Container friendly bamboo

Twitch3June 20, 2012

Im interested in growing a container/pot of bamboo on my deck. Looking for something that grows to be 5-7 ft., tolerates full sun, winterizes easily, and and and interesting leaf would be nice. I know nothing about bamboo so have no idea where to start! Any suggestions from those in the know?

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    Bookmark   June 21, 2012 at 1:01AM
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Twitch3

Thanks! I will start here...the info I just read on it suggests this is perfect! Any idea what to do with it in the winter? I'd love to leave it in place but suppose central Ohio winters might do it in?

    Bookmark   June 21, 2012 at 7:47AM
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watchnerd

If it's in a container, it's going to be more vulnerable to nasty winters, so it might be a good idea to bring it indoors in the winter, or at least move it to a sheltered spot near the house where it will be warmer and less subject to winds.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2012 at 8:36AM
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Twitch3

Great, I have a perfect sheltered spot not far from where I want to place it...I can drag it over there and if it doesn't survive, I'll know to bring the next year's pot inside. Thanks so much for the advice!

    Bookmark   June 21, 2012 at 11:34AM
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kudzu9(Zone 8a - PNW)

Twitch-
I recommend you bring it in for the winter in your Zone. That particular bamboo is not one of the hardier ones: its hardiness temp is only about 18-20F...in the ground. In a pot it will be more vulnerable and will certainly begin to look ratty and have significant aboveground damage at temperatures below freezing. What is the lowest temp you get? I can probably recommend something that will be a hardier choice for you.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2012 at 12:53PM
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Twitch3

I'm in zone 5b...lowest temperatures are -10 to -15 F....though in ten years here I've never seen it quite that low. Something truly hardy would be great because I don't have much room for it indoors....my one good sunlit room is already pretty full.

Here's another novice question....is bamboo something I can pot up and forget or will it need some attentive maintenance? I don't mind maintaining at the beginning and end of the season but don't want to do much beyond watering in between.

Thanks!

    Bookmark   June 21, 2012 at 8:43PM
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kudzu9(Zone 8a - PNW)

Shouldn't require anything much beyond watering. A handful of slow release fertilizer in the spring is helpful.

As for hardier options, I'd suggest a pot of Fargesia nitida, a clumping bamboo that has a hardiness rating of -15F or so. It has a maximum height of 12 feet under ideal conditions; but you won't have to worry about it getting that tall in a pot in your Zone. In addition, it would probably survive outside in the winter if you tarped it. Alternatively, a corner inside your garage would probably be ok, too.

Here is a link that might be useful: F. nitida

    Bookmark   June 21, 2012 at 9:24PM
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denninmi(8a)

I don't think any bamboo root system will survive above-ground in a container in Zone 5. However, I don't see why you couldn't heel the entire thing in, either with or without the pot, in a sheltered corner, mulch deeply, perhaps protect the top with a burlap screen.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2012 at 10:10PM
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ellenmarie(5)

Did you bring your bamboo in? I have one I bought at Home Depot and it's in a pot in the house. It seems to be loosing all it's leave but I see new shoots at the bottom. I'm just wondering what your experience has been. I'm trying to do the same thing that you are.

    Bookmark   January 2, 2013 at 12:30PM
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mommiebear414

I have a potted ack bamboo that my son in Boston gave me. He had it in a sunny window in window and always maintained bushy green leaf look. I brought it in this winter but my house sitter didn't give it enough light. Now mostly top 2/3 has half brown leaves and very sparse. Can I cut it back or possibly repot Ian's it may be root bound

    Bookmark   January 26, 2013 at 5:28PM
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kudzu9(Zone 8a - PNW)

mommiebear-

  1. Is "ack bamboo" a typo for "black bamboo"?

  2. How much water did it get? It could be a water problem more than a light problem.

  3. You can't cut back a bamboo like other plants. Anything you prune off is gone and there will be no regrowth of branches to replace what was removed.

  4. Repotting might help...or not. How long has it been in a pot? How big is the pot? How tall is the bamboo?

    Bookmark   January 26, 2013 at 9:03PM
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gardener1(6)

Twitch-
I think you might like Pseudosasa Japonica arrow bamboo better I know it does well in a pot and also indoors. I grew it for about 5 years in a pot and it can handle some pretty harsh conditions being very drought tolerant. It has large tropical looking leaves and shoots almost year round. I've seen this one shooting in the middle of winter in my unheated greenhouse.

