containing golden bamboo

kvolk(5aUt)September 13, 2005

Can golden bamboo--Pleioblastus viridistiatus--be contained by burying a 5-10 gallon pot? Would the roots grow out the drainage holes of a nursery pot? Would the roots go over the top if I kept the lip an inch or so above the soil surface and then put wood chips around it to hide the lip of the pot? How deep would a barrier need to go? I know nothing about bamboo and have never seen it growing locally.

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
kudzu9(Zone 8a - PNW)

1. Pl. viridistriatis is only hardy to about 0 degrees F, so it's probably not going to survive a Zone 5 winter.
2. Bamboo planted in buried containers with drainage holes will ultimately find its way out, while bamboo buried in containers without drainage will not do well.
3. You should be able to contain a bamboo, especially in your climate, with a sharp shovel and a couple of minutes of rhizome pruning each fall.
4. Your worry will be having the bamboo prosper, rather than that it will get out of control. Bamboo can grow in your Zone and survive the winter, but you will likely have leaf loss and at least some culm death, depending on how cold it gets and how windy your area is.
5. The most hardy of the bamboo can typically survive until it gets down to about minus 20 degrees F. That would include Ph. nuda and Fargesia murielae. You should try a search of earlier posts here to see if there are any threads remaining from the couple of bamboo growers who frequent this forum and are succeeding in Zone 5 climates.

    Bookmark   September 13, 2005 at 1:26PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
hoosier52(z5b/6)

kvolk - with ground covers such as Pl. Viridistriatus you can mostly toss out the book on hardiness since they are grown for their foliage and not culm size. They need to be mowed down every year anyway, so as long as the rhizomes have a bit of protection they can be grown quite well in zone 5. I generally mow mine in February as they are looking ratty and the new spring growth will start coming up in late March with fresh new growth.

Plant it and mulch it well, then each year after you mow it is the time for new mulching before the new growth starts to come up.

I would not worry too much about this one, it is pretty tame compared to the other ground cover species. As Kudzu suggests you can rhizome prune or if it starts to come up out of bounds, you can easily prune it back to where you want it.

    Bookmark   September 13, 2005 at 5:15PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
hollenback(z6 WA)

Pl. Viridistriatus was one of the plants I had in the ground when it was -24 degF so I would not worry about hardiness. Just mulch well.

On mine the leaves will burn in the summer if it has to much sun so plant it in the shade.

Bill

    Bookmark   September 13, 2005 at 8:09PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
kudzu9(Zone 8a - PNW)

Bill-
I was going by the data on Bambooweb.info for the hardiness temp. How do you explain your success in withstanding so much lower temperatures. What happened aboveground to the plant when it hit -24F?

    Bookmark   September 13, 2005 at 10:10PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
hoosier52(z5b/6)

Bill, I have it planted in full sun, partial shade, and nearly full shade. You're right that the full sun will burn over the course of the summer but for me it by far has the best coloration in the spring through early July. Full sun gets a very intense yellow with green stripes and the heavy shade is green with green stripes. Some visitors have preferred the shaded ones coloration so to each their own, but I think that one can use this info to site it so that you get the color that you want.

    Bookmark   September 13, 2005 at 10:20PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
hoosier52(z5b/6)

Kudzu - meaning no disrespect to anyone, anywhere, but in my experience there is not one single website or book that contains accurate hardiness data because many species have not been tested in COLD climates to see how they really perform. I think that folks are reporting the data that they have and in many cases, it is just an estimate perhaps based on climate/elevation of origin and not a tested rating. If you think about it, most nursuries are in tempreate locations.

Some websites are too conservative, and one in particular is downright deceptful, I think.

    Bookmark   September 13, 2005 at 10:44PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
hollenback(z6 WA)

When it was -24 everything above ground was toast. The plants were also heavily mulched with wheat straw.

The temperatures in the ABS species list, and bambooweb.info, are for leaf loss with no wind. The culms should be 5 to 10 degrees hardier. The rhizome hardiness depends on the ground temperature which can be kept warmer with mulch and snow cover.

    Bookmark   September 14, 2005 at 1:32AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
kvolk(5aUt)

Thanks for all of your help and thanks for clarifying the temperature data. The book that I have lists it as zone 5 but all on the online stuff says 0 deg so I was thinking that it was not paractical.
In zone 5 am I better off waiting until spring or can I safely plant now and mulch well? When I order some can I divide it into a few clumps and spread it around a little in the same spot or am I better off ordering several 1 gallon pots and just putting them in the ground?

    Bookmark   September 14, 2005 at 3:42PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
kudzu9(Zone 8a - PNW)

hoosier52-
No offense taken, and given the relatively balmy climate I grow in, I always defer to you on low temperature experiences. I just wanted to caution someone who sounded like a bamboo newbie so they wouldn't end up disappointed.

