schizostachyum brachycladum or something else?

lilikoilady(12b)September 8, 2012

Hi Everybody- I'm new to here and have really enjoyed looking over some of your amazing photos and interesting info! I'd like to plant a couple clumps of bamboo in the front yard and am considering the schizostachyum brachycladum, but was wondering what all of you experts think? the things I'd love in a bamboo are:

upright, not too fountainy

large leaves

not exceeding 40'

and I really love the lack of foliage on the bottom.

What would you choose? Doesn't have to meet all my wishes, but pretty upright is important. Thanks a ton for your ideas.

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kentuck_8b(__)

Schizostachyum brachycladum does not like temps below 40F so keep that in mind.

I keep mine in a pot and the culms that it does produce, are upright/erect.

There several Bambusas that might work well for you all which meet your criteria.

The most upright clumper that I grow is Bambusa oldhamii, but it may grow to 50 feet in your area.

Kt

    Bookmark   September 8, 2012 at 2:38PM
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lilikoilady(12b)

Thanks for the reply- I think I got my zone wrong! Maybe I'm zone 9??! I'm new to Kauai, Hawaii- so I'm sure we'll never even approach 40, probably pretty unlikely to even reach 55 here.
I have grown a few bamboos in the Bay Area, Ca, but now I hope I can grow stuff that I only dreamed of before! BUT I do have space limitations, no house size clumps for me. So I'm planning on using a pond liner to keep it where I want it.
The Oldhamii is wonderful- has one in Berkeley, Ca that got HUGE. But here it just gets too big for my spot- we really aren't supposed to grow much over 40'.
I also had a textilis that was lovely, but I thought I'd try something new?

    Bookmark   September 9, 2012 at 1:39AM
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kentuck_8b(__)

Well, in Hawaii the Schizostachyum brachycladum should do fine or if you like a similar looking boo you might look into Bambusa vulgaris 'Vittata' aka Painted Bamboo but it may get too tall for you.

Bambusa chungii 'Blue bamboo' may be a nice one to grow also. Mine gets to just under 40 feet here.

Kt

    Bookmark   September 9, 2012 at 9:42PM
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kudzu9(Zone 8a - PNW)

lilikoilady-
Even though you will likely be planting clumping bamboo, you shouldn't count on containing its spread with something like pond liner. I suggest you plant the clumper(s) you want and divide out a chunk some time in future years if it gets to big for you.

    Bookmark   September 10, 2012 at 1:22PM
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lilikoilady(12b)

Thanks for the info!!!
Kentuck- thanks for the suggestions. The vulgaris is so pretty and I think would go great with a sacred bali, but I think it'll get too tall. Chungii sure is a beauty!!! Does it stay fairly upright for you? Does it keep it's white powder on green culm look in full sun ?
kudzu9- thank you for the tip, sure will save a lot of time and money to skip the pond liner! if i want my clump to be shaped more like a kidney bean than a circle, would i just kick the new shoots as they come up in undesirable spots( seems like sucha waste)?
Thanks for the help. It's so exciting to be picking out truly tropical clumpers for my yard!

    Bookmark   September 11, 2012 at 12:33PM
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kudzu9(Zone 8a - PNW)

lilikoilady-
Clumpers typically grow with culms close together in a more or less circular shape. You could:

1. Plant several small ones together more or less in the rough shape you want.

2. Put in a boulder or two so that you force the plant into a certain shape by preventing culms from coming up.

3. Divide out sections as the plant grows, to define the shape you want.

4. Prune out what you don't want or kick over the new shoots.

However, bear in mind with the last approach that the root system is not affected and will continue to expand underground.

    Bookmark   September 11, 2012 at 4:26PM
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kentuck_8b(__)

My chungii grows very upright but it also has other close bamboo next to it so it may tend to grow more erect because of the surrounding plants. Another that I have in a more open location is still young so it is still bushy but shows signs of also becoming very upright.(Remember, young plants will have a tendency to lean outward more until they get some size and thickness to the culms at which time they become more upright).

The powder is there in full sun or low sun.

Kt

    Bookmark   September 11, 2012 at 9:37PM
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lilikoilady(12b)

Hi Kt & kudzu9- Thanks a lot for getting back to me.
I love the boulder idea to guide a bamboo clump to grow into a longer shaped clump.
I've got a front garden area that's about 25 x10', and I plan to do 2 bamboos and then a bunch of other tropical shrubs. Would you plant 2 schizostachyum brachycladum or one chungii and one schizo? Or one dendrocalamus minor amoenus and one schizo? Or something entirely different?
So many bamboos, so little space!

    Bookmark   September 13, 2012 at 12:25AM
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kudzu9(Zone 8a - PNW)

lilikoilady-
Since it sounds like you are attracted to several types of bamboo, maybe you should choose more than one kind. With running bamboo, the rhizomes and culms get all intermixed over time if you put two species together, and that can look weird. However, the clumpers you are considering will stay behaved and grow in a well-defined area without your having to fear that they will grow in amongst one another.

    Bookmark   September 13, 2012 at 12:33AM
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