FAQ Page dedicated to Everything Growing Slender Weavers
Do NOT plant Slender Weavers any closer than about 1.2m apart.
Any closer together than 1.2m and they compete with each other and grow to be stunted with short branches and sparse foliage.
Planting 1.3m – 1.4m means the plant will grow faster and put up thicker, taller culms with longer branches and more leaves much sooner.
Because the area the plant can occupy is essentially a circle. The area increases with the square of the distance between the plants.
The volume occupied by the roots increases with the cube of the distance between he plants, as does the volume of air the leaves can occupy to absorb carbon dioxide.
Roughly speaking this means doubling the distance between the plants increases the sunlight it can absorb by four times as much and increase the water, nutrients and carbon dioxide by EIGHT times as much
Plant your bamboo further apart than you might be thinking because you will get a screen sooner that way, and you will have a screen made of much stronger, more vigorous bamboo which has a full display of foliage and it much more resistant to dry spells.
You will also save money that way.
The reason for saying this is the same as the reason for advising people NOT to buy the biggest plant in the smallest pot.!.
Somebody sent us a link to nursery which quotes this
“. If your trench is a metre wide – plants should be spaced a metre apart – 500mm wide trench = 500mm spacing. Following that rule of thumb will provide you with a substantial screen…”
It’s really hard to know where to start with that but assuming the trench is 10m from front to back, they would be planted with 10cm spacing???
Planting them too close is the best way to low down the growth and end up with short bamboo with short branches.
We really do recomment 1.2m. It might seem like a lot but it really isn’t, with the culms diverging a btit, the plants only need to put ou branches of 50-60cm to completely cover, and the average length of a branch is much more than that.
Pleae notice that we can explain our advice in terms which make sense (at least they do to us and that’s what our customers often say)
Planting them closer together in a narrower strip.????????? If anyone can expain why that makes sense you can get 1000 free Slender Weavers, every day, for ever. That’s how much it does NOT make sense.
The biggest thing that seems to be absent in that “logic” is that the plants will all grow to look the same in the same conditions, therefore there should be no reason to plant them twice as close together compared to often quoted 1m, which is already pushing it…. they need space. they grow faster and bigger with more nutrients and sunlight (and carbon dioxide from the air, with more and bigger leaves). That’s not hard to understand.
Wherever you buy, make sure you ask questions becase it keeps the market honest.
Plant A with 6 culms 1.5m tall
Plant B with 1 culm at 1.5m and 2 or 3 smaller culms?
Plant A seems the obvious choice.
It seemds obvious, and it would have been obvious to me before I started this business and I would have been completely wrong
Because most people don’t realise that bamboo grows completely differently than “normal plants” they look for the biggest plants they can find.
This means many nurseries grow the biggest plants they can in pots
This leads to people assuming that bigger is better.
What reasons are there to believe a bigger bamboo plant in a pot is better?
Before you read on, if you are new to bamboo, please think about this because it’s the easiest way to understand why there are no reasons at all to assume this.
Please read this carefully and please get back to us if there is anything that could be made clearer
How bamboo grows taller
Bamboo gets taller by putting up taller and taller culms, each of which stop growing at whatever height they get to (determined by the diameter at the base, which never changes) and are overtaken by the following one.
This means that when they are young they should have culms which gradually increase in height.
Every culm takes about 2 months to reach it’s full height before it stops growing and puts out leaves/
Then the next culm comes up and in 2 months it grows taller than the one before.
Once in the ground they put up multiple shoots together which always grow much taller than anything it could put up in a pot.
By the end of the second season they will have many shoots coming up, all at once which take 2 months to reach about 6m.
The 3rd season will be the time the bamboo has put up the tallest culms it can in the conditions it is in.
So, what does that mean about bamboo plants in pots that are only about 4.5L in volume?
What is going to happen if the plant is left in a pot that is 1000s of times smaller than the volume the roots could occupy in the ground?
Plant A is what will happen.
Most nurseries don’t bother to explain this and this means customers are looking for the biggest plants they can find.
The biggest plant you can find in a 200mm pot is something like plant A.
Take a moment to notice what’s wrong with plant A.
6 culms all about 1.5m tall.
How is that possible if every culm should grow taller than the last?
