Phyllostachys Vivax: Perched water table? Root rot?
Hi All! I've been lurking for quite a while but this is my first post. I've got a number of bamboos in pots but one, my Vivax is not looking very good at all.
I guess I should start by confessing my sins. I have a tendency to read half a paragraph, get an idea, run out and do it, then read the rest of the paragraph and find out I did everything wrong.
#1 I put a 5 gallon plant into a very large pot. I now understand this can lead to overwatering issues.
#2 I got lazy and didn't put gravel in the bottom. Turns out this probably added usable space to the container. So, I got lucky even though my intentions were bad.
#3 I noticed that the plant was looking kind of bad (new leaves were dying and the whole plant was looking a bit yellow) and that the soil was saturated after a long period of rain (Portland, winter) so I got the bright idea of injecting sand into the bottom of the container using a piece of PVC pipe and a dowel rod. I did this. I am very sorry.
Since then I read up on perched water tables. I moved the plant out of the rain. I elevated the pot about 5 inches and installed four wicks in the bottom of the pot. I bought a moisture meter and have been tracking moisture on the top and bottom of the container. After 3 days with the wicks I'm still seeing saturated soil near the bottom of the container and even several inches above the bottom. Finally, today I noticed several leaves were getting spotted and one appeared to have mold growing on the top of the leaf (see photo). Is it root rot?
I used Black Gold general purpose potting soil. Has anyone used this stuff. Is it just a sponge or what? Perhaps I need to elevate the pot more? Should I re-pot with another potting soil? Please help! Be gentle, it's my first time.