Newbie here! Is bamboo ok for me?

Discussion in 'Poaceae' started by simko, Sep 8, 2008.

  1. simko

    simko Member

    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    London Ontario
    Hey folks, im new to plants and all the green things, wondering if bamboo would be appropriate for me:

    I live in London Ontario, which is a 6a or 6b zone, i think.

    Anyways, i was wondering if i could grow some bamboo plants in 2 ways:

    1. Have some in a pot, not sure on size INDOORS, with small amounts of indirect sunlight, 20ft ceilings, well insulated house.

    2. In my backyard, going through hot humid summers and cold miserable winters


    are there any hardy. fast growing bamboos that would strive in either of these conditions? or should i be looking in a species of plants.

    Thanks for reading this, looking forward to some great info!
     
  2. Weekend Gardener

    Weekend Gardener Active Member 10 Years

    Messages:
    865
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Coquitlam, BC
    You might want to browse through Bamboo World's catalogue. They operate out of Chilliwack, in the Fraser valley near Vancouver. They give temperature ranges for the plants they sell (I believe they ship all over Canada). Another knowledgeable person is Ray Mattei of Tropics to Tropics.

    Fargesia murielae and F. nitida are usually the ones listed as some of the hardiest. They are smaller bamboos. Of the larger bamboos, Phyllostachys bissetii may survive. As noted by many previously, top kill can be a problem in areas which has extreme windchill. Loosening the rhizome/root ball, toppling the bamboo, and burying the culms may overcome this.
     
  3. simko

    simko Member

    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    London Ontario
    Thanks a bunch! did some more reading, Phyllostachys rubromarginata seems like it would be slightly hardier for my area.... i also read that once a shoot has reached a height, i can chop it and it will cap at that height? Has anyone else seen/heard this?
     
  4. Weekend Gardener

    Weekend Gardener Active Member 10 Years

    Messages:
    865
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Coquitlam, BC
    That's true. Bamboo's are grassess. Once a culm has matured, it does not grow any taller. It will remain at whatever height you topped it off. If you intend to do this, top off only after the culm has matured - end of the season - and be sure to leave enough foliage for photosynthesis. I usually try not to top off until the clump has matured enough to throw off larger culms - i.e., for the first few years.
     
  5. kaspian

    kaspian Active Member 10 Years

    Messages:
    459
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Maine coast, USA, zone 5
    I agree with all this, and would just add a couple more thoughts.

    1. Fargesia robusta has been superior in all respects, for me here in zone 5b, to the other members of this genus. It doesn't require any winter protection at all. Some of the leaves may turn brown (actually an attractive pale beige) in winter, but that's still attractive against the snow, and even against the dark drab colors of winter soil.

    2. Phyllostachys decora and P. nuda also grow quite well outdoors for me. Until the clumps are well established, however, I bend the shoots down (gently and firmly) in late autumn, then cover them loosely with evergreen boughs. This keeps them green through the winter. They straighten up again when I uncover them in spring.

    3. Low-growing species like Sasaella masamuniana and Pleioblastus sp. are great hardy ground-cover type plants. They don't require protection, though fallen leaves will collect around them and give them some natural insulation. By spring they will look a bit ratty, so you can cut them down to the ground, if you like. New growth will soon fill in.

    4. My favorite bamboo for growing indoors is a golden-caned variety of Phyllostachys aureo-sulcata (var. aureocaulis). The variety called spectabilis is similar and even showier. These can grow tall in large pots, but your 20-foot ceiling should give them plenty of room -- and you can always top them off.
     
  6. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

    Messages:
    20,625
    Likes Received:
    510
    Location:
    WA USA (Z8)
    If I was going to bother with a bamboo house plant it would be Chusquea coronalis, I have seen this used in an ordinary office interior here - and it is extraordinarily beautiful.
     

Share This Page