Hardy Bamboo here

joefsolon(5a/4b)May 2, 2006

Hey, by Paul's Discount, there's a mini forest of bamboo that comes back every year. the bamboo gets like 12 ft tall. I dug some up and i've had it live for 2 springs now. has anyone ever seen or have hardy bamboo?

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iowapalmz5(Zone 5)

I planted some Yellow Groove Bamboo that I purchased down in St.Louis last year. It is a running bamboo and a few of the leaves stayed green over the winter. Most of it died off though. I just looked at it yesterday and noticed a bunch of new shoots coming out of the ground. Supposedly this bamboo will get about 15' and leaves will be hardy down to -10. We'll see when it is more mature. Where is Paul's Discount?

    Bookmark   May 2, 2006 at 11:32PM
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Do you have any pics of it? There are many plants that are similar-looking to bamboo, but are not.

I just started last year with many bamboo species, so my experience is limited.

From much info I have been looking into, there are countless species of bamboo that are root-hardy in Iowa.

Species that may be top-hardy in Iowa once established and mature:
Phyllostachys rubromarginata
nuda 'localis'
bissetii 'dwarf'
aureosulcata 'spectabilis'
aureosulcata 'alata'
aureosulcata 'aureocaulis'
aureosulcata 'harbin'
aureosulcata 'harbin-inversa'
propinqua 'bejing'

That's a few in the phyllostachys genus that are worth trying in Iowa.

The native american bamboo, Arundinaria gigantea, can stay evergreen in cold climates such as Iowa.
But a northern genotype would have to be selected.

The best clumping bamboo to try is Fargesia rufa.

Most of the groundcover boo can be grown in iowa without problems. The best shrublike bamboo to keep color in winter may be Sasa oshidensis.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2006 at 9:43AM
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lilycrazy(Zone 5- Iowa)

Hmmmmmmmm I wonder where this mini forest is !!!! I'm all for digging up a twig or two of bamboo (and I'm up for a road trip too !!). Has anyone ever had a problem with it becoming invasive ?? I have a great spot to try something tall like bamboo- its in fukk sun and fairly sandy soil. Any suggestions ??

    Bookmark   May 22, 2006 at 10:56PM
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lol, you said a naughty word. it's in iowa city. mine so far (in two years) has only sent out 3 underground shoots.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2006 at 6:01PM
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lilycrazy(Zone 5- Iowa)

Oh jeez !!!!! hahahahahaha See what happens when my FINGERS type faster than my brain ??? FULL sun is what I meant !!!!!! I bet I gave everyone a good laugh anyway !!

    Bookmark   May 29, 2006 at 8:15PM
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mzriz(z4 Ia)

My fiance has been interested in growing bamboo in central Iowa for a bit of time now. He's having trouble finding any suppliers in Iowa. Any ideas? There are some online suppliers but he's not sure which variety is best for central Iowa so I will pass on lkz5ia's links to him to check out. The online suppliers aren't cheap though so he wants to be sure to get the best bamboo for his buck! Any help and info on buying/growing bamboo in Iowa would be very helpful. Thanks!
Oh almost forgot...The majority of the research he's done on it's growing is that it can be quite invasive over time. Dropping containers into the ground and planting them it's said keeps it contained, similar to planting mint. Any thoughts on this? Thanks again :)

    Bookmark   June 8, 2006 at 8:25AM
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I haven't seen the bamboo by Paul's but I do have some that is EXTREMELY invasive. I planted it on the corner of the sidewalk and alley where it is surrounded by cement, but it keeps trying to run away. It dies back in the winter then reappears in the summer. I got it from a friend who was trying to get rid of hers. We dug a 31/2 foot trench around the 3 foot root ball, wrapped a chain around it, hooked my 3/4 ton pick-up to it and could not pull it out. So be sure you plant it where you want it or better yet plant it in a 30 gallon garbage can with a few drainage holes so it won't escape. After that experience I will never plant bamboo again unless I have an extra 30 acres.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2006 at 6:17PM
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whatcheer(z4 Ia)

Elphinstones experience sounds like mine. The Bamboo we had as a kid was terrible. I always thought of it as a bad weed. What I have read is that most hardy bamboo is invasive. Here's a good sight to learn more about it.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2006 at 8:56PM
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iowapalmz5(Zone 5)


I live in the Quad Cities and have some Yellow-Groove Bamboo in my back yard. This is it's second summer in the ground and has done very well. It basically has tripled in size from last year. I'm guessing as it gets older it will get even larger. I have only seen bamboo at a local nursery once and that was a couple years ago. I purchased mine down by St. Louis and I have seen them for sale at nurseries and garden centers in the Chicago suburbs. If he doesn't want to drive I would say get some through the mail. It may not be real large when he gets it but it will grow very fast once it becomes established. Also, not all bamboos are invasive. It is the "running bamboos" that are the invasive ones. The "clumping bamboos" are much easier to control.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2006 at 8:58PM
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I've mail-ordered from www.bamboogarden.com and www.bambooplantation.com with good success.

Try fargesia rufa if you want a clumping variety(Best grown in some shade.)

    Bookmark   June 11, 2006 at 11:53PM
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mzriz(z4 Ia)

Thank you all for great advice and suggestions on suppliers etc! I'll definitely let him know all that you've mentioned and thank you kindly for your help. I've been so darn busy I've not gotten back to catch up on this thread so sorry for taking so long to reply. Thanks again!

    Bookmark   June 27, 2006 at 9:27PM
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Located in Elk Horn, IA here - Planning on attempting to grow Incense bamboo from bamboogarden.com this coming spring. Fingers crossed... I'll post my results... and or anguish.

Here is a link that might be useful: Incense Bamboo

    Bookmark   August 8, 2013 at 7:13PM
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For some reason I have had that one from 2 different sources, and both results have been bad.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2013 at 12:20AM
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