New To Bamboo!

Discussion in 'Poaceae' started by cocobolo, Jul 20, 2008.

  1. cocobolo

    cocobolo Active Member

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    Location:
    Ruxton Island, B.C., Canada
    Hi all:
    I have several questions to do with bamboo, but I will only ask one at a time, hopefully this will avoid too much confusion.
    I read through pretty much all the information on bamboos in this forum but I am still left with questions.
    I have noticed that bamboos are often kept in pots, and perhaps just as often planted in the ground. Would there be any good reason, OTHER than to contain a running bamboo, to keep bamboos in pots. I note that some plants are brought inside in the winter, and maybe this is another valid reason. Our minimum temperature here in winter rarely gets below -5C. We did have a stretch of -12C about six or seven years ago where it hit that low for about three nights in a row. That was exceptional. Some winters the temperature barely drops below 0C at all. We are right on the ocean, which moderates our temperatures both in winter and summer.
    Thanks for any info you can give.
     
  2. Weekend Gardener

    Weekend Gardener Active Member 10 Years

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    Location:
    Coquitlam, BC
    Bamboos, as a family of plants, are quite varied. Height ranges from less than a few feet to over 30 to 50 feet. Growth requirements vary considerably - e.g. Indocalamus tesselatus does best out of direct sunlight.

    So, it is impossible to generalise in the manner that your question is suggesting. The question is not "How do I grow a bamboo?". The range of cultural requirements will make it impossible to give a simple answer. The question should be "Here is what we are looking for in a bamboo (height, spread, clumper vs runner), this is our climate - which bamboo will do well?"
     
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2008
  3. cocobolo

    cocobolo Active Member

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    Location:
    Ruxton Island, B.C., Canada
    Gotcha: Well, I am hoping that the bamboos I have got, which were all locally raised about 50 miles from here will be OK. I am not that concerned about how tall any particular plant will grow, just that it grows well. And whatever height it attains will be fine with me, and the bamboo I am sure. The sasa pygmae I hope will eventually form a sort of groundcover in a fairly shady spot. It will share the area with other plants.
     
  4. JCardina

    JCardina Active Member

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    Location:
    Comox, Vancouver Island, British Columbia Canada
    Hi Cocobolo, I've lived on Vancouver Island nearly all my life and had never heard of Ruxton island before, but after looking it up I'm guessing you have a climate a little better even than the people in the warmest part of Victoria who are growing lemons outdoors etc.

    You can grow any non tropical bamboo there and have them evergreen all year round.

    Many of the Phyllostacys are good to far colder than it has *ever* gotten in your area, i.e. -30c and colder so it's not an issue at all. Your main issue will be watering in the hottest and driest parts of summer, same issue we have here right now (though it's raining very lightly today for the first time in what seems like months).

    You may be be able to grow many tropical ones as well, worst case is they will die back in winter and grow again in spring.

    There is an excellent site dedicated to bamboos with good forums and a very helpful database of bamboos that is filterable and sortable by species, size, shade/sun, coldest temperature etc etc.

    http://www.bambooweb.info/

    It is *well* worth signing up for that discussion forum there if you have a large interest in bamboo.

    The searchable database is under the "Bamboo->Find Bamboo" menu option and the forum is accessible from that main page as well.

    I'd be happy to answer any questions you have here or there, I currently have almost 30 types of bamboo and my climate is not a lot different than yours though slightly colder in the winter.
     
  5. JCardina

    JCardina Active Member

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    Location:
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    Not really no. I have some in pots that I either started from seedlings or rescued or are divisions. The reason I have them in pots is because I can put them in our patio area where I water everything else regularly so I can spoil them and ensure they get maximum attention.

    Also I want them to get as root bound as reasonable in the pot because I've consistently noticed that the most root bound bamboos are always the ones that do the best when planted in ground long term. By best I mean they spring up the next year to amazing heights and density.

    Unless you have a greenhouse it's really not a good idea to bring bamboo's inside for any reason particularly overwintering because they never do very well inside, too dry and too dark. A greenhouse might make sense for a bamboo more on the tropical side in our area but I don't think it's worth the hassle when there are so many temperate bamboos to choose from.
     

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