Growing Phyllostachys arcana ‘Luteosulcata’ from seeds

Fresh seeds

Fresh seeds

I received a pack of fresh Phyllostachys arcana ‘Luteosulcata’ seeds sent by strike88 from Lesbambous.fr – thank you!
Since I’ve already been growing several bamboos from seeds, I know how fun and rewarding it can be, so I decided to try the first ten seeds as germination test and as the first bunch of new generation of bamboo seedlings. I removed the seed cover and exposed the grains to prevent possible mold infection which was prime cause of my failed Moso seedlings when I first tried growing the bamboo seedlings.

A couple of days old seedlings

A couple of days old seedlings

Germination rate of first ten seedlings was very high with 80% success rate. There were no albino seedlings and all the seedlings appeared healthy, except two, that were growing rather slowly and appeared lighter green, one almost yellow. I planted the first seedlings together into quite deep pot made out of empty milk carton, so there might be some nutrient related issue, but as I still remember my Moso growing experience, I don’t think that is the case. Most likely pale color and slow growth is just the result of bad genetics and these two seedlings might be the first ones that will fail. I intend do my best to keep them alive for a while, perhaps they do have a potential.

2 weeks old seedlings. Pale seedling started to lag behind darker green plants

2 weeks old seedlings. Pale seedling started to lag behind darker green plants

20 days old seedlings

20 days old seedlings

During fall, winter and most of the spring I usually keep my seedlings inside most of the time. I have really bad natural light conditions, so I have to provide them artificial lights. At the moment they are under 2 cheap 50W Chinese LED lights, one cold and one warm white. I think that I’ll toss the warm one and get another cool white, because I have a feeling it doesn’t do any good to the plants. They grow fast and strong though, so I think they should be good for a while, before they get larger. When they start growing their first shoots, I’ll divide them into separate containers.

 

First shoots appeared in less than 3 weeks.

First shoots appeared in less than 3 weeks.

The growth rate of young seedlings can almost be compared to Borinda fungosa seedlings – one young P. arcana actually started shooting almost a week earlier than Borinda seedlings, which were by far the fastest growing bamboos I’ve ever grown from seed. Faster shooting could be the result of most likely warmer conditions, because they are being grown in late fall, compared to Borinda, which was grown during the winter, Borinda seedling did grow leaves a bit faster though. Results should be considered with a grain of salt, because growing conditions were not nearly the same.

I’ll continue writing about their development in a couple of weeks, when they hopefully all start growing shoots.

 
 

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