Fargesia robusta questions

JohnnieB(Washington, DC 7a/b)November 16, 2007

Anybody else with experience with Fargesia robusta?

When is the best time to divide and transplant this species if it shoots in both early spring & late summer??? A couple of weeks ago I divided my clump, which has been in the ground for about 3 years. I moved half the clump, and left the other half in place with minimal disturbance (in case it doesn't take kindly to transplanting!). I knew I was taking a bit of a chance disturbing it this late in the growing season; fortunately the new shoots haven't leafed out much, so I hope it won't be stressed too much. The clump seems healthy and has been growing well, getting a bit taller every year (tallest shoots are now up to about 4-5 feet) so I was surprised to find that the root system was quite small and rather shallow. I'm starting to wonder if (a) this was a good time to move it after all, (b) it will survive the transplanting, and (c) if it was very healthy in the first place.

BTW a visitor who recently moved to the USA from France saw my F. robusta and commented that it did not look at all like the F. robusta he was familiar with; he said the leaves on mine were much too small. I thought of this again when I saw another Fargesia species (F. nitida, I think) in a garden and it looked almost identical to my plant. So... how do I know if I have the real thing or not?

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hollenback(z6 WA)

I think it is easier to identify your visitor from the other side of the country than your bamboo. My guess is his first name is Steve.

Now that you are amazed I will say that it is better to move the bamboo in early spring before it shoots. For me the Fargesias slow down their growth in the fall and it is more likely to be damaged by water, rotting the roots.

To identify your plant, does it look like the photos of F. robusta on the attached link?


Here is a link that might be useful: F. robusta Photos

    Bookmark   November 16, 2007 at 9:32PM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

Plants seen here large-parted ("robust"), including leaves, and not like fountain bamboo. One I planted in Island County, WA, above a pond on clay-like soil developed rapidly.

    Bookmark   November 17, 2007 at 5:33PM
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I moved a F.Robusta in early spring of this year. The shoots were 1-6 inches tall. It did fine, the shoots grew out and matured. I'm guessing the growth was stunted a bit temporarily, but that's normal with transplanting.

    Bookmark   December 4, 2007 at 11:51AM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

Anything impacting roots is likely to affect tops. Roots are the command center, the main area. Even a tall tree can grow back from the roots if cut down. But the cut top dies, even if inserted into the ground.

    Bookmark   December 5, 2007 at 10:18PM
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JohnnieB(Washington, DC 7a/b)

Just to update this old thread, a couple of culms died on the transplanted section and the remainder of the culms look a bit stressed and lost a lot of leaves over the winter compared to the ones I left in place but maybe because of the mild winter (lowest all winter was about 17 degrees), the remaining culms are all still alive and a couple of new shoots are already poking out of the soil! The half of the clump that I didn't move looks better, and has several shoots just beginning to emerge. I've always been surprised by how early this species shoots.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2008 at 12:56PM
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