    Bookmark   September 14, 2005 at 8:44PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
kvolk(5aUt)

Another newbie question--If I do go ahead and plant some how hard is it to get rid of should I change my mind?

    Bookmark   September 14, 2005 at 8:54PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
kudzu9(Zone 8a - PNW)

If you don't like it, you'd have to dig it up. Shrub bamboos typically don't have large or deep rhizomes, so it's not a big deal in my opinion. It will spread some, but, as I explained above, you can control it with rhizome pruning. If you were in a more temperate climate, and planting timber bamboo, then it would be more work to remove.

    Bookmark   September 14, 2005 at 9:00PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
hoosier52(z5b/6)

Kvolk - is it just me or has your climate gotten a lot colder in the last 24 hours? Kidding, I noticed that your zone rating has changed. If I were you, I'd wait until early spring to plant Viridistriatus. The early spring growth is the attractive feature and it starts to look a bit tired by now, so let someone else deal with it in the winter. Mulch it deeply when you plant it and I would not try to divide anything smaller than a full 2 gallon plant, you're better off to buy multiple small pots and plant them a few feet apart. If your supplier grows it in a heated greenhouse the shooting cycle may be off and no spring shoots year one but I'd still plant it then. If you can find an established stand of it, the ideal thing is to go there in early March and mow it down and then dig up a square foot by square foot 'sod' of it and plant that chunk and mulch it several inches deep. It should shoot within a few weeks up through the mulch and have lots of rhizome vigor from the tangle of rhizomes in the sod.

    Bookmark   September 14, 2005 at 9:53PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
pluvious(z7 NYC)

in march i planted 5 large bunches of golden bamboo in big containers (30 gallons) in my back patio. so far the plants are thriving. i had great growth in the spring.

this is the first i've read about "mowing" them. In Feb? Just cut 'em in half, or what? right now they're about 8 feet high. i planted them for screening purposes and hate to lose any of that height.

also, in addition to tons of extra mulch, etc, what should i do to protect them this winter? (containers have insulation on sides and bottom, 4 inches of mulch on top.)

should i do anything special next spring?

thanx.

    Bookmark   September 16, 2005 at 12:13PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
hollenback(z6 WA)

pluvious
Another example of common names getting in the way. Kvolk was referring to Pleioblastus viridistiatus which is a dwarf bamboo that has yellow leaves. You probably have Phyllostachys aurea which is commonly called 'Golden Bamboo'.

Bill

Here is a link that might be useful: Pleioblastus viridistiatus

    Bookmark   September 16, 2005 at 1:10PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
kudzu9(Zone 8a - PNW)

pluvious-
The reference to shearing refers to shrub bamboo, which is what the original post was about. I think there is a little confusion here over common names. In my experience, the term "Golden bamboo," means Ph. aurea, which I think may be the plant you have. (I've never heard Pl. viridistriatus referred to by this common name before, but I didn't want to sound like a bamboo snob so I didn't say anything before.) In your case, if you want maximum growth, leave the culms alone.
If I remember correctly, there was an interesting series of threads back when you were building these containers, and I'd like to hear from you about them after you've gone through your first winter. Given your not-too-bad climate, the hardiness of the species you chose, and what you've already done, I think you'll be just fine, but I'd like to hear in spring whether you had any significant loss of foliage.

    Bookmark   September 16, 2005 at 1:19PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
kudzu9(Zone 8a - PNW)

Bill-
We must be channeling one another!

    Bookmark   September 16, 2005 at 1:25PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
hoosier52(z5b/6)

Yes, yes, don't chop down the real Golden! Only the little guys!

    Bookmark   September 16, 2005 at 6:27PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
pluvious(z7 NYC)

thanks for the clarification, folks. i appreciate that. it would have been terrible to cut everything in half, only to learn later that i'd made a terrible mistake.

i, too, am quite interested in seeing how these container bamboo plants overwinter. they're certainly thriving so far. winter will be a big test for them. hopefully, by the spring, i'll have worked out how to post photos!

thanks again.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2005 at 2:28PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
privacy wall for freeway noise
Trying to comb through all the back log of message...
ssmith58
bamboo books?
I was wondering if anyone could recommend some books...
mersiepoo
Detail question about propagating from rhizomes
Hi there by accident I came across some rhizomes of...
linaria_gw
Help me choose bamboo for dry summer
Hello! I would like to grow a grove of bamboo that...
cheapheap
Anyone growing Sasa palmata in zone 6A?
I want to screen part of our property and don't want...
mersiepoo
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™