Here is a link that might be useful: gabelmans gardens

    Bookmark   February 1, 2013 at 1:21AM
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NJBamboo(6)

Pseudosasa Japonica or Japanese arrow bamboo is a good choice for pots black bamboo also does well. The important thing with potted plants is to keep them adequately watered but never overwater them. Also some Fargesia clumping bamboos should do well and they are very cold hardy.

Both types get larger then 5 feet but potted their growth will be restricted. Root pruning or transplanting to larger pots will be needed as their roots and rhizomes grow.

Also most running bamboo can pop right through cheap containers and even damage clay pots. Putting a rhizome barrier around the bamboo at an angle up will help to maintain the roots.

Here's a link to a great mail order bamboo nursery.

Here is a link that might be useful: Bamboo Garden Nursery

    Bookmark   February 1, 2013 at 4:32AM
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gardener1(6)

I believe if you wrap that pot with lots of bubble wrap and put it in a protected area outside it will be fine. Also I would dump a whole bag of mulch on top of the rootball and pot. I think your chances are better than bringing it indoors. The air is too dry in your house.

Here is a link that might be useful: My Bamboo Grove

    Bookmark   February 2, 2013 at 7:07AM
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kudzu9(Zone 8a - PNW)

I will differ with gardener1 a bit and say that bubblewrap will protect the pot for a short time, but, if you have sustained cold temperatures, all the bubblewrap in the world won't keep the pot from reaching the ambient temperature. In other words, if you have a bamboo that has a hardiness rating of 10F and you have a sustained temperature at or below that level, a bamboo in a well-protected pot may last a day or two longer, but it will ultimately succumb like the same bamboo in an unprotected pot...just not as soon.

gardener1 is also correct that winter dryness in a house can damage a bamboo...but this can be countered by misting daily. If you have to choose between worrying about it being cold enough outside to kill the plant vs. worrying about it being too dry inside and having to mist it, you may want to choose the latter.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2013 at 10:52AM
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gardener1(6)

I'm just telling from my own experiences with pots outdoors. But I am in a higher zone. It may not work in zone 5. But if you are like me you just don't have the time to mist regularly. I do however agree with Kudzu that misting will work fine indoors. I grew yellow groove above ground outdoors for 5 years protected with styrofoam and bubblewrap and not one leaf burned, but it was also up against the house so it had extra protection like this. Now take in to consideration that yellow groove is very hardy to begin with. Just sayin sometimes this will work very well.

Here is a link that might be useful: My Bamboo Grove

    Bookmark   February 3, 2013 at 1:35AM
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gardener1(6)

Sorry I forgot the pic and gave you the wrong link. Anyways here is the same plants just before I put it in the ground. It was very rootbound and when I finally cut the pot off of it the bottom of the plant was solid 6 inches of roots no dirt just roots. I was literally freaking out that the plants had eaten all of the dirt in the bottom 6 inches of the pot. It was really weird.

Here is a link that might be useful: gabelmans gardens gallery

    Bookmark   February 3, 2013 at 1:49AM
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FlameEverlasting(3b)

I'm from Minnesota, and I'd love to have bamboo in a container over the winter, and poke it in the ground over the summer. Then,- and this is where I'm assuming it won't work, but I have no idea,- I'd like to whack it back down to pot size for the winter.
What do you think? Feasible?

    Bookmark   March 3, 2013 at 5:29PM
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kudzu9(Zone 8a - PNW)

Flame- If you have bamboo that you have to take inside -- and in your climate you definitely do -- keep it in a pot. Bamboo takes 1-2 years to get established in the ground so there would be no point to what you have suggested, and it would likely hurt rather than help the plant to yank it out of the ground annually. Keep it in a pot, bring it inside in the fall, and don't cut it back: anything you prune won't grow back, and pruning will not stimulate new growth. Every several years you can take it out of the pot to divide it and keep it from getting root bound. For that reason keep it in a pot that tapers outward; pots that are recurved at the top make it impossible to extract the tough, woody rootball.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2013 at 1:21PM
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jonjfarr

Here's one of my favorites. Bambusa Vulgaris Wamin Buddha Belly. It grows to 15 feet in the ground but much smaller in a pot.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2013 at 2:52AM
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jonjfarr

Pseudosasa Japonica Tsutsumiana Green onion bamboo. Grows great indoors and looks a little bit like buddha belly.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2013 at 2:55AM
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