Remember: Bamboo gets taller by putting up taller and taller culms.
Every culm that comes up is taller than the last.
A plant that has many culms the same height in a pot is clearly unable to grow properly.
Something is wrong.
The thing that is wrong is that the plant has run out of room to put out enough roots to support taller and bigger culms with leaves higher from the ground, needing water to be pumped up from the ground.
You can find plants like this in some nurseries and almost always they are sitting in a saucer of water or are being constantly drip fed water to prevent them from drying out.
They are rootbound and stunted and planting them in the ground will lead to them dehydrating very quickly.
The only way to keep them alive is to do as shown in the youtube (bottom link)
Plant B however, is showing signs that it is growing well.
The next culm that comes up will be taller than the last (because that’s what every culm before it did)
If left in a pot it will put up another culm but it won’t reach much more than 1.5m
If put in the ground, the roots can occupy what is essentially an infinite volume and the next culm will be 2+m
A plant with a good root system is a plant that can put roots down easily.
A 200mm pot contains about 4.5L of potting mix.
A fully established, mature Slender Weavers will have roots that have grown a very, very long way and branched out to absorb moisture from as much soil as possible.
Furthermore, in the ground the roots make connections with fungi in the soil which are connected to all plants and which grow down as far as they can.
This is why plants in the ground, when established, can survive without water for months.
They are being supplied by water deep underground from a vast network of fungi which form a symbiotic relationship with the roots.
The fungi give the plant water and nutrients from deeper than the plants can grow roots and the plants give the fungi sugars manufactured in the leaves via photosynthesis.
So… whenever you buy bamboo, make sure that it has culms which are different heights because that way, you know that the next culm is going to follow the same pattern and will grow taller.
Always inspect the roots if you are unsure and make certain that it is not showing signs of becoming rootbound.
Make sure the roots are not coiled up and can grow into the soil, massively increasing the available resources and then make connections with the fungi that further increase the surface area by 700 times (click here)
Never buy plants that are rootbound and stunted (click here)
It’s the ONLY commercially available bamboo that has the following properties
1) Extremely fast growing, even for bamboo. Reaching full height from a 200mm pot in 2-3 years.
2) It does not get any taller than 6-8m
3) It is very easy to maintain at a lower height (see below)
4) It has a small footprint, meaning it is a tight clumper with shoots that come up right next to each other
5) Slender Weavers is very resistant to drought, frost and and heat
NO other bamboo has all those qualities, In fact none come close, which is why Slender Weavers is so popular.
6) Once they are established you have to try very hard to kill them, meaning they are very easy to look after.
PS- If you do want to get rid of them for some reason (it does happen when people extend, please call use, we may come and dig them up for you, for free).
It depends on conditions and whether you need them to grow as tall as possible and if you are prepared to wait a little bit longer for a better result.
Generally speaking, in the ground, somewhere between 1.25m and1.5m apart is good if you want fast growth and maximum height
7 plants planted at 1.5m centres gives you 9m + 50cm at each end
7 plants planted at 1.25m centres gives 7.5m + 1.5mn at each end. NOTE: That 1.5m will take about 3 years to fill out at the end.
All our plants are propagated via what is essentially cloning. This is the same for all nurseries unless they specifically state otherwise (and this would be rare and the result of seeding, which gives a large variety of different traits, many of which are unsuitable, some of which may be highly unusual for that species and kept aside for cloning.
This is what is means to have a variety or cultivar: a plant which is significantly different from the parent species discovered growing wild (variety) , developed in cultivation (cultivar)
Bambusa textilis = Parent species (12m tall)
Bambusa textilis var. ‘Gracilis’ = variety of Parent Bambusa textilis but only half the size yet incredibly fast to grow
Since all Slender Weavers (Gracilis) are propagated via cloning, you can expect any Slender Weavers from anywhere in the world to grow to look exactly the same a any other, in the same conditions.
This means our Slender Weavers are no different to any other, they just look different from each other here when they are small and in 200mm pots.
Put them in the ground or in big pots and you cannot tell the difference.
If you would pay the same price for a 6-8m plant that fully screens a width of 2-3m then the answer is yes because that is what you are buying. You just need to wait a couple of years.
