new bamboo information

Congratulations on your new bamboo!  If you received your bamboo via mail, please understand that it could have had a rough trip- factors such as extremes of heat or cold, as well as being boxed and in the dark for several days can cause minor stress to your plant.  This may sound concerning, however, it is infrequent that a bamboo has any lasting damage!  Bamboo is a very resistant plant, and with some simple steps, yours is on its way to reaching its full potential for you.
    When you unbox your bamboo, the canes (culms) will stay slightly curled.  this is normal, and they will straighten by themselves.  Never try to bend them back, just let them unroll naturally.  In winter, with heavy snow or rain, bamboo bends, this is a natural feature of this plant, and forcing something could cause breakage. unwrap the plastic bag and as much newspaper from the root ball as possible, and soak the root ball of the plant for 2 or 3 hours in cold water.
    This would be a good time to talk about any damage that may have occurred- very rarely, a bamboo culm will break during shipment.  this can happen one of two ways- if the culm completely snapped off, then remove the broken piece and discard it.  if the culm crushed, but still is attached, it will now lean more, but please leave it.  even though this damage looks bad, it does not affect the bamboo.  the crushed culm will remain green and still provide food via the leaves for the root mass of the bamboo- which is the important part.  Once you get a flush of new culms in the spring, and they have leafed out, you can then clip off the damaged culm, either just above the node where the break occurred, or at the base of the plant.  We recommend leaving as much of the leaves attached to the plant as possible, so clipping above the node is best.
    Any leaf damage that happens in transit will not harm the plant in any way, and should be left alone. Bamboo leaves are replaced each year, so yours will look fresh as soon as active growth appears in the spring.
    If you are planning on potting your bamboo, do so using a standard potting mix, and DO NOT FERTILIZE.  Give your bamboo a month to adjust before fertilizing, providing it is warm enough for active growth. fertilizing after the nights begin to cool is not recommended at all.  Keep the newly potted bamboo in the shade for two weeks after potting, then gradually move it into the appropriate amount of light for that species.
    If you are planning on planting your bamboo directly in the ground, please use caution regarding sun exposure.  Going from a dark box, to direct sunlight can damage the leaves.  When you plant the bamboo, it is highly recommended that you shade the plant with a piece of shade cloth that has a high light block percentage.  This can be removed after a month.
 
Bamboo species are rated by the American Bamboo Society for temperature hardiness.  Please note that these temperature ratings are for fully mature plantings, in healthy conditions.  A young bamboo plant will not have the same hardiness as a mature, established grove.  If your winter temperatures get  close to the listed minimum temp given for your species, then you should plan on protecting the bamboo for a couple years by either pot growing it and moving it to a protected area  or greenhouse for the winter, or cover the plant using plastic or other material until the temperatures warm.  Failure to protect the plant when it is young can result in the death of the plant.