Humid-tolerant clumping variety

ewrightbApril 18, 2007

I have been reading through the forum and looking through, and it seems that many clumping varieties are not recommended where heat and humidity are high. I'm in zone 7 but heat and humidity are a major part of life here, and temperatures in the winter will go down to about 10-15F.

I need a fast-growing screen (about 15')to block an unsightly view, but I do not want a running type. The site is relatively moist and shady.

What are my options?


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Hello Liz,
I live on the eastern coast of VA (Hampton Roads area, zone 7b-8; 23607), so you can probably grow what I'm growing.

Check out: They are located in Crewe, Virginia 23930. The staff is very good at recommending an ideal clumper.

Here's what I've had luck growing:
1) Bambusa multiplex 'Hedge Bamboo'
2) Bambusa multiplex 'Alphonse Karr' - This one is more of a top-kill perenial than the above.

I haven't tried these yet, but a local nursey in Williamsburg, VA (The Pottery) grows them.
3) Fargesia rufa
4) Fargesia robusta

I may attempt to grow this one later this year. It has been strongly recommended.
5) Indocalamus tessellatus

    Bookmark   April 18, 2007 at 8:00PM
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All of the Bambusa multiplexes should do fine as far as heat and humidity goes, but the cold will be more of a problem, although once established, even if they freeze to the ground, they should come back fine the next year.

A larger choice, is Bambusa textilis and is one that I would definitely try. It seems to be the hardiest, here, as far as cold goes, not losing leaves with temps down to 15F. Just be sure the ground stays moist even during Winter months, or it will get frost bitten.

Good Luck


    Bookmark   April 18, 2007 at 9:57PM
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kudzu9(Zone 8a - PNW)

Also remember that if you go with clumpers instead of runners you will have to buy more plants because they are not going to fill in the spaces between plantings for a number of years.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2007 at 12:40AM
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I agree with takumaku. Give MidAtlantic Bamboo a call and see what they suggest. I've purchased from them before and was very pleased.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2007 at 8:13AM
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i'd be concerned that you get to +10F - +15F or even a few degrees warmer for an extended period (hard freeze) too often to have any of the bambusa serve well as a taller screening bamboo. mid atlantic certainly would be worth consulting on this, its one thing to have a marginal form survive, but to ask it to perform as a 15' screen is likely unreliable.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2007 at 12:00PM
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So do the running varieties tolerate cold and humidity better?

There are so many stands of bamboo around here - 25-40 feet tall - that I wonder what variety they are. Bamboo certainly seems capable of surviving quite successfully. Maybe my local extension office knows what kind of bamboo thrives here.

Though I wish to screen them out, I don't want to make my neighbors suffer with runners, lol.

It is a shady, moist spot in the yard so I don't have a whole lot of choices for screening plants - at least not ones that will grow quickly enough to satisfy me!

Thanks, all

    Bookmark   April 19, 2007 at 5:05PM
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humidity is not really an issue unless there is a lack of it, it is the cold. if you string together days with below freezing temps for the high, or you have lows in the teens multiple/successive nights or anything that will freeze the ground the tropical clumpers will not be happy. as suggested by kentuck, some of them can take the teens but probably not lots of it, maybe just for a few hours here & there, i'm just guessing on that but z7 seems to be too much for them to be reliable for the screen. the clumpers that can take the cold, can not take the heat of summer, f. robusta may work in your area but again probably not a reliable screen, f. rufa will probably do well but it will not get tall enough to use use as a screen.

if you are willing to put out a small effort 2x per year you can keep the runners in check, do not fear them unless you are unwilling to spend a couple hours 2x per year pruning rhizomes - or grow them in raised beds and its even easier to control.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2007 at 8:40PM
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