Bamboo for Zone 6.....I need help finding the name?

Riverton, UT(Zone 6a)

Ive seen some groupings of bamboo here in utah but havent been able to find the name or nursery that sells it. It gets somewhat tall and dense. I think it might be water bamboo but am uncertain. Does anyone know of some that grows well here? I would also like it somewhat tall and not too invasive. Also can it be grown by seed? Thanks a ton...

Clinton, CT(Zone 6b)

My dad planted some in CT in 1966 (Zone 6) that is 30 feet high and extends its reach every year. From a few plants it now runs over 100 feet (it would go further but a rock ledge and pond stops it). Never been fertilized. Makes a nice screen and the culms are handy for all sorts of things. Many varieties will take temperatures down to -10 and -20. Wish I knew what variety we have but I don't.

You might consider clumping bamboo if running is a concern. We haven't had a problem. Just mow it when it creeps into the yard. Or cut the shoots and eat them. You can also dig a trench, line one side with plastic and backfill to stop the roots from spreading.

This message was edited Mar 30, 2007 2:55 AM

Great South Bay, Lon, NY(Zone 7a)

Both of you may be seeing Yellow Groove Bamboo (Phyllostachys aureosulcata). It's a very common hardy Bamboo, able to stand temperatures to -15F.

Clinton, CT(Zone 6b)

Thanks Donn....appreciate that. Sure looks like Phyllostachys aureosulcata. Going to my sister's house Sunday and see how many zig-zag canes there are. Our Dad passed away in 1984 and its nice to know what he planted. Apparently no-one or few carried bamboo in CT in 1966 (it is easy to find now). He went to a nursery in New Jersey to buy it. Why it struck him, we don't know.

Edit: Yup. We have Yellow Groove Bamboo. Some culms have a Zig-Zag pattern. Sand paper feel to them. Color exactly right. Link below says expect 18 feet in zone 6 but ours are over 30 feet. Many canes are 2 inches in diameter.

This message was edited Mar 31, 2007 9:25 PM

This message was edited Mar 31, 2007 9:51 PM

Riverton, UT(Zone 6a)

Wow I love those. I would love to try to get some. Can they be grown by seed? How fast does it take to get tall? I have several places I could really use them. Do they perfer sun or shade? Thanks so much for the info....Lesh

Great South Bay, Lon, NY(Zone 7a) can probably grow it from seed, but I've never seen the seed for sale anywhere. Try the various exchanges.

I dug a few clumps of small culms, and some segments of rhizomes from a large culm grove in late summer 2003. I planted them right away, and I now have a mini-grove of 10' culms, about 1/2" diameter. Last spring I got over 100 new shoots, so the grove is filling in and spreading nicely.

In my zone, it runs pretty agressively, but I keep it in check by root-pruning it.

Edited to add: Mine haven't flowered, so no seeds have been set.

This message was edited Apr 2, 2007 7:08 PM

Clinton, CT(Zone 6b) the edge of the grove, our bamboo gets no more than four hours of sun a day. Inside, it is under pine trees and receives less. Seems to be killing one of the 40 foot pines. Not much will grow in this area except native trees. Even herbs have trouble on this lot. The yard is stone walls, rock outcroppings, a pond, a bog, moss and muck.

Donn got me looking around and we're thinking of planting Indocalamus tessullatus (Giant Leaf Bamboo) under the yellow groove and for erosion control around a small bridge leading to the house.

Some bamboo dies off after it flowers (it takes decades to flower). Do you know, Donn, if Yellow Groove does this? Ours is at least 42 years old.

Gave the grove its first fertilizer ever this afternoon. Some decomposed cow manure in the yard where we want it to run to provide a screen and 10-10-10 in the main part of the grove. Hope I didn't overdo it. There is a three inch layer of leaves on the ground so I think it will take a while to work down (did rake away some of them but couldn't do the entire area).

Fayetteville, PA(Zone 6b)

First of all, Yellow Groove bamboo reaches an average height of 18-25 ft, but that can vary depending on growing conditions.... Bamboos are remarkably adaptable grasses, and their size and habit will reflect their growing conditions, namely if they are in dry soil in full sun with full winter exposure, they most likely won't get as tall as groves planted in part shade, in moist soil.

As for the flowering cycles of P. aureosulcata, the species has been known for about 120 years in the US, and for longer in China (it was planted in the Imperial garden because the shoots, when in the bending stage of their zig-zag growth looked like they were bowing to the emperor), and has never ONCE been known to gregariously flower, and the few times some plants did produce some flowers, no seeds were produced. This indicates that P. aureosulcata is what is known as an "elite" cultivar that has the tendency to gregariously flower (followed by death in many cases) bred out of it.

So, you don't have to worry about this bamboo flowering and keeling over on you, and you won't be able to find seed for it anywhere.

I have a grove in the woods behind my house that I planted in an area that was all but overrun by Japanese honeysuckle (a.k.a. the green strangler) and multiflora roses to see if I could, in fact, fight fire with fire.

10 years later, the bamboo has killed all the multiflora rose bushes (shaded out), and kept the Japanese honeysuckle in check (once I cut the vines that had already climbed up into the cherry trees), while letting the wild cherries and other natives live (wild cherries can take a fair amount of shade).

I've also been experimenting with other species of bamboo as well, but it is still too early to call it on them, since they were all planted either last year or the year before.

Great South Bay, Lon, NY(Zone 7a)

I guess that explains why I've never seen P. aureosulcata seed for sale. ;>)

Riverton, UT(Zone 6a)

So is it easy to find locally? I would love to start some this year and see how well it does. I love the look of it. Thanks you guys for all the wonderful information.
PS if you ever have some sprouts that are going to go to the compost pile, let me know I would love to trade for them.

Great South Bay, Lon, NY(Zone 7a)

It's easy to find around here, but I've never looked around Riverton, UT. ;>)

I will likely be digging some renegade shoots and rhizomes later this month. Send me a dmail listing what you have to trade.

Clinton, CT(Zone 6b)

Wild turkeys like bamboo. They scratch around it. Here is a mother with her poults:

The very edge of the grove is behind them. Only a few culms show. But you can get an idea of the adverse conditions in which bamboo grows. The leaves on the right are bent over bamboo. View is north looking out the living room window. That "back porch" is not a boulder but bedrock.

Great South Bay, Lon, NY(Zone 7a)

What a great pic! Ole Mom's got her wings full with that brood.

Clinton, CT(Zone 6b)

She does! was funny to watch. A grey drizzly day. Hen was on the rock all fluffed up. We didn't know what was the matter with her. She looked sick. Thought maybe she was just cold and wet. Then she stood up and 8 little poults ran out from under her wings.

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