Good container bamboo for mostly shade?

evilscott(USDA=10, Sunset=24)August 5, 2013

I'm looking for a species or hybrid plant that is decent for a 20" container in an area that only gets a couple hours of sun each day. Stem should be about 1" diameter, and have a height of 8'-10'.

Would like an interesting stalk like green/yellow zebra striping or something like that. Any suggestions?

I live in San Diego, Ca.

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Bambusa vulgaris 'Vittata'.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2013 at 9:36PM
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evilscott(USDA=10, Sunset=24)

Thanks, but that vulgaris is 50' tall, 4" diameter culms. Might be too large for a 20" pot.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2013 at 8:01PM
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It will only get about 10 to 12 feet tall in a pot.

For it to grow to 50 feet it would have to have a whole lot of root space and a 20 inch pot will keep it small.

I grow several clumpers in pots and the only one that grew really tall was Oldhamii, the rest remain small, and the same goes for runners.

Two others that I grow that fit your description, but are more rare and harder to find are, Bambusa eutuldoides 'Viridivittata' and Bambusa
pervariabilis 'Viridistriatus'. Both of these remained under 8 feet tall in 12 inch pots.

Good Luck


    Bookmark   August 6, 2013 at 9:32PM
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evilscott(USDA=10, Sunset=24)

Thanks Kentuck.

I went with an Alphonse Karr. Next project I'll go with the Vittata.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2013 at 8:59PM
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I also have Al Karr but it gets the black sooty mold around the nodes and is quite unsightly which is why I did not recommend it.

Also, it may not grow to ten feet in height in a 20 inch pot.

Good Luck.


    Bookmark   August 8, 2013 at 9:28PM
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botanicalbill(9b SWFlorida)

I have found that the clumpers, when In a pot, break the pot after a few years (black nursery pot). I am trying Japanese arrow bamboo right now for pots. They can take part sun to full shade. Get about 1/2 " or less in diameter. My plants are only a year old after dividing up a rootball. I will know more in a few years if this is an ideal indoor bamboo.
My Bambusa Seabreeze destroyed the nursery pot and it was initialy a single clum that in two years became 10 clums. The rootball is so thick of roots that water does not get in well and I ended up giving it to a friend so he can put in his yard.

    Bookmark   September 16, 2013 at 5:20PM
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sagolover(10a SoCal)

Botanicalbill, aren't the runners doing the same with the pots? Maybe even faster? How often do we need to divide the potted bamboo before it gets rootbound and it starts suffering from it?


    Bookmark   September 16, 2013 at 5:45PM
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botanicalbill(9b SWFlorida)

That I can not answer. I have had red margin bamboo in a pot for the past few years but each year I divide it up, so I can not do a true comparison. On top of it, the runners I have get smaller diameter clums compared to the seabreeze (can get up to 3-4 inches). I am not sure if that makes a big difference. My observation has been that runners will turn when they hit the side of the pot where clumpers tend to push.
I was trying to find the photos of the root systems of both types. If you come across that you can see that the clums of clumpers have a more woody underground system.

    Bookmark   September 16, 2013 at 10:07PM
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mimulus(z 10/24 SoCal)

I grow several types in containers in mostly shade. All of these are beautiful and unusual but none of them fit all of your specifics: tootsik, Shiroshima, Candystripe, Chimonobambusa marmorea, Fargesia nitida.
I have had bad luck with Alphonse and Vittata in pots. And Alphonse and all the multiplexes get tons of bugs and its very hard to get rid of them.
All Bamboo will break the pots sooner or later unless the pot is very thick and very strong. I go thru a lot of black nursery pots!

    Bookmark   October 24, 2013 at 12:48AM
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