Container bamboo in 4a?

TheDerekDecember 24, 2013

I am interested in growing a container bamboo in Bismarck ND, as a centerpiece to a rock garden in my yard. I would like something with large shoots that grows fast. I am planning on planting it in a half of a 50 gallon plastic barrel, buried in the ground so that the container is not noticable. Ideally I would like to leave it in the ground and just cut the plant down for the winter, and then let it regrow in the spring. Will a plant survive and continue to be healthy if handled like this? Will a container plant, in the ground and mulched well (4-6 inches of wood chips on top of the soil) survive winters where temps can reach -30F? I could also cut a piece of foam insulation and cover the container with that if necessary, to keep out the harshest of cold.

The drum I would like to use will be about 2' wide and 2.5' deep, with holes drilled in the bottom for drainage. Will a large bamboo like Incense Bamboo become rootbound quickly and need to be removed, thinned and repotted often?

How about soil to use in the container? My yard is a heavy clay, would a soil-less mix be best?

Sorry for so many questions, Im new to bamboo so I have a lot to learn...

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I would plant a Fargesia as many are listed to -20F and that is for above ground growth so the underground part of the plant should survive.

I have a friend that grows Fargesia rufa 'Green Panda' in Wisconsin, zone 5 and never covers it or anything and it never loses it's leaves, even with temps down below 0 and being buried under snow sometimes for days. There are several other Fargesias that get taller.

Fargesias are clumpers so they would not need to be inside of a container.

I would not cut it down every year though since it will set the plant back and probably kill it eventually.

Most bamboos like well-drained soils but I have some growing heavy clay, but it does not stay moist for long periods which if it did, might harm the plant.

Mulch would definitely be a must for the plant especially in it's first few years.

One other idea would be to remove the pot each year and put it in a warmer area or greenhouse, etc, during the Winter and then put it back in the ground each Spring...just a thought, and I know it would be kind of heavy.

    Bookmark   December 24, 2013 at 7:37PM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

I wouldn't leave any bamboo outside in a pot in Zone 4.

    Bookmark   December 27, 2013 at 11:54PM
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