anyone growing p. parvifolia, rubromarginata, dulcis in zone 6?

mersiepoo(6)September 14, 2012

Just wondering how your boos are doing- I planted a small rubro in 2011 and its still shooting up even now, still very small. Just wondering which ones should get the biggest diameter culms in zone 6a. I've had a nigra henon for 10 years, and the culms are still very thin, maybe about 3/4 inches in diameter this year- last winter it didn't go below 0 farenheit, so it seemed to really like that! If we get another mild winter, it'll probably get even better!

I've got a p. atrovaginata I planted in 2008 (it was 1 gal, small plant), that is finally starting to fill out (about 1/2 inch dia. culms, 6 feet tall and has spread 5 feet or so).

My one incense bamboo was planted in 2009 in crappy crappy soil, I started to fertilize it and pile on hay so hopefully it will do SOMETHING next year, it's got 4 small culms that had looked anemic ever since I planted it. It's about 3 feet tall, what there is of it.

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I happen to have all of those bamboo species, and most of them happen to be hanging around the 1 inch mark by 13-15ft, with my dulcis being the tallest with a culm at 15ft by 1.3 inches at the base. Most of my bamboos are on the 4th season, started in 2009. So far my dulcis is winning the race, but things can always change next year.

I used to have henon and rubromarginata in the ground, but I sold or gave away most of it in divisions, keeping a sample for myself potted up. Rubromarginata tended to produce too many culms, and ran pretty far without enough upsize, and P Nigra had a very hard time in upsizing as well.

I'm growing in Upstate NY.

Here is a link that might be useful: Some of my bamboos

    Bookmark   September 14, 2012 at 8:07PM
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I live in Alexandria Ky and I grow Rubromarginata. I've had it in the ground about 5 years now started with a 6 ft tall plant that I got in Florida. I have hundreds of canes some reaching 15 - 20 ft tall biggest diameter is a little under 1 inch. Mine is doing very well and it spreads like wildfire. I love it.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2012 at 12:00AM
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I planted the dulcis hoping to get some edible shoots. Last winter was the first year that the canes lived through the winter. Before that the tops died off every winter but the plant still spread sending up culms further out.
I actually harvested a few of the culms, chopped them up, and stir fried them. They were edible with no gastric distress. Most of the ones I tried were 8 inches in length but one I tried was 16 inches long and was still edible.
I'm beginning to be concerned about its invasivness. I have it planted in a large vegetable garden and it has spread out of the garden down a bank to the road.
I plan to harvest a lot of the culms next spring to try to keep it in check, assuming we make it through the galatic syncronisation with no disruption.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2012 at 2:18AM
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If you want to stop its spread, all you need to do is wait until after the shoots are finished growing, then cut a trench, severing all the rhizome connections where you don't want it to grow, cut down all the culms from the other side of the trench, and keep that area mowed. Dulcis doesn't survive long without a source of energy available so its pretty easy to stop its spread.

This species grows more like a clumper in my climate, and hasn't produced enough new shoots for harvesting even after 4 growing seasons. The good part about it is it survives every winter here, and gets taller pretty quickly.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2012 at 3:01AM
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Hi Steve! Love the pictures! That's amazing your dulcis is getting so big so fast, it gives me hope for my teeny one I got. I'm going to keep mine inside for the winter, it's so small I would hate to lose it.

Gardener1, your culm looks like the same size as my p. nigra henon this year, and I've had it for like 8 years, lol! I wish mine would get bigger, hopefully some day. :)

1_james, I hope my dulcis becomes invasive, ha! I heard that you are supposed to boil bamboo shoots in water to get rid of any cyanide type compounds or bitterness, but so far I haven't tried any of mine yet.

The only problem I have had where my bamboo isn't doing good is usually with our droughts we have, either that or bad soil. I thought bamboo would grow in anything, but if it's bad enough it will take a long time to spread.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2012 at 4:01PM
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mersiepoo, you probably won't be able to keep yours alive if you keep it inside during the winter because temperate bamboos require a dormancy period in order to thrive in the long run. I've tested several bamboos over winter, and most of them ended up dying.

It does work to keep them under either a tarp or inside a greenhouse that doesn't get too far below freezing. The reason is because they need 2-3 months of vernalization with temperatures in the 40-45F range in order to produce the hormones needed for shooting and overall health.

Here's a link to a forum blog with effective ways of overwintering bamboos.

Here is a link that might be useful: Overwintering bamboos

    Bookmark   October 4, 2012 at 7:08PM
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mersiepoo I did boil them first. Some I ate just after boiling and were good with just a little salt.
I am about 60 miles north of St. Louis, MO

    Bookmark   October 5, 2012 at 4:02AM
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treeguy_ny USDA z6a WNY

I'm growing quite a few Phyllostachys species in western NY zone 6a.
Thes guys have been in the ground for about 5-6 years and are forming nice groves from 8 to 12 foot tall and 1/2 to 3/4" diameter canes:
P. rubromarginata
P. atrovaginata
P. aureosulcata 'spectabilis'
P. nuda
P. nigra 'henon'
The following were planted only a year ago and are just getting established:
P. decora
P. dulcis
P. parvifolia
P. bissetii
These two are still potted and will be planted in the ground this upcoming spring:
P. kwangsiensis
P. propinqua 'Beijing'
I'm also growing these other 'boo species:
Arundinaria gigantea
Fargesia muriellae
Fargesia 'scabrida'

So far the rubro has been the fastest to size up and spread for me; it also produces the most canes. The spectabilis is starting to catch up to the rubro in size and spread. Out of my established plants, the nuda and henon seem to suffer the most winter damage/die-back. Last winter was great, I had little to no winter damage at all resulting in beautiful bamboos this summer!

    Bookmark   October 9, 2012 at 8:25PM
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kudzu9(Zone 8a - PNW)

I was in Beijing for the first time a couple of years ago and saw a beautiful grove of Ph. propinqua on the Summer Palace grounds. Have you seen any of this spotting appearance with your propinqua?:

It wasn't on every culm -- maybe 10% -- but it was quite striking.

    Bookmark   October 9, 2012 at 10:21PM
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treeguy_ny USDA z6a WNY

Hi kudzu - unfortunately, my propinqua 'Beijing' is too young to tell. It's a potted division with 3 culms! I do hope it shows that speckling on the canes once it gets going though - that is very striking!

    Bookmark   October 10, 2012 at 11:14AM
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kudzu9(Zone 8a - PNW)

Thanks for the response. I would appreciate your re-posting in the future if any of your growth shows this behavior. I have been looking to acquire a division that resembles what I saw in Beijing, but I've contacted the relatively few online vendors of this species in the U.S., and none have seen this in their plants. I'm relatively sure about my ID of what I saw, because it was a big grove that had been there a long time, and there was a prominent brass plate displaying the name.

    Bookmark   October 10, 2012 at 3:03PM
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