Conclusion: Propagation from Seed

As mentioned previously, I have 4 species of bamboo I started from seed. This is in addition to the Bambusa vulgaris, the local species and Male bamboo (Dendrocalamus strictus), another species I scored from Govardhan Gardens, I planted previously.Bamboo Lizard Detail, Bambusa Vulgaris from Garden in Coamo, Puerto Rico


Motivation and follow through


Soil erosion is a real issue in Puerto Rico and our little piece of paradise is no exception. A gully (hoya) cuts our place in half. Most of the time, it has no water running through it, but when we do get hit with rain, it comes with a vengeance. Hillside Erosion Showing Exposed Tree Roots from Hoya Near House in CoamoSo much so that I wanted to place some bamboo in strategic locations. There was no real ‘plan’ in the beginning. We simply went up the highway where I was able to score some of the roadside Vulgaris and succeeded in getting some of the pieces to root.


This was the first bamboo I ever planted and it set me on my path to acquiring more.


This update is a walk through of where I am now.

Of the 15 new bamboo plants (from seed) I planted down in the hoya, 5 did not prosper. Fortunately, there was at least one of each species that survived. Those being- Jati/Tulda, Moso, Yunnan, and Tabashir.Young Moso Bamboo Plant, Phyllostachys Pubescens With Tag from Garden in Coamo


That is a good thing.


The Bambusa vulgaris is now in it’s 3rd year and is showing serious propagation. Of the original 9 cuttings, 8 are thriving. The most outstanding example has a culm of about 1.5 inches in diameter with another 5 producing new culms of about 1 inch in diameter. 2 Year old Culms of Male bamboo (Dendrocalamus strictus) acquired as starts from Govarhan Gardens from Garden in CoamoI only give them water when we have a particularly long dry spell. I fertilize them lightly every few months. This is the most common bamboo on the island.


The Male bamboo (Dendrocalamus strictus) plant I scored from Sadhu of Govardhan Gardens is about 2 years old now. It seemed to take off from day one. It now has a dozen 1 inch culms and is extremely prolific. It sits on an exposed rise and gets lots of sun. Collectively, it stands about 12 feet tall. I never give it water and only fertilize it when I fertilize the rest. The link above takes you to an article I wrote about my visit to Sadhu’s farm and buying the Male bamboo (Dendrocalamus strictus). It opens in a new window and it has lots of pictures of Sadhu’s place.


The 4 new Species


As can be seen by the additional photos in the gallery, the surviving plants are doing great. Because of their location, I will only be giving them water during an extended dry spell. This was my first walk through since planting them, so I gave them all a little fertilizer. Of particular note, the Tabashir bamboo (Gigantochloa asper) was doing fantastic. I only lost 1 out of the 5. These are in a very shaded area so I do not expect them to really take off, but they look great.


Though I did not see it until I was editing my shots, one of the Jati/Tulda bamboo plants had produced it’s first culm. It was about 1/4 inch in diameter and 6 inches tall. I was out there a few days later and saw that it had doubled in height. Not bad.


All in all, I’m happy with my results. I now have 6 varieties of bamboo coming up.


Someday, I’ll be able to build that bridge I got in mind.

Bamboo Bob of PR





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