WANTED: bamboo, please

rototiller(z7b-Greenville,SC)February 15, 2006

i would like to plant bamboo in my garden

I am new to south east, and like to have this plant in my garden very much as hedge plant.

Anybody that can spare some free bamboo seedlings in area around Greenville-Easley, SC, please let me know


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Tammy Kennedy

we got some a few yrs ago. if you look around, you're bound to see it growing in some older areas. most of what you'll see around is phyllostachys aurea. stop and ask if there's someone home, or try to determine who owns the prop(web searches through your county are real helpful.) once you get permission, be prepared to work you hind end off! it's extremely hard to dig bamboo- the roots are like steel cable. figure on it taking an hr or 2 just to get a chunk that's about 3' square out of the ground. that's with 2 people working. the roots aren't deep, just tough. best time to dig is after it shoots in spring, (from march til may, depending on the species) or in the fall. it's fragile when it's shooting so you wouldn't want to dig it then.

you don't start with seedlings generally because it only blooms and sets seed once each 100 yrs or so, depending on the species, then most of the established plants die out. you really should do a lot of reading up before you take the plunge- bamboo is wonderful, but it's a real commitment, because you HAVE to take steps to ensure it doesn't take over the world. they're not too hard, but they must be done consistently, every yr. ck out the bamboo forum on gw for starters. they have lots of great techniques, tips, etc- that's where we got most of our info. there are lots of bamboo nurseries out there that sell the edging to contain it(which isn't cheap), and/or they describe other ways to control it. whatever you do, don't just plant it and forget about it. also, you may want to look at the nurseiers sites to compare the diferent species and whether you might prefer a different one that aurea, which is the most commonly found one. if you know what you're looking for you can find other kinds. we got p. dulcis, vivax, crookstem and aurea. if you're up to a trip to durham, duke garden has several types growing in groves where you can see how it looks mature. i persaonally think black bamboo is one of the very prettiest(p. niger). a nice one for hedginf would be arrow bamboo- shorter(10') and smaller canes, but much denser than the taller types. theer are non running types, but most don't take to heat well.

it takes up to 5 yrs or a bit more for the new culms(stalks) to come in at full size and height after transplanting, so it'll be quite a while before your hedge is at mostly full height & screening. unless you find someone who wants rid of a whole patch and you can transplant it really close together. and your back would give out before that. if you get lucky enough for that sceneario, plan on at least some big equipment help. and line up some folks with good backs to help, no matter what! good luck!! tammy

    Bookmark   February 17, 2006 at 10:40AM
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