What large bamboo will grow in Large Containers?

will_3June 12, 2005

What large/tall bamboo will grow in large containers? Say 30 to 36 inches across the top and about the the same in depth... maybe larger.

I'm thinking large plastic or terracotta pots... or maybe like ones I once made of 2x6 lumber... 30" tall x 36" wide by 6" long.



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Terracotta pots won't be of much use, they will crack as soon as the bamboo starts to get rootbound.

There are dozens of large bamboo that will do well in a large container, but it will never reach it's full size in a restricted growing area.

A couple of things to consider about growing in a container are, 1) Amount of sunlight, and 2) Winter low temperatures.

Decide what colour bamboo you want, what kind of leaves, (variegated, large or small), if you want an erect or bushy bamboo, or if you want a unique looking culm. How large are you talking about? Once you decide, then your choice will be much easier.


    Bookmark   June 12, 2005 at 8:46PM
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Semiarundinaria fastuosa, and Pleoblastus hindsii grow enormous for me in really small pots, and seem to handle being root bound for quite some time.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2005 at 12:58AM
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I'm in east central Florida so tempatures rarely get to freezing... so I don't think temp is going to be a problem.

They will be in partial shade to full sun.

How big is enormous ?

thanks - W

    Bookmark   June 13, 2005 at 10:26PM
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For clumpers, the largest species never seem to get enough water. I've added various stuff to soil to get more water retention, but they just don't seem to like it. Found this to be true for D. Giganteus, Asper, Brandesii, Oldhamii and a few others. They seem to perpetually have curled leaves during the summer, even if you water daily.

Vittata is pretty successful for me in pots. So far, Atro and Lako are doing well, although they are both pretty small at 10-12 feet.

Mex Weep is a great container plant. It seems to be about the most drought tolerant bamboo I have found. Same is true for O. Acum. Acum.

As far as runners, S. Fastuosa does well for me in pots.

Don't even touch any type of hard/brittle pot, like terracota, without a plastic pot inside. The roots will pop it in a heartbeat.

As far as how big, all depends on the species and how big the pot is. Everyone has their own experiences, but I doubt you'd get a large clumper over 1/2 of the ABS reported heights. For some of the largest, might be more like 1/3 (like D. Giganteus, Asper, Brandesii, Hamiltonii, etc.).

If in full sun and fairly warm weather, use water retention material.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2005 at 10:37PM
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steelhorse(z11 SoCal)

I just saw this thread and I see that much of us sometimes have the same ideas :-)...Im trying to grow bamboos in big pots too

so, this brings me a question.
Does anyone have ever built his own big pot ?
(lumber, wood, bamboo, cement, etc)

by chance do you have any pic of those pots?


in this thread we have a friend growin bamboo in this platic container..

    Bookmark   September 13, 2005 at 3:50PM
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You might check out some watergarden/pond places for pots.I use the 200mil plastic pots that are 20gallon size. They are about 20$ each. People use these for miniature watergardens, I use them for the boo. Just make sure you drill 3 or 4[ 1/2inch] holes in the bottom for drainage.These are about the size of a whiskey barrel and some are even wider than a whiskey barrel.I use good potting soil and add extra perlite for drainage and use water polymer crystals for moisture retention and they do great for me.

    Bookmark   September 13, 2005 at 5:53PM
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steelhorse(z11 SoCal)

that is a really good idea..

anyone has any pic of his bamboos in pot?

    Bookmark   September 13, 2005 at 7:25PM
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I use 15 and 25g plastic nursery containers, and wine barrels. Some of the clumpers I have in 15g container I bury in the ground and mulch up around them - can't tell they are in a container. If I don't like the bamboo down the road where it is and/or want to divide it, it's easy to pop it out of the ground. Just cover the drain holes with landscape fabric to keep roots from taking hold. Just know that runners will blow right through the bottom drain holes.

    Bookmark   September 13, 2005 at 11:18PM
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This is a good topic because i know i just setup a half whiskey barrel with wheels so i can move it around the yard or in and out of the cold. I put my Moso seedling in it. Moso's growing tendacies are different based on what i've read in here. Maybe roger Sr. has more experience with it but doesn't it almost make sense that Moso would do OK in a pot because it doesn't store its energy in the rhizomes but more culms? Maybe i'm not fully aware but i got the impression that Moso can produce a big culm with little root mass vs other species. those are my thoughts anyway. Would love a yeah or a nay on my thinking. Mature size isn't my goal because i know it won't get to mature size here.


    Bookmark   September 14, 2005 at 7:12AM
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Tropicallvr, how big is "enormous"? Better yet... pictures... yes... pictures!

    Bookmark   September 14, 2005 at 11:20AM
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