What Kind of Bamboo would you suggest

Craigger7January 15, 2014

Hi guys, I've been on the Pond & Water Garden Forum for a while, but never here. I been into home landscaping for many years. Last fall I installed my second koi pond. This one was a big one, 50 thousand gallons. My filter system is quite big. Though partially hidden by a bank, it still stands out.
Now when I was a kid we used to run through the bamboo patches and use them as play spears etc. I never knew of the vast variety of bamboo until this winter. I was planning on building a fence to hide the filter system. But I believe a barrier of bamboo next to the koi pond would look awesome. Now I live in zone 5, what I've heard is that clumping bamboo does not over winter well.
I'm really don't want runners of bamboo going crazy on my property. I've thought of planting running bamboo in large containers to keep them confined to an area. Any suggestions of what to use. I would like the height to be 5 to 6 feet.

Thank You


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It sounds like fargesia nitida would probably be one of the only ones that could thrive in your climate, and most running bamboos may not even accumulate enough energy to run if you are in zone 5 which you can expect annual top kill.

They hardly even here in zone 6 upstate NY, and I usually don't get complete top kill off my species.

    Bookmark   January 16, 2014 at 11:00AM
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Well I just checked the USDA map, I always thought we were 5a. Apparently we are 6a, I'm newbie to bamboo, what is annual top kill?


    Bookmark   January 16, 2014 at 1:49PM
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Annual top kill means everything above ground dies, and the remaining energy in the rhizomes puts out equal or smaller shoots.

    Bookmark   January 16, 2014 at 4:46PM
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Much easier to contain a runner from zone 6 under, in areas with cooler and drier Summers, etc.. But from about Zone 7 plus, in areas with high Summer rainfall and heat, the chief concern is aggressive spread...been there, done that, never again! If you are Zone 6, Fargesia should work...especially if well-sited. I had F. rufa in a site with direct sun in Summer and Winter, it did not work. I moved it to a site with eastern sun and only dappled midday sun. This pic is mostly Fargesia rufa with some Borinda mixed in (7-8 feet tall). Big difference in growth and privacy level!

This post was edited by njoasis on Sun, Jan 19, 14 at 10:21

    Bookmark   January 19, 2014 at 9:44AM
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I was looking at F. Rufa and Green Panda. I believe Green Panda is a smaller version of the first. My only concern is that. I wish to use it to accent a large koi pond, and to also hide my filter system. The problem is that is will be in direct sun. I thought in a zone 6 it may do ok. We really only get a few weeks of intense heat. I'm worried not that you said it didn't do well in direct sunlight.

    Bookmark   January 26, 2014 at 5:08PM
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Hi craigger. I have Green Panda and any sun burns the leaves and stunts it's growth, I planted it on the east side of a 6' fence so it only gets morning sun and I still have the problem. So this last year I planted a couple small bushy trees in front of it to help give it some more shade.

Granted we do have intense sun and very few clouds here in the high desert. I have several other clumpers and have found runners are the only bamboo that can handle any direct sunlight here.

Note the sun does not kill them, only makes the leaves curl and turn yellow and stunts the growth.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2014 at 7:01PM
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