Bamboos range in height from 30 cm to 17 metres (1 to 55 feet) and have a clumping or running growth habit. The evergreen plants belong to the grass family and adapt well to areas of full to partial sun. A fungal disease causes the foliage and stalks to turn yellow.
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Bamboo plants are susceptible to the armilllaria root rot or oak root fungus caused by Armillaria mellea. The fungus enters the plants through the roots and infects the water and nutrient-conducting tissues.
The major roots and lower trunk areas of infected plants are the first to die. Other symptoms include discolouration of foliage and other plant areas accompanied by stunted growth and defoliation. The entire plant is gradually killed as the disease progresses. Mushroom clusters often appear at the base of the plant. There are reddish-brown threads on roots.
Armillaria is a fatal plant disease and prevention is the best management option. Plant resistant varieties and avoid planting in areas with known prior cases of armillaria. Remove affected plants entirely with roots. Air-dry soil before planting bamboo.
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