Frequently Asked Questions Answered: How to Grow a Beautiful Privacy Screen Screen with Slender Weavers (Gracilis) Bamboo Plants

Slender Weavers are 1.3-1.8m.

How tall they are now makes no difference to how tall they will be in 1, 2, 3, 4.. years, with 2 conditions

  1. They are all starting from the same sized pot
  2. The root system is well developed but not rootbound

Why?

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.

Slender-Weavers-growth-after-1-year

 At the same height you are better off with a plant with one culm than six because one culm means the first culm it put up is already taller than the sixth culm on the other plant (rhizome vs cutting propagation)

No, slower: spacing the bamboo out means bigger, faster-growing plants

Slender Weavers Growing in sydney.

For the same reason, the initial size of the bamboo makes absolutely no difference to the time it takes to reach full height (because other factors are much more important)

It is much better to start with a smaller plant with a strong root system which is actively growing down and out than it is to start with a taller plant which is root bound.

Root bound plants will either die though dehydration or will become a small plant when you’ve cut them back to keep it alive.

By the time it recovers from the shock of being transplanted and cut back , you will find plants half that size will have overtaken hem in the ground as their roots have been able to grow in all directions and have occupied a significantly larger volume of soil.

The number of culms is also irrelevant.

Bamboo gets taller by putting up shoots which are grow taller than the last shoot.

Therefore a plant the number of culms is not particularly important.

In fact one culm at 1.5m signifies a division propagate plant which is stronger in the short term and six culms, the tallest of which is 1.5m signifies a cutting propagated plant which will next

HOWEVER, as soon as they both get in the ground and the roots are not restricted to what must be 0.1% of the functional root volume on a mature plants, the growth rate depends entirely on the space they have and the conditions they are in.

Yes, initially there sill be a small difference but the following affect the growth of the plant far mor significntly that 20 or 40com 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?

Do NOT plant Slender Weavers any closer than about 1.2m apart.

Planting 1.3m – 1.4m means the plant will grow fatser and put up thicker, taller culms with longer branches and more leaves much sooner.

Why?

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, nutriend 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.!

Starting from a 200mm pot, about 2 -3 years, depending on conditions and how full you need it at full height.

Slender Weavers  in Sydney

In almost every case the answer is Slender Weavers

How Fast

Slender Weavers Growth Rate

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 doe 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.

1m centres is TOO CLOSE. This will be explained over the next few questions.

The answer is NO.
Putting them close together causes stunting and dwarfing (Bonsai effect). You will get a screen very quickly, far too quickly and it won’t last. Afterwards there will be a row of sorry looking plants with weak looking culms (canes) and short branches.
They compete with each other and cannot draw on enough moisture for consistent foliage.

1 plant every 1.5m will look much, much, much better than 2 plants every 1.5m.

Slender Weavers Sydney Bamboo

By spreading them out. The reason they grow faster, taller and put up think shoot sooner when spread further apart is that the amount of resources available to each plant increases (proportional to the square of the distance if you think about it).
Faster growth, taller culms, longer branches and more and bigger leaves.
And all because they were given more space tow grow.
Apologies for dragging this on but it’s a point which can easily be forgotten and it’s probably one of the most important things you can do, and it sav you money too.
So, spread them out and they will reward you from it.
They will be easier to manage and much more resistant to extremes of weather.
It is not a way to maximise profits in the short term. However, it is the truth and we sell genuine Slender Weavers (not imported “who knows what” from QLD)

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.
As the plant grows the soil will improve with it. The best fertiliser which is readily available that we have used is Osmocote Controlled Release All Purpose Fertiliser which
contains trace elements
https://www.bunnings.com.au/osmocote-9kg-all-purpose-landscape-fertiliser_p2980016
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. 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.

oil mychorrhizae

This has happened but very rarely.
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 sales@sydneybamboo.com.au
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

If there is any problem with the sale we will fix it and if we don’t AfterPay or PayPal will refund you . End of discussion.

We do not take bank transfers because we are saying to you
“We have confidence in out business that we only take money with buyer protection”

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.

Do NOT plant Slender Weavers any closer than about 1.2m apart (generally speaking)

Planting 1.3m – 1.5m means the plant will grow faster and put up thicker, taller culms with longer branches and more leaves much sooner.

Why?

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.!

It depends on conditions and whether you ned height out of them and if you are prepared to wat a little bit more 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.

Why are some leaves turning yellow? 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) 3) If you have plants with only 1,2 or 3 culms which don’t have lots of leaves and don’t have a really well developed root system, none of the leaves on those plants should be yellow. Those pants were propagated 4 months ago from rhizome division The plants with yellow leaves are most likely to have a really well developed (almost to the point that we wouldn’t be happy to sell them if they were more developed) root system, and were propagated from culm cuttings 18 months ago. I honestly do not remember which plants I gave to who and I don’t need to know because they are all clones and they are all going to grow exactly the same from this point onwards. I say that only because if you don’t have any rhizome divisions you’ll probably have yellow leaves on every plant. So… why am I bothering to go to all this effort to explain this? Firstly because the reason they are deficient in nutrients is basically the plant noticing that it is constricted in a very small pot with limited resources and it is or has just put up a decent sized shoot. Those shoots are only a few weeks away from being covered with leaves and the plant needs to support that growth from somewhere. One place could be from fertiliser, but over fertilising plants to make them look artificially good causes a massive flush of growth followed by die back as soon as they get in the ground (in most cases) So the plant is withdrawing the nutrients from the leaves and redirecting the nutrient into the new growth.. It’s also starting to do this with the oldest most photosynthetically inefficient leaves first and especially from those lower down, which will soon be cast in shade and unable to do much photosynthesis at all. That’s why the leaves are going yellow / brown, and they will continue to do wso on the smallest culms. I would NOT cut them off because whilst you are correct about it redirecting resources to new growth, that’s exactly what it’s doing an it’s a perfectly natural process. It doesn’t happen at all once the culms are mid to full size, they stay green all the time for their natural life span of 5-7 years. After that you need to cut them out to thin out the clump but there will be heaps of the newer culms which will give the clump a more vigorous look. Another reason for bothering is that it’s much better than ‘they are fine, don’t worry because this way you understand why they are doing what they are doing and understand it isn;t a sign of disease (if it was then leaves from all culms would be yellow) I’m also going to this much effort because we do get asked this question from time to time so I think I’m going to copy paste it onto the website somewhere… So thank you for asking, I must have typed this out 100 times in the last 10 years. In terms of cutting them back, with bamboo you can cut them off if you want, but I’d just let them die back and follow a natural process. Generally I wouldn’t recommend cutting anything off for the first 12 months, just let them get established because in the 2nd season they begin to show you how fast they could grow and in the 3rd, they prove it to you and really take off. Patience is key though, especially planting this time of year because soon it will be winter and it will be a few months until much happens but by this time next year you’ll have 3-4m plants and little to none of the growth you are looking at will exist, it will all die back, as it won’t be useful to the plant. You won’t get this problem from the 2nd season onwards unless you have genuine nutrient deficiencies,