Growing bamboo in SC Upstate

rototiller(z7b-Greenville,SC)February 16, 2006


I have recently moved to Greenville, SC area

I was always fascinated by bamboo plants. Now, I have an opportunity to grow my own.

My question is: what are the recommended species of bamboo for Upstate SC. I was warned that some of them can spread like pest, is this true? what can be done to containe them?

I would like to grow bamboo for privacy, hedges and also for pleasure, having several different types.

What is the best source of bamboo seedlings. They grow almost everywhere here, however, mostly on private or hard to get places.

Any suggestion from experience bamboo growers would be appreciated.


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I would love to know where i could dig up some bamboo in sc. I am just learning and would like to plant bamboo around my pond in charleston sc

    Bookmark   February 18, 2006 at 2:42AM
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Being in zone 8 , you should be able to grow a clumper. If your pond has a liner, the running bamboo can possibly puncture it.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2006 at 11:00AM
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mike_marietta_sc_z8a(z8a upstate SC)

There is a limited selection of clumping bamboos that will grow in the Greenville area. They are Bambusa multiplex (in sun and half shade), and Fargesia robusta, and F. rufa (in mostly shade to full shade). Alternatively, you can root prune a running bamboo to either contain it or by using a more extensive regime, to make it assume the form of a clumping bamboo.

Bambusa multiplex

Bambusa multiplex "tiny fern"

Fargesia rufa

Fargesia robusta

Semiarundinaria fastuosa after 10 years of removing all shoots that came up away from the main "clump".

Phyllostachys nigra 'bory' maintained as a clump by root pruning

    Bookmark   February 18, 2006 at 9:07PM
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thanks for many valuable tips :)

What is the best way to transplant bamboo from one place to another.
After some research on the internet, it seems that there are quite a few methods of doing it:
1) just roots, the tick ones (main rhizome) let's say 6"-12" section, put it in the ground and it should grow
2) roots ball + small section of main rhizome, no culms necessary, culms will die most likely anyway, so can be cut at about 6" above the ground
3) whole plant: root ball, 6" section of main root/rhizome, whole culms and as much soil as possible with root ball, big job but maybe worth every sweat drop?

are all of these methods good, maybe some are better that others in terms of end effect and work involved
any suggestions?


    Bookmark   March 2, 2006 at 10:04AM
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wertach zone 7-B SC

Does anyone know if giant bamboo would do well in the upstate of SC? Know where i can get some? Buy or trade. And will it spread? I did have some of the small type (too small except for fish'n poles)on a piece of property I owned and I bush hogged it over and over again, it would grow back fast!

    Bookmark   March 5, 2006 at 9:03AM
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bamboo_oligarchy(z8b SC)

Giant clumping bamboos usually would not grow very well in zone 7. Most large running bamboos should do fine though.

Oldhamii grows a steady rate in the parts of South Carolina that are classified as zone 8b (where I live it has not gotten below 20 this year so sometimes it is like zone 9a).

The Clone X type is hardier than Oldhamii however it probably would take very huge amounts of cold damage if it got below 20 too frequently.

I agree that the Bambusa Multiplex species would be one of the more effective choices for a clumping bamboo in zone 7.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2006 at 3:06PM
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mike_marietta_sc_z8a(z8a upstate SC)

The largest bamboo you can grow in upstate SC is moso, Phyllostachys edulis (or P pubescens) which can get 8" diameter culms and 90 feet high. It is a running bamboo, but is easy to contain. Here is a pic of a 15 year old moso grove in my yard.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2006 at 7:23PM
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hello_c_j_here(7 Cary, NC)

Mike, that pic gives me chills every time I see it!! :-D
Love it... but my Moso is only in its 3rd year. But someday I hope to have it looking that good.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2006 at 11:52AM
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I had lelald cypress planted as a privacy screen, about 15 feet apart (8 feet tall), hoping they would grow about 30 feet tall. The drought hit them hard, and we're losing some. A friend suggested planting clumping bamboo (my husband hates the running kind) between the cypress, they could grow as tall as they like. Is there a kind of clumping bamboo that would grow well here?

    Bookmark   November 14, 2007 at 5:18PM
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