They aren’t the cheapest bamboo but at the same time many plants of a similar size in the retail chain stores aren’t much cheaper (and their bamboo is more expensive).
The reason they aren’t cheaper is because they are extremely labour intensive to propagate, you only get a 2-3 week window once a year to propagate and nursing the propagules takes a high level of skill and a lot of time.
It also involves pretty much destroying a mature, very valuable clump and cutting it up into pieces, hoping they will stay alive which is a financial risk
If other plants are growing nearby in the same soil then it isn’t broken; don’t fix it.
That does not mean you can’t improve if by piling on manure, compost. blood and bone (not if you have dogs) and mulch but ONLY put that on TOP of the soil and let it break down, don’t dig it in because digging the soil breaks up the soil structure.
When seeds fall to the ground in nature, nobody is diging the soil up first.
Dead material accumulates on the SURFACE of the soil and gradually breaks down.
Aim to recreate the same conditions.
As the plant grows the soil will improve with it.
The ONE exception is during the first season.
It doesn’t do any harm to add somes Osmocote Controlled Release All Purpose Fertiliser which
contains trace elements.
For the 1st season it’s a good idea to use this by digging it into the planting hole. It guarantees that all trace elements will be available for the plants to establish.
Did you know that plants need molybdenum as an essential element?
Do you know if your soil is boron deficient?
Any controlled / slow release fertiliser with TRACE ELEMENTS will take care of that for you?
You can use if again for the second season if your soil is poor.
From the very beginning organic fertiliser gives good results. Blood and bone, well-rotted compost and manure are good organic fertilisers and should be applied annually to create healthy and resilient plants.
Avoid soluble fertiliser if you want healthy soil, and you REALLY want healthy soil because it contains all the bacteria and fungi your bamboo naturally lives with (symbiotic relationship) and they will do a great job of keeping your bamboo growing.
Look at soluble fertiliser as poison for healthy soil because that’s what it is.
If causes a flush of new growth followed by die back unless you add more and more of it.
At the same time it kills the microbes which live in the soil and help plants to extract nutrients from deep underground so the plants then become dependent on increasingly large applications of soluble fertiliser.
Slender Weavers are 1.3-1.8m.
Depending on how they were propagated they can have 3-6 culms on average.
Because they are all clones (genetically identical to every Slender Weavers in the World), they will all grow to look exactly the same.
Starting from a 200mm pot about 2 years
Because each shoot only takes 2 months to reach it’s full height, you will get faster growing bamboo by starting with plants that are NOT rootbound and NOT overgrown and crowded in the pots.
A 1.5m plant will almost immediately put up a shoot that reaches in excess of 2m in 2 months.
A 2m plant in a 200mm pot = rootbound and means you may have to cut back significant amounts of roots and foliage to get it to survive and establish. It will take a long time to get going.
Take home message: don’t worry about how tall they are not, concentrate on buying plants that will establish easily and grow faster in the future.
They are all starting from the same sized pot
The root system is well developed but not rootbound
Because they are all clones and grow at the same (extremely fast) rate and shoots only take 2 months to emerge from the soil and reach their full height, so a 1m plant now could be 2m in 4 weeks.
For one thing, 2 weeks is enough time for a hoot to almost double in size during the middle phase of grpwth.
Yes, you may find a small difference but the following affect the growth of the plant far more significantly than 20cm or 40cm difference in height in a 20mm pot
1- is the plant root bound (overgrown and too big for the pot)? If so, take it back and exchange it for a smaller plant with a healthy root system.
2- how was the plant propagated? Division or cutting? If you can get some 6 month old divisions in March then they can establish much, much faster than 18 month old cuttings half their size (good luck finding them)
3- How much room does the plant have because they tend to put out leaves to fill the space they are in.
This means spacing them out can have a dramatic effect on the speed that they grow
4- Do you have good soil with plenty of good organic fertiliser and mulch to encourage microbial activity?
5- In the ground the roots are connected to fungi which extend more of less infinitely.
If the foliage and culms are proportional to the root volume then the root volume of 200mm pot must be much less than 0.1% of the volume of soil accessed by the mature root of a plant.
If the foliage and culms are proportional to the root volume then the root volume of 200mm pot must be much less than 0.1% of the volume of soil accessed by the mature root of a plant.
