black bamboo

JanSJanS Posts: 1

All of my bamboo plants are growing new tall shoots this year but a newly planted black bamboo has sent out 2 shoots that are growing about 6 inches a day, what should I do, cut them back or just let them go?


  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 45,062

    Phyllostachys nigra, if that's what you've got, is a fast growing bamboo with an eventual height of 15 - 20 feet, see here

    Were you aware of this when you planted it?  Will you have room for it and is it in an appropriate position?  If not I'd dig it up, put it in a large pot and if you don't want to keep it then you can offer it for sale or give it to someone who does have the room.  It is a beautiful plant, in the right place image

    If you stop taking chances, you'll stay where you sit. You won't live any longer, but it'll feel like it.” 
  • Gary HobsonGary Hobson Posts: 1,892

    Bamboos can become very large plants. It amazes me when I see these plants recommended, so often, in TV programs.

    When a bamboo shoot is cut, it behaves in a strange way. What often happens is that the plant will send out new shoots, at the top of the cut stem, but these will grow outwards (amost horizontally), and not upwards, as you expect with most plants. So the plant ends up looking something like an opened umbrella. If you want to keep the natural appearance of a bamboo then it's best to remove any unwanted shoots at the base.

    This is a pile of canes I cut down last weekend...

     The cut canes are very useful. I put some through a shredder; they make a good material for making natural paths. And you can also use some as garden canes, for supporting other plants.

  • PinkrosePinkrose Posts: 8

    Black bamboo is recommended for clay soil My parents gave me a small piece to plant. I have a free draining soil and it became a nuisance in three years. The spreading shoots/roots lifted my garden path and cracked it. It grow very high and was amazing but not for me. I offered it to someone with a few acres of land and it took four men, four hours and a truck with a drop down tail gate to remove it. Value wise £1000 pounds worth but I was relieved to see it go. Definitely not for small gardens but magnificant if you have the space!

  • Gary HobsonGary Hobson Posts: 1,892

    I'm on clay. I didn't realise that was beneficial.

    The original poster did say that their bamboo was newly planted. So it shouldn't be too big a job if they should want to move it.

    In my experience, the roots of black bamboo are not spreading, at least not in the agressive way that some bamboos do. But I agree that to move an established plant is still a very big job.

  • jatnikapyarjatnikapyar Posts: 421

    image Lucky you, i would give my eye teeth to have one. I have spent some money trying to grow one with no success what so ever. If it is invasive, restrict it in a large pot.

  • I have bamboo in a planter & have the opposite problem as everyone elsE it seems.

    i really want pit to grow more but it has stayed in its clump for 4 years now,  is there anything I can do to help it to grow.  Oh dear, not very green fingered am I?!!

    thank yoXbox

  • Tropical SamTropical Sam Posts: 1,493

    Jan - just cut like you would a hedge to the height that you want and the canes will not grow any higher. I actually really like a pruned bamboo. You can also remove a few feet of bottom leaves to open up the canes ans expose them to the sun for darker canes.

    Phyllostachys nigra does have a good name but it is a runner, a cunning one, as it sends out long (8ft) runners underground and you do not notice it until it is too late and you have a lawn full of Phyllostachys nigra shoots or you wonder where the canes have come from in a border! It is not a clumping bamboo like most Fargesia. I am amazed at how many people say 'it is well behaved' when it is a thug, not Sasa japonica thug, but a thug none the less.


  • Alan4711Alan4711 Posts: 1,569

    High JanS i have 2 lots of bamboo one non invasive and one im going to eradicate one way or another ,i inherited it with the house and is now trying to go next door ,iv cut it to ground level and am going to Glyphosate it ,in a pot yes ,garden no 

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