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growing bamboo

Bolingbrook, IL(Zone 5a)

Hi ladies. I have a question about growing bamboo. I always wanted to have some bamboo but I could not think of a doable way to contain it. Now I am wondering what kind of pot might hold it captive. Clay? Plastic? Would it just push the roots rightr through whatever pot I plant it in? If it does get out of hand and I cannot handle it I might just have to let it die. Is that also difficult?

Dublin, CA(Zone 9a)

If you want to plant it in your garden, you can buy root barriers to put around it. If you keep it in a pot, and the pot's sitting on a hard surface like a deck/patio then there's nowhere for it to escape to--you'll just have to repot or divide it when it gets too big for the pot you put it in. If the pot is sitting in the garden then you'll need to watch it to make sure it doesn't put roots out through the drainage holes into the garden. If it's a tall enough pot then that won't be a problem (similar concept to the root barriers), but if it's a shallower pot then it could.

That being said, if you don't think you can control it, I wouldn't plant it. (If you could just let it die when it gets out of control then it wouldn't have the bad reputation that it does.)

Bolingbrook, IL(Zone 5a)

Thank you ecrane3. There must be something I can do but I have not found it yet. It is hard to get exotic looking plants for zone 5a. But what you said about letting it die made me stop and think a little. It is a terrible thing I said. I need to think more and talk less.

Author Content
mableruth
Bolingbrook, IL
(Zone 5a)

August 23, 2010
10:22 PM
Post #8058567


Edit


Quote
Hi ladies. I have a question about growing bamboo. I always wanted to have some bamboo but I could not think of a doable way to contain it. Now I am wondering what kind of pot might hold it captive. Clay? Plastic? Would it just push the roots rightr through whatever pot I plant it in? If it does get out of hand and I cannot handle it I might just have to let it die. Is that also difficult?
ecrane3
Dublin, CA
(Zone 9a)

August 24, 2010
08:06 AM

Post #8059042

Quote

That being said, if you don't think you can control it, I wouldn't plant it. (If you could just let it die when it gets out of control then it wouldn't have the bad reputation that it does.)

Everett, WA(Zone 8a)

"Clumping" bamboo doesn't seem to be any problem. Just avoid "runner" types.

Check out fargesia varieties like rufa or robusta. My little patch only spreads an inch or two per year, but it is still only 2-3 years old.

Corey

Dublin, CA(Zone 9a)

Are those hardy in zone 5? The problem with clumpers is most of them are less hardy so there aren't nearly as many options when you live in a colder zone.

Everett, WA(Zone 8a)

What I read is that F. rufa is hardy down to -5 F, F. robusta down to -4 F.

F. nitidea, allegedly, down to -20 F.

I don't know any of that from experience, just reading.
Fargesiais do seem to be known for unusual cold-hardiness.

The American bamboo Society says of them:
"Clumping bamboos from the alpine conifer forests of west and southwest China. Medium to small and all very cold hardy, but not tolerant of very high summer temperatures.".

Species and variety (cultivar?) or common names they gave were:
F. dracocephala 'Rufa'
F. robusta 'Campbell' and 'Wong'
F. nitida FOUNTAIN BAMBOO (and many others)

Maximum 10-15 feet, mostly 1/2" diamter culms, but robusta up to 1" culms.

I laughed for a long time when I read in detail on one websuite that said even running types were "failry easy" to control. Their idea of "fairly easy" included power equipment deep trenches filled with gravel, and barriers "preferably of concrete".

I've learned to be suspicious of any explanation that starts out: "It's easy, you JUST ..."

Corey


Dublin, CA(Zone 9a)

If they think that's easy to control, I'd hate to see what you have to do for a hard to control plant! LOL

Everett, WA(Zone 8a)

There's a science fiction novel that may have been made into a novel: "Day of the Triffids".
Like Tolkien's "Ents" assaulting Insengard, but malevolent and world-wide.

I hope no one on this forum shoots me, but from online browsing, I think that there are some people out there who are very enthusiastic about bamboo!

I really like my little F. rufa, but I'm not evangelistic about it.

Corey

Saint Louis, MO(Zone 6a)

I haven't had luck w/ fargesia in my yard. I've tried a couple different kinds.
I've read that they're supposed to be hardy here. I'm not sure what I'm doing wrong.

Dublin, CA(Zone 9a)

Which species have you tried? Not all Fargesia species will be hardy in your area so it could be you didn't try one of the right ones.

Saint Louis, MO(Zone 6a)

Fargesia nitida and murielae - both supposedly fully hardy here.
I suspect I put them in too much shade.
I had heard they were shade tolerant so I planted in partial shade.
Not much choice, since most of my yard is shady woodland.


Dublin, CA(Zone 9a)

They should be fine in part shade, so was probably something else that caused the problem (Bamboo Sourcery lists them as 2-3 on their sun/shade scale--2 means all day indirect light and 3 means AM sun/PM shade)

Santa Rosa, CA(Zone 9a)

I just noticed that Bamboo Sourcery is going out of business. They are having a 50% off sale until November 20. Think I'll head over there next week and see what's on offer.

Susan

This message was edited Oct 6, 2010 2:33 PM

Brooksville, FL(Zone 9a)

I just went to their sight to read up on Bamboo, very impressive place. Too bad they no longer ship as I now live in a climate that I can grow them in...

Jan

Fayetteville, PA(Zone 6b)

Another species you might want to try is Arundinaria gigantea... Not only is it native, but some varieties natrually grow in Zone 5b (Central Indianna and Illinois), and even though it's a "running" bamboo, it spreads VERY slowly: I've had some that I dug up from Chattanooga, TN about 6 years ago, and it has hardly spread at all! Granted, it's probably getting more shade than it should, but other growers I've talked to say it's really slow spreading (so maybe a power-walking bamboo as opposed to a runner XD)....

Everett, WA(Zone 8a)

I didn't give my Fargesia rufa much if any fertilizer last summer or fall, and now it's looking rather light green, rather than dark green.

It has been growing in size for several years now, and it's root zone is bounded by paving stones.

Is it too early to stimulate growth by fertilizing? My avg last frost date is April 6, and we have a long, varying winter-and-spring with temps anywhere between 30 and 60 for another 7 weeks or so.

Or is the pale color a normal symptom of winter? Our winter is mild and rainy.

July 2009 ... June 2010 ... July 2011 ... June 2012

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