Please consider what kind of plant you would expect to be able to develop and be happy in what is (for the plant) a very, very small pot with it’s roots restricted on all sides with plastic.
Would you want to buy plants that are struggling to stay alive in plastic pots and that had been kept in there too long, and were water three times a day to keep them alive in summer and which are actually unable to put out any new growth of significance?”
Or would you prefer plants that are happy and still actively looking to put out significant growth that once you put them in the ground, are able to take full advantage of the freedom and what will feel like an almost infinite amount of soil for the roots to grow into?
NO, you don’t. The roots are thin and thread like and do not cause damage to anything. New shoots come up very close to pre-existing shoots and so the easiest way to keep them from spreading under a fence is simply to cut off new shoots with a spade when they emerge within about 20cm of a fence.
This way that shoot cannot develop to the stage it put up another shoot close to the fence and you always have a clear 20cm (or more) gap between the clumps of bamboo and a fence (or whatever)
If they cannot explain the things on this page and especially cannot explain why planting them a bit further apart results in faster growing, stronger, bigger plants hen you can make your own decision. We can’t really comment.
We don’t know for sure but one guess is that it’s an easy way for customers to work out how many plants to buy and increase sales.
We don’t advise planting them any closer than 1.2m.
YES!, You can but if at all possible try to find a way to get them in the ground. They grow much better in the ground because the roots have a basicaly infinte volume of soil to access.
If you are concerned about them spreading every so slowly and eventually getting too big then large pots or troughs would work.
If you can cut the bottom off the trough or pot or at least make some large holes in the bottom, the roots will get into the soil and will look after the plant for you.
You won’t need to worry about maintaining all the micronutrients and they won’t need nearly a much water.
Allow at least 0.5 cubic m of growing media, and but only PREMIUM potting mix.
The local landscapers ma have something cheaper but this is not the time so save money.
Premium potting mix is made to very exacting standards and if you don’t know the reason that Air Filled Porosity is important, you shouldn’t buy anything other than PREMIIUM potting mix because it’s made by and tested by people who understand a great deal more too.
It may seem a no brainer to fill the pots of troughs with soil but (generally speaking) that just doesn’t work and the plants will develop very poorly.
Note the difference between soil and potting mix. They are completely different.
Potting mix is entirely artificial in it’s design, it does not try to replicate soil. This is because pots are artificial and plants need adjustments made to the growing media to keep them happy (it’s complicated)
If the roots cannot get into the ground at all then the plantswill be 100% reliant on you to keep them alive and happy and that means attention to detail and applications of slow release, full-spectrum fertiliser (N,P,K + Trace Elements) AND some calcium (gypsum or if you don’t have dogs blood and bone)
This has happened but very rarely.
If the problem happened during delivery then take photos immediately and we will replace the plants free of charge.
All you need to to is take a photo of the plants as soon as you notice the damage.
Take photos of the plants, preferably whilst still secured in the box (it’s very easy to take photos of them in the box.)
Send the photos to firstname.lastname@example.org
Explain what happened (you don’t need to go into lots of detail)
Then take the plants out the box and sit them in water.
Then take photos the next day if they have not recovered.
Send the photos to us.
You will be sent new plants if they are in stock still, which is highly likely.
If you you will be refunded and offered a discount should you wish to purchase when they are in stock
Unless the plants are completely dead, we would just ask that you keep them alive until the courier can collect them and you will be sent new plants at no cost at all.
We do not take bank transfers.
Your money will be handled by PayPal, AfterPay, Google, Apple or Stripe’s highly secure servers.
Your financial details never touch our servers as we don’t have $1m+ to pay for the security necessary to keep your details safe.
We do not take bank transfers because we are saying to you
“We have confidence in our product that we only take money with buyer protection”
If you go and look at them you will notice some things
The leaves which are going yellow are
1) all on the smallest, thinnest culms (canes)
2) the most yellow and discoloured the further back they are (if each set of leaves is a hand, the thumb is always the first to go yellow)
The reason they are turning yellow is because the plant is confined to a pot and it is about to put up some larger shoots.
We don’t over fertilise the plants which means that the plant is simply withdrawing nutrients from the oldest, lowest down leaves and diverting them to new growth which will be more useful to the plant