As I’ve mentioned recently, two heavily variegated seedlings are prone to sunburn damage. To correct the issue, I decided to plant some fast growing plants in front of one of the seedlings. As bamboo started branching out, the canopy started shading itself, which further helped the seedlings. Both seedlings started looking much better when days started getting shorter in late July. After wet and rainy start of the summer – well, not that spring would be any better, temperatures rose well above 30°C. Both bamboos resisted the heat and wind pretty well. Way better than strong sun exposure in late spring and early summer. There was some leaf curling, but not nearly as much as I’d expect. Actually, they didn’t curl as much as a non-variegated seedling next to them.
Culms coloring up
Regular green seedlings have dark green colored culms that turn dark brown if exposed to intense light. Variegated seedlings have much less green and can be almost completely yellow with some green striping. Culm variegation occurred on both seedlings. Most of the culms that were at least a bit exposed to sun started tanning up and turned out quite nice. The seedling with darker culms had more green variegation and turned light brown. The first seedling has much paler culms that are almost completely yellow. There are some stripes involved, but they are hard to spot at the moment – the shoots were way smaller and the variegation much paler.
I haven’t been digging dirt around the seedlings, but there is some serious rhizome activity below the soil level. I have seen them pushing the soil up and dolphining. Soil is also cracking due to underground bamboo growth. None of the highly variegated seedlings started shooting for the second time in the season (August 1st). The third seedling that is also variegated, but has dark green appearance, compared to yellow colored first two seedlings, started putting out second round of shoots when the rhizomes got above the soil level. All of them were nicely variegated.
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Culm color of variegated Luteosulcata seedling (1)
There was a debate recently on bambooweb forum regarding seeds sold as ‘Yellow groove’ seeds. It’s known that Phyllostachys aureosulcata (and other bamboos from that gang) flower from time to time, without resulting viable seed. Since it’s also not in gregarious flowering, there’s no way someone could get viable seeds of Yellow groove bamboo. However, there is a bamboo with similar characteristics (including zigzag and yellow striped sulcus) that is flowering recently and has given a lot of seeds already – Phyllostachys arcana ‘Luteosulcata’. Despite the fact that there are many growers, trying to get a Bamboo seedling with yellow sulcus, no such plant had been found so far.
The seedling that does show a bit different culm color
My first variegated Phyllostachys arcana ‘Luteosulcata’ seedling has a very pale leaf variegation. It doesn’t only have pale leaves, culms are also lacking green pigmentation. In early stages of seedling’s growth, I could see that culm color was different than any other seedling I’ve grown, including other variegated seedlings. As soon as young shoots loose their sheaths, the culm inside looks almost completely white to very light green. Within days, light exposure makes the shoot turn more and more red. It can turn into unbelievable red color, unlike I’ve seen on any other bamboo. It later fades out into yellow. Seedling is still in a very young phase (it actually lost some weight due to chain of wrong decisions I’ve made :)) which means it can change considerably as it matures. It may end up looking much greener further down the road. We will see …
Culms of other Luteosulcata seedlings?
The seedlings I am growing have shown no culm stripings so far. They are young and will perhaps show some kind of culm variegation later, but there are slim chances. So far, there are no reports about a new generation seedling with culm variegation. My other seedlings do show some difference regarding strength of light induced color, though. All have dark green culms with red coloration that colors the sun exposed culms purple/brown. The second variegated seedling also has a bit less intense green culms, that do not turn red, instead, they look quite similar to majority of other seedlings – less intense purple green.
As mentioned numerous times, I’ve used two LED chips as growing light for quite a while. To induce coloring on Drosera seedlings, I decided to use cool and warm white LED chip, and they worked good enough. The regular Drosera capensis seedlings were getting red tentacles, Drosera capensis ‘Alba’, on the other hand, remained white, despite showing some pink coloring while positioned outdoors for the summer. All the plants have been growing OK, but Drosera seedlings did suffer a bit when I got them inside for the winter and started to get pale, lost some of their vigor and had hard time flowering.
When I found extremely good offer from Chinese vendor on-line for a full spectrum 380-840nm grow light, I decided it’s worth a try. I placed two weaker, 50W LED chips, instead of two 100W white LEDs. The light intensity was seemingly lower, but after a minute spent around the plants, and leaving the room, I could see that normally lit room suddenly appeared dark. Well, beside that, colors were completely screwed for a couple of minutes due to brains correcting algorithms :). After 14 days under new grow lights, Drosera seedlings got noticeably more colored. Regular Drosera capensis was dark red, looking almost like the red variety and Alba finally got the pink color. Both varieties also began to start growing flower stalks, which might indicate they like their new grow light.
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