Moso vs. Vivax vs. Henon Bamboo

gigman7(7)July 31, 2014

I'm looking at buying some bamboo. I want it to be at least 4 inches in diameter. I'm looking at Moso, Vivax, and Henon. I do not want it to take over an acre of my land in 4 or 5 years but worried that it may. Which species should I get? I want a green trunk. Not any of the stripped, or different colored ones.

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kudzu9(Zone 8a - PNW)

I doubt that you will get to 4" diameter any time soon, especially in Zone 7. I've been growing timber bamboo for over 10 years in Zone 8 and rarely have anything bigger than 2" diameter. Henon will never get that large regardless of where you live. Vivax can get large, but is thin-walled and breaks under snow loading. Moso is very strong and can get large, but don't expect miracles.

If you plant running bamboo, they only take over if you don't maintain them. If you want to try to grow bamboo like this, decide whether you will be installing barrier, or are willing to commit to rhizome pruning once or twice a year all around the perimeter you want to maintain. You won't have to do rhizome pruning for the first several years, but you will have to do it when they start to get established and run...and to continue to do it ever after.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2014 at 4:29AM
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Moso may be the slowest one to run.

Here's 3 years of progress in the ground on mine, and it does not seem to have any intention on taking over any time soon.

Here is a link that might be useful: moso bicolor diary

    Bookmark   August 3, 2014 at 1:42AM
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Are you sure it is moso? Any images I have seen have been 4"+ in size.

It is going to be slower growing since it is "bicolor". Anything that has a variegated form is going to grow slower. This could explain the smaller size, but I doubt it.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2014 at 11:55AM
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If bamboo was as invasive and hard to control as feared, the world would be completely covered with it by now. I've planted it in the middle of the pasture. What I don't mow down, the horses will eat.

Here is a link that might be useful: Fertilizing Bamboo

    Bookmark   August 3, 2014 at 12:06PM
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kudzu9(Zone 8a - PNW)

I started Moso from seed 10 years ago and after the third year it was about 5' high and 3/8" in diameter. Today it is 20' high and 1-1/4" in diameter. All the pictures you've seen of Moso at least 4" in diameter are in more temperate growing areas or have been growing for quite a few years. People like to post pictures of their giant Moso, but it doesn't get like that overnight. I'm not saying you can't get to 4" Moso, but you should be realistic on what to expect and how soon. Below is a link to a lot of Moso photos, with quite a few that aren't giant culms.

Here is a link that might be useful: Moso pix

    Bookmark   August 3, 2014 at 2:15PM
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The ones in my pictures are definitely moso bicolor. Just look at the close up pictures and you can tell it's distinctive fuzzy culms that generally have pretty short internodes.

Green moso may be more prolific, but it's still not know to spread very fast. Most people try to get them to spread faster through fertilization. Another reason why mine haven't spread at all is because I do take off divisions, but even if I did not, it would not have taken up that much space.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2014 at 11:18PM
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It's interesting, and looks very nice.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2014 at 10:00PM
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There are many other forms of moso that I intend to have added next year to my ever expanding collection.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2014 at 11:46PM
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