Idea for a bamboo around this pool

ourarkaOctober 10, 2012

It's a really nice dilemma to have, but I want to replace this ex-palm in the pot around my pool. I have been toying with another palm and really can't decide on one. I then thought a bamboo would look great - just can't decide which one!!

I am in south-east UK, about zone 9a, so can get a frozen spell in winter but rare and not for long. I have phyllostachys nigra and aurea in containers which sailed through last winter, despite being frozen for two weeks. I would love to get your ideas - the only condition is it has to be fairly upright, or it will just get annoying as we walk past.

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kudzu9(Zone 8a - PNW)

There are quite a few bamboo that are cold hardy and upright. Two nice ones that I grow in a climate similar to yours are:

1) Semiarundinaria fastuosa, which is cold hardy to 0 degrees F

2) Bashania fargesii, which is cold hardy to 5 degrees F

Both of these are very upright, have a lot of foliage, and have short branches, which make them relatively compact. They are both running bamboo, but that won't be a problem in a pot as long as you use a pot that has flared sides (like the one in your photo) because you will probably need to unpot and divide the clump every 5 years or so, and bamboo are almost impossible to unpot if the pot is straight-sided or recurved at the top. Now a bamboo in a pot will be less cold hardy that in the ground by about 10 degrees, but both of these should be plenty hardy for the conditions you described. In pots, these two bamboo will not attain their maximum possible heights and will probably be comparable in size to what you have seen with your nigra and aurea.

You can take a look at photos of these and other bamboo at the site below.

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   October 10, 2012 at 2:56PM
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Thanks Kudzu - great reply. I'll certainly have a little look in to those two. Any more ideas?

    Bookmark   October 11, 2012 at 3:58AM
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kudzu9(Zone 8a - PNW)

I might have more ideas if you have any more specifics. For example, do you care about:
-the height...minimum or maximum?
-whether it's leafy and dense vs. being airy?
-small diameter culms vs. larger diameter ones?

    Bookmark   October 11, 2012 at 5:25AM
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Thanks Kudzu,

I don't think I would want one more than 2m tall in that pot as might look silly. Bigger culms would be great and I like to trim off the lower branches/leaves for effect. Anything quite striking - that would make a good specimen piece.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2012 at 6:16AM
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botanicalbill(9b SWFlorida)

I have some B gracilis in a pot here in florida, 9a, and I think it looks great.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2012 at 1:47AM
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kudzu9(Zone 8a - PNW)

If you want to stick to no more than 2 meters and have it be upright, that narrows the field a lot.

You could consider:

-Chusquea culeou 'Cana Prieta'

-Semiarundinaria fortis

-Thamnocalamus tessalatus

All of which are hardy to about 0 degrees F.

If you want colorful culms, then you would probably have to go with one of the Phyllostachys species...although almost all of them will get bigger than 2 meters.

(P.S.: Gracilis would be a nice bamboo for the purpose, but I'd be concerned that it couldn't survive frozen in a pot for 2 weeks without significant damage.)

    Bookmark   October 12, 2012 at 3:47AM
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sandy0225(z5 Indiana)

I know this is the bamboo forum, but I'd probably put a banana in that pot instead. It will get tall or stay short depending on the variety you pick and you won't have any trouble with falling leaves like you get from bamboo getting in your pool. Maybe one of the more hardy ones like basjoo.

    Bookmark   November 1, 2012 at 7:42AM
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I have several Musa basjoo in my garden and whilst I agree it would look nice, where we are they tend to get shredded by the wind if not in a sheltered spot and soon end up looking very tatty. That said, something like an Ensete ventricosum might look nice ....... so many options!

    Bookmark   November 1, 2012 at 10:58AM
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I just bubble wrap the pots and mulch heavily and it will be fine put in a protected area. I did it in a barrel just like that through harsh winters for 5 years and it was just fine.

    Bookmark   November 2, 2012 at 10:03AM
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