrounding soil pulling moisture out of the root ball.
How about planting it against a fence so that 3/4 is shaded (imagine sun behind the fence) but to top 1/4 in the sun. Winds too come from that direction, so the bottom 3/4 will be protected, but not the top quarter. hope that makes sense.

By the way, what is the actual meaning of full sun, part shade etc.? What about sun for 4 hours, or shade for 6 hours. Are there any hard and fast rules, or do you just go with your rough instinct. Often seen labels giving directions, but never been sure what they actually meant.
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Bamboo will grow equally well in shade as in full sunlight, although it grows stronger and straighter if in competition with other forest plants for light from above, producing perfect bamboo for structural use. Shelter from strong winds is essential as the combination of shallow root systems and great height make the plants susceptible to falling over. They thrive in damp soil, but will die if the roots are in permanent bog. For domestic cultivation, mulch and fertilisers yield good results.
Hi Seneca,

Definition of full sun: middle of a field absolutley no shade.

partial shade: might have sun in the morning eg east facing wall, might have sun in the afternoon west facing wall

Shade: Wall facing north not much sun at all.

Some plants like Acers, Camellia ect dont like to greet the morning sun as if there has been a frost, the heat thaws them too rapidly and you get damge.

Full sun / partial shade will do for majority of plants and shrubs. Not something to get hung up about too much.
I have a black bamboo in my garden . It has been there for about four years and is now about 10ft tall and is beautiful on a windy day when you can her its movement all around the garden. Although they are not supposed to be invasive, as some bamboo can be, it is becoming a bit of a thug and presently wants to rampage through the border. Several times during the summer I have to spend time cutting back the stems that travel along the surface of the soil in an effort to contain it where I want it. If you want to keep your bamboo in an area where you do not wish it to roam then I would consider putting a large bin or similar into the border and planting the bamboo within it . As the bamboo seems to be very shallow rooted you could even use the top say eight or ten inches of a bin and make a barrier around the area where the bamboo is planted.
Mine is planted in sun and although it was watered regularly in its first year it now gets the odd bucketful of water from my pond and is thriving.
I also usually remove all the growth from the bottom 3 or 4 feet of the stems so that you can see the black colour and look through the plant.

Good luck.

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