Ask Flora

Ask Flora

Dear Flora,

We received free bamboo when our friends moved into their home and didn’t want it. It was a large plant about 4 feet wide and we divided it up between two homes. We removed other plants in our bed and planted half of it there but it’s not making it. Help! The leaves are brown and it doesn’t seem to be thriving at all.

Bamboo-Befuddled

Dear Befuddled,

Likely, your once-lovely Bamboo is in transplant shock. Many of us admire the loveliness of bamboo, only to discover that it has some very specific needs. But never fear, Flora is here. The best time to propagate from an existing plant is early spring or late autumn. If you didn’t do it then-hopefully you can still salvage your plant. Bamboo needs a rich mix with organic matter. For the first year after transplanting, growth will be limited. To encourage growth, feed once a month with high nitrogen-feed or lawn fertilizer. It will need a little shelter as cold winds can both kills the tips of it and uproot it. By the way, the American Bamboo Society will be at the NW Show in Booth #2711 so if my tips don’t work, I suggest you stop by there.

(c) Louis M LandryDear Flora,

I would like some small flowers for my rock garden that are purple or blue to match the rest of my bed. Do you have any suggestions?

Small Flower Sally

Dear Sally,

A beautiful flower for rock gardens in our zones is the Aubrieta Deltoidea, or Common Aubrieta. The colors range from rose to purple to dark blue (“Novalis Blue” is the one with dark blue blossoms). They do need good drainage and my resources say that you should take the flowers off before they seed. Also, a good top-dress of gritty soil and bonemeal works well. Please send me a picture (nwflora@gmail.com) if you decide to plant them.

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