Moso Bamboo

Discussion in 'Poaceae' started by seagonus, Apr 19, 2006.

  1. seagonus

    seagonus Active Member

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    I have a very well established front landscape that is quite large. I have currently become interested in moso bamboo (the giant variety). My question is, I know this plant is very invasive, but that is usually in warm climates--do i need to be worried if I plant it in my front bed? How much maintenance is required in bamboo?

    Will this bamboo grow at all in my climate zone (Abbotsford), I can't see it reaching the specified 75 feet(?!)
     
  2. Ron B

    Ron B Esteemed Contributor 10 Years

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    Will grow-and will spread. Look up bamboo containment methods or plant where can spread.

    Some clones hardier than others, try American Bamboo Society Bamboo Species Source List on their web site to see if hardier clone(s) listed, available in Canada.
     
  3. Weekend Gardener

    Weekend Gardener Active Member 10 Years

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    Amongst the Phyllostachys species, Moso (P heterocycla pubescens ) is the slower growing one. In fact, you will need a bit of patience before it will reach a reasonable size, especially in your zone. One of the two bamboo nurseries/distributors is actually not far away from you in Chilliwack. Why don't you call them or pay them a visit. I am sure they will have information relevant to your area. Try their website: http://www.bambooworld.com/bamboo%20catalogue.htm#Phyllostachy’s. The other person with excellent knowledge of bamboo growing in the Lower Mainland is Ray Mattei of Tropic to Tropic Plants.

    It is advisable to install an effective rhizome barrier with most running bamboos, although, my experience with the 2 year old clump that I am growing suggests that I am more bored to tears waiting for some real "shooting" action and hardly preoccupied with any spread any time in the next 2-3 years.
     
  4. Ron B

    Ron B Esteemed Contributor 10 Years

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    A half-dead 5 gallon moso of no particular type given me perhaps 8 years ago and planted in a bed between two asphalt drives is now about 5 m tall and wide. Response seems greatly improved when I manage to top dress it with composted manure, the main issue in the sunny, warm spot it was placed in being keeping it watered enough to prevent the new culms from aborting. This year I must be sure to pile on more mulch, new culms are appearing now (moso shoots early).
     
  5. Weekend Gardener

    Weekend Gardener Active Member 10 Years

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    I must take up your advice, Ron. I just can't wait to see more than the 1/2 inch culms which I am getting right now.
     
  6. Ron B

    Ron B Esteemed Contributor 10 Years

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    On less favorable sites in China may take 20 years to reach full size. Likes it warm, seedlings said to prefer some shade also--in nature, prior to level of clearing and planting that exists today these would often occur in a forest, of course, grow up into brighter light as they matured.

    Not having been to Asia, Prafrance or Anderson the biggest ones I have seen were at a nursery in San Francisco.
     
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2006
  7. seagonus

    seagonus Active Member

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    Thanks for the tips. Well, I bought afterall at bamboo world in Chilliwack. Is there really any other bamboo to buy. . .lol. . it was not cheap--a 2 gallon pot was $50.00

    If I regret this invasive plant for growing out of control I can take comfort in knowing it will probably make other generations even more upset or thrilled whatever their inclination (seeing as it is quite slow growing).

    I planted in full sun, so i will need to be diligent about water. It is right on my front bank with a large compost pile to one side and a huge rotted stump to the other with crawling vines on it. I get some wind, but lots of shelter too. My guess is it will grow and grow well here in spite of the competition by some close growing plants. I may do as you say and top dress with compost.

    I also would love to live to see a 7 inch column! Well, I am only 33 now. . .who knows.

    Any other tips appreciated.
     
  8. Ron B

    Ron B Esteemed Contributor 10 Years

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    Mine seems to be growing about 2' taller each summer. Without question the most beautiful member of the genus--of those that are at all familiar in cultivation, anyway--if you plant one kind this should be it. Even a comparatively young plant is distinctive, although seedlings do produce big leaves for awhile (divisions have small leaves of adult plant).
     
  9. Weekend Gardener

    Weekend Gardener Active Member 10 Years

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    My favourite bamboo is Phyllostachys vivax 'Aureocaulis'. However, a two gallon specimen will set you back over $100.
     
  10. seagonus

    seagonus Active Member

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    Wow! I just did a look-up of tat species--very nice indeed! Got me thinking I'd like to get some of that going too! So much bamboo so little time.

    Seems like that "Vivax" is a lot faster growing than the moso? Anyone have experience with "vivax" around here? Are full grown specimens more striking than moso bamboo?
     
  11. Ron B

    Ron B Esteemed Contributor 10 Years

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    Depends on what you think of as striking. It makes groves of unevenly spaced large culms and drooping plumes of large leaves, very vigorous and lush looking. Moso is far more elegant and dignified, with its uniquely aged looking fuzzy culms and ethereal flattish sprays of contrasting tiny leaves. You won't be likely to see Vivax on a Shoji print.
     
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2006
  12. seagonus

    seagonus Active Member

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    I was just looking up the "moso gold stripe". Sounds like a truly unique type! Seems some are saying it likes more sun that the regular moso--maybe I should have gone for this type as I have a location south facing with all day sun.

    I just planted mine a few days ago and the small plant has leaf tips that are turning dry . Even the leaves of the new shoots seem to be drying up(??). It seems they were like that when I purchased it, the sales man said he just pulled them out of the greenhouse for the season--who knows.(??) I am starting to realize how useful it is to spend more money on a better established plant. I hope I don't end up buying another one next year.
     
  13. woodschmoe

    woodschmoe Active Member 10 Years

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    Many bamboos are kicking out new leaves right now, and the old ones are at their rattiest: dry margins, dead tips, etc....check for new leaves unfurling at branch tips: a bamboo that's water stressed will curl its leaves rather severely...also, be sure that when you planted it, you really 'puddled' it in, so that there are no air pockets around the root mass.
     
  14. Bambooboy

    Bambooboy New Member

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    I was reading this forum with interest but surprised to see the entries all 7 - 8 years old :-) maybe now some of you have more experience with Moso. I had several 3/4" culms this spring which is the first significant improvement in 7 years. Luckily I have p.vivax aureaculis and p. Vivax to entertain me.
     
  15. Ron B

    Ron B Esteemed Contributor 10 Years

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    Wood chips piled next to a long-established P. nigra 'Bory' resulted in a burst of significantly larger culms all coming up together from beneath it. The aforementioned moso also shot over to just short of the neighbors paved drive after they piled wood chips in the intervening space. Luckily they happened to make use of the chips and thereby discover the root-stocks before the next growth phase occurred - when uncovered the pointed tip of the longest root-stock was almost touching the edge of their paving.

    The planting now resides inside a bamboo barrier.

    So as we see with other plants not adapted to arid conditions and exposed soils mulching can produce a huge improvement in results from bamboos.
     

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