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Black bamboo in pot

DaddyADaddyA Posts: 33
I've purchased a (tall) black bamboo to keep in a pot as a bit of privacy screening. 
My garden slopes downwards slightly so the last fence is much lower than the one closest to the house, hence the neighbours little one likes to throw water into our garden on my unsuspecting little ones etc.
I'm not sure if black bamboo thrives in pots though? The garden nursery I purchased it from water their plants regularly. When I water it, it the water is just falling off the pot. 
I've seen other garden centres place a shallow sauced underneath with water. Other online advice I've found is that the water needs to drain away. 
I will be repotting the bamboo but I'd prefer real life advice from people who've successfully kept a tall black bamboo in a pot. How have you looked aftered it? What did you do when you bought it from the garden nursery and how is it now? 


  • I don't know about black bamboo but I grown bamboo in large tubs for privacy. A couple of times a year I give them a lawn feed (the one without weed and moss killer) and at least a bucket of water per day or more if it is really hot. I have had mine many years and have split it a couple of times. At the moment it is sending up more new shoots.
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 54,353
    As said - you need a very large pot for them to thrive, but I don't understand what you mean by the water 'falling off the pot' ?
    They need some decent soil, and compost alone won't be enough, but they also need adequate drainage, so make sure the pot's off the ground and it has enough holes to allow that. Saucers can be useful in long, hot spells, but again- you have to be vigilant and remove it once weather becomes more normal. It won't appreciate just sitting permanently in water.
    Anything potted needs more attention as it relies on you completely for it's care.  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • LoxleyLoxley Posts: 5,554
    edited August 2019
    I've got Phyllostachys aurea but they're practically the same plant as P. nigra. I have them in shade, in 45x45x45cm cubic pots, with a 60/40 soil / compost planting mix. Being in shade I don't have to water them religiously. The leaves tell me when it needs a drink - they start going yellow! Every year I scrape off a bit of the compost and replace, and cut out old or over-long stems, and snip off side growth to make the stems look cleaner. 

    When you say water falls off the pot, it sounds like the compost has got so dry it's become water repellant. Soak the pot in a bucket of water for a couple of hours and it should become absorbent again. Soil based compost or a soil/compost mix is less liable to go like that.
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 54,353
    I wondered if that was what was meant @WillDB, or if the OP was watering from above instead of at the base. 
    I just always like  clarification in case I'm being dense  ;)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • CeresCeres Posts: 2,575
    If the water is falling off the pot, is this because the compost comes right to the top of the pot? It is normal for the surface of the compost to be an inch or so below the top rim of the pot which gives the water a fighting chance of draining through the compost.
  • edhelkaedhelka Posts: 2,350
    I don't have the tall black bamboo (Phyllostachys) but I have a smaller Fargesia type ('Black Dragon'). I have it in approx. 60cm pot (whisky barrel), in a mix of our garden soil (sandy, free-draining) and compost. It doesn't need watering, it gets enough from rain, at least for now (I only watered it once or twice this year).
    If the water flows away from your pot, it means that the soil level is too high. It's also possible that the roots filled the pot and water can't soak in. It sounds like you need a larger pot.
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 54,353
    The Fargesias are a bit different in that they're clump forming, and a bit easier to 'manage' then the running types. 

    Hopefully @DaddyA will return and see the various posts though, and we can see what the  water 'falling off' issue is down to  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • DaddyADaddyA Posts: 33
    Thanks for the replies. 
    I should take a photo but yes it looks like some sort of straw type material at the top of the small pot probably packed in tightly by the roots from the bamboo plant so when wagering the pot, the water just falls off the pot. I don't know how else to describe it. 
    I wonder how the garden nursery looks after them as they have hundreds in my local which I visit regularly and they seem to thrive in these pots which are small and the plant is tightly packed in. 
    I do need to replant but as it's in full sun I'm wondering if it will even survive that corner. That's the only corner I want it to be in.
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