Oldhamii...giant timber Bamboo

speedjesterOctober 12, 2013

Im having a good size clump of Oldhamii delivered later this week... (Against my landscapers advice) .... Everything I have read says it's hardy for my Zone (9b)... But the landscaper tells me he has a few and the winters are very hard on them.... Any thoughts or opinions??

Also what is there known hardiness temp... .. On some websites it's listed to 18*F and others say 25*F .....again any help would be appreciated..

Thank you

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Here in Texas in 8b, my Oldhamii does just fine. I've had it in the ground for over a decade and once established, it only froze back one year but I think it not only had to do with the extreme cold that Winter, but the lack of water which was due to drought weather here.

It used to have no northerly Winter protection from north winds but it only got occasional leaf burn at the tips of some leaves and at the top of the clumps. It reached over 40 feet tall here with culms over 4 inches in diameter.

What makes Oldhamii great is it's erectness. It grows very upright.

If you plant it in a protected area, it will probably do excellent. The first couple of years, you may want to protect it on those colder nights, but once it sizes up, it will usually just get some leaf burn. Keep it watered well on those cold nights also.

It has gotten down into the single digits here twice since I planted mine, but they survived although they froze back somewhat.

I usually don't see any leaf-freeze burn until the upper teens and/or if there is a constant strong wind with the cold weather.

A beautiful plant. You will enjoy it.


    Bookmark   October 13, 2013 at 10:54AM
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Thank you kentuck.. The clump I'm getting is in a 65 gallon pot where it has been I am told for the last two yrs.... There are about 6-7 really leafy stalks and two very large 30ft culms... It seems like its been doing well.....Just hope it establishes well in the ground before it starts getting cold..( I believe I have until the end of December before it starts getting into the low 40*f)

    Bookmark   October 13, 2013 at 1:54PM
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I would mulch around it good, at least a few inches deep. It may freeze back somewhat, but it will not die.

I have one in a pot with 2 culms in it. One is about 14 feet tall and the other is still growing, but I plan on putting it in my greenhouse on colder nights even though I will have to lay it down to fit it in there. Then I will plant it outdoors next Spring.

There are some pictures of Oldhamii in the Bamboo Gallery. Click on Gallery and search Oldhamii. I have a few photos in there and one under the title "Bamboo Use # 1002" just a few posts down.

Good Luck


This post was edited by kentuck_8b on Sun, Oct 13, 13 at 15:43

    Bookmark   October 13, 2013 at 3:42PM
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kudzu9(Zone 8a - PNW)

It will not be fully established by December. The main issue is that it be in the ground so that the root ball is protected from the weather. Layering on 6" or so of compost on top of the planting will help provide further insulation. If you are getting the potted plant from anywhere in your area it means that it has survived aboveground, supposedly for a couple of years, and that is always tougher on the plant than when it is in the ground. If that is the case, it means that it will do just fine at your place

Also, given the size of the plant, it's very important that you stake it until at least next spring. I have had large divisions of bamboo that I thought were well and firmly planted get completely pushed over by the wind if they weren't staked. I usually just put three stakes in a circle several feet out from the center of the base, and run twine from those to one or two of the big culms at about eye level. Next year when the root system has expanded and the plant is locked in place, you can remove the stakes and twine.

This post was edited by kudzu9 on Sun, Oct 13, 13 at 15:55

    Bookmark   October 13, 2013 at 3:53PM
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Thanks Kudzu.... My landscaper is recommending 6"-8" of manure... He says the heat from decomp will keep it warm...Is this correct??

    Bookmark   October 13, 2013 at 8:40PM
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kudzu9(Zone 8a - PNW)

The heat may not last all winter, but it may also help by providing a layer of insulation. I don't know if there is a downside to having this concentrated amount of manure on top of the roots, but, if your landscaper knows his stuff, I'd go with it.

    Bookmark   October 13, 2013 at 8:51PM
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