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Discussion in 'Poaceae' started by Unregistered, Dec 17, 2005.
Is it possible to transplant an outdoor black bamboo for indoor use?
i very much doubt it would survive, however if you had a very cool conservatory (unheated) then it would probably be fine.
Golden bamboo has been used as an indoor entryway plant at a couple places here. Black bamboo has been mentioned as working as an indoor plant on another web site. However, I wouldn't expect digging one up now and bringing it in would result in a happy plant, probably works better to do this in summer, when the indoor and outdoor temperatures are more similar.
As already indicated, the more humid and brighter environment of a cool greenhouse is much more likely to produce a good response than a warm, dark, arid living room. You might also get tired of all the litter bamboo produces trying to keep it as a house plant--outdoor plants brought inside also tend to be full of critters that come out of them when brought inside.
I think one of the many cultivars of Bambusa multiplex would be good for indoor use. The one that I have drops a few leaves now and then but does not pose a problem.
Sure, any of the tropicals would be a better choice. I've seen exquisite Chusquea coronalis sitting on a shelf in an office, the only plant in there. It was near a window, but other than that conditions were probably pretty harsh. It looked fine.
Black bamboo (Phyllostachys nigra) is a temperate running bamboo. It needs full sun and wouldn't survive for long in an indoors lighting situation. If you have a large clump, you could dig some of the larger culms (canes) up, pot them up in the spring, grow them outdoors through the summer, and bring it in for the winter as indoor plants. You will need to move it out in spring before it produces it's next generation of shoots. It will drop it's leaves in late fall (I estimated about 50% of it's leaves) and what remains are yellowed and ratty. Moving it indoors before the weather may improve things but I doubt you will be able to avoid the natural fall leaf drop. In essences, you will be picking up bamboo leaves from your floor for a month or so. This will apply to most of the termperate running bamboos.
But a mature clump of black bamboo can be pretty tough to divide, and it would require a good sized root ball to maintain it's foliage. Otherwise, you would have to top off it's clum to reduce it's foliage - which would negate it's decorative value. And because of it's large root ball, you will need a good sized containder, which would make it rather heavy. Another alternative is to start off with a smaller clump, but grow it restricted in a relatively small container for 2-3 years. In effect, you will end up with a miniaturised version of the bamboo. I have tried doing this with Phyllostachys aurea, but as the roots and rhizomes become crowded, it becomes increasingly difficult to keep them adequately watered, even with an automated dripper system. And constant moisture in the soil is a pre-requisite for healthy bamboos.
An alternative is to grow a shade happy bamboo. One that readily comes to mind is Indocalamus tessalatus. If you are looking for decorative clums this is not what you want. But with leaves that reaches from 12 to 24 inches (one of the biggest in the world of bamboos), and it's love for shade, it's a perfect indoor bamboo.
Tropical bamboos are beautiful, but they are difficult to find here in the Pacific Northwest - I saw some beautiful specimens at Southlands Nursery in Vancouver recently. They are expensive and does need the right conditions for survivor - warmth and light. So, you might want to give this careful consideration before you get one. I doubt it will do well unless you have the house at 70F and higher all the time, and have a room with a large expanse of south facing window with good height.
Yes it would work. There however 2 problems that you are going to have.
1) Indoor humidity (lack thereof) will encourage mites. Misting system on a timer. a humidifier might do the trick
2) Lighting. The best solution to this is a 600-1000W MH lamp depending of how big a crop of bamboo you wanted.
All this costs money. You are looking at $500-$700 for all the supplies to do this project for a ~4x5ft show area
Another problem also looms. Container space. Once the bamboo fills the container, it will eventually show stress from it's confinement, no matter how much humidity or lighting you provide.
If you can provide a suitable area for rhizome growth, height now becomes a factor. You'll need minimum 20' ceilings.
Bottom line ... outdoor cultivation.
An excellent article on bamboo indoors:
Black Bamboo, Pyllostachys nigra, would do better in a courtyard environment than inside most homes. However, many people so love the look of the black culms, that they choose to plant it in a container just outside their front door -- or even make do with cut black bamboo poles arranged in a vase indoors.