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Waterlogged outdoor bamboo

I have 4 wonderful outdoor bamboos (2 green, 2 black) that have all been flourishing in giant pots for the past 4 years. Until one of the black bamboos began to rapidly “disintegrate” - the leaves leaves quickly turned yellow then brown.

On inspecting it, the soil in the pot has become waterlogged (the other 3 remain fine, despite the same conditions and similar positions). I have been trying to scoop the puddled water out - it has now gone - but the soil remains sodden and smells very stale and rotten. The bamboo continues to decline and pretty much all of them have fallen off over the course of The past week. The stems are brittle but remain, as do some green shoots, so I am hoping it can be saved.

Is there any advice ? 

Is it better to try and remove all the bamboo by digging it out ? Is there a risk of damaging the roots and killing it altogether ? Unfortunately it is very difficult to access due to its position - I cannot move the pot more than a few inches as it is too heavy (it’s a 600mm square zinc pot) and due to its restricted size, cannot access it well to use a spade.

Will the soil eventually drain and dry out in the summer heat/sun and the plant grow back?

Please help ! The beautiful plant usually provides much needed privacy.

Many thanks 🌿


  • punkdocpunkdoc Sheffield, Derbyshire border.Posts: 8,705
    Does the pot have drainage holes?
    Walk out to winter, swear I'll be there.
    Chill will wake you, high and dry
    You'll wonder why.
  • Kay13Kay13 Posts: 5
    @punkdoc - yes it does, all 4 pots the same. I cannot see if the holes have become clogged though, as the pot is far too heavy to lift or move. 
  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 26,228
    sometimes roots can get into the holes and block them
  • Kay13Kay13 Posts: 5
    @Hostafan1 - ah ok that’s good to know, but I cannot currently move the pot to check, it weighs a ton. I can empty the pot - which is my question,  how I could go about this without damaging the plant ... or if it will just kill it off altogether ?
  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 26,228
    what are the pots made of? might you be able to drill new holes near the base?
  • Kay13Kay13 Posts: 5
    They are made of zinc, so yes I could get help to do this.
    The soil / compost is becoming less sodden with the drier weather this week - do you think the bamboo will revive ... ? 
  • Kay13Kay13 Posts: 5
    So can anyone advise on the repotting ?! 😊🌿
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