questions for kentuck 8b

jeremy88(NE Georgia)June 19, 2008

Kentuck 8b,

My zone is supposedly 7b, which means temps could drop to 5F. However, I have been gardening for 5 years now, and 14F is the lowest I can remember (and that was only once in five years ... 15F a couple of times). I have had a multiplex for 4 1/2 years, and it has done well. I definitely think textilis would work also. I'm wondering whether I can grow tuldoides (Clone X in particular), dissimulator, oldhamii, or any others. What do you think?

2nd question: Are textilis and textilis 'Glabra' different enough to both be worth growing?

3rd question: Texas is pretty dry. How much do you water your bamboos?

Thanks, -jeremy

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The lowest temp that we have had in the past several years has been 15F, but only for a short while(8 - 10 hours max), and quickly returning to above freezing.

From my experience. textilis is much more cold hardy than any of the multiplexes, which get leaf burn once temps drop into the 20's, whereas textilis gets very little damage from cold or wind. It grows to just over 40 feet here and culm 2.5 inches thick... a real beauty.

Tuldoides is about the same cold hardy as the multiplexes, but is a larger much more open clumper. I haven't got a Clones X, yet, but hopefully soon.

Oldhamii is quite cold hardy once it is established, but mine froze to the ground it's first few Winters when it was small. It came back larger each year. Very erect, just over 40 feet tall and culms 4 inches thick.

Dissimulator is still young but has shown no signs of leaf burn during Winter months.

My glabra is not in the best location but seems to look like the large(regular) textilis, only it is smaller. The culms on both plants have a lot of blue/whitish colour on them at certain times of the year. The big difference so far is size.

Gracilis is a very graceful looking plant. The leaves droop more than the other textilis' making a nice 'graceful' plant.

Look into B. chungii, it too seems to be a bit more hardy than listed and a very striking plant. Others that get a lot of compliments are B. eutuldoides 'Viridivittata', B. pervariabilis 'Viridistriatus', and B. vulgaris 'Wamin'. All are quite hardy here except for the Wamin, but it makes a nice potted plant.

Yes, we are extremely dry here. Rain has been going all around us and I can see thunderheads and lightning at night, but none are close.

All bamboo in my yard get watered only when I water the lawn, which is one to two times a week, but I am on a very sandy hill, so water disappears quickly.

In the heavier clay, once a week max is all they get a watering.

There are a lot of bamboos that do well here and would well for you in your area, but I'm partial to the bambusas mostly for ease of containment.

B. beecheyana, B. textilis var. albostriata, B. multiplex 'Silverstripe', and B. dolichomerithalla 'Silverstripe' all have survived 15F here also and are some other favorites of mine.

I hope this answered your questions.


    Bookmark   June 19, 2008 at 2:36PM
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jeremy88(NE Georgia)

Thanks Kt,

You more than answered all of my questions. I appreciate the thoroughness of your response. I am definitely ready to give these plants a try in the next couple of years. Would early May be the best time to put the marginally hardy plants in the ground?

Thanks again, -jeremy

    Bookmark   June 20, 2008 at 12:41PM
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Yes. I prefer to plant all of my bamboos immediately after the last frost(here, that's usually in March). That way they get as much growing time as possible in the ground before the next Winter.

With size and age come hardiness.

One other thing, always keep your boos watered well during the cold months. The cold damage is much worse when the bamboo is underwatered. I will always water my young plants before a cold norther blows in.

Good Luck


    Bookmark   June 20, 2008 at 9:26PM
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jeremy88(NE Georgia)

Thanks for the reminder on the winter watering. Unfortunately, I have lost more plants to wind dessication than actual cold temperatures. One more question: Do you grow ventricosa? If so, how does it stand up to the cold?
Thanks, -jeremy

    Bookmark   June 24, 2008 at 12:47PM
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Yes, that's why I water in Winter...because the winds suck the moisture right out of the leaves. The watering makes a big difference.

I grow B. ventricosa 'BUDDHA'S BELLY' and also 'KIMMEI'. They have never suffered any major damage yet, but they are a bit protected and again, I water heavily before cold spells. I think they may be a bit more cold hardy than listed.

Both are giants, almost 40 feet tall with culms 2+ inches so far. They get larger each year.


    Bookmark   June 24, 2008 at 11:18PM
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