Return to the Bamboo Forum | Post a Follow-Up

 o
Need help with bamboo choice

Posted by Drew80 TX (My Page) on
Mon, Jan 14, 13 at 19:46

My wife and I want to plant bamboo as a privacy screen, and we're struggling with the variety to choose. We're in Austin, so we would prefer a variety that is somewhat drought-tolerant and can handle heat and occasional winter freezes. We would like the privacy asap, so we'd like it to grow quickly. But we don't want to invade our neighbors' yard, so we're probably looking at clumping. We'd also prefer to not spend a fortune.

Any suggestions?


Follow-Up Postings:

 o
RE: Need help with bamboo choice

It looks like you are likely in zone 8a so your best bet may be some of the less aggressive phyllostachys timber bamboos. Phyllostachys prominens, P lithophylla, and P Nigra are pretty drought tolerant. These are average runners, and tend to upsize before running so it won't be very hard to rhizome prune around them. Running bamboos are more effective as a screen as they can fill in the gaps in as opposed to clumpers. If you are worried about rhizomes going across the neighbor's yard, I would suggest a 1 sided barrier on the property line on top of a 1ft deep/wide trench filled with mulch for easy rhizome pruning. A 3ft or more gap between the property line and the bamboo would also be a good idea. I would suggest allowing the screen to be over 6ft thick so that the screen would be effective.

This guy who is likely in about zone 5b has some pretty good bamboo screens.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/dcballard/

You can do tropical clumping bamboo, but if you do, I would suggest getting the hardiest types you can find such as bambusa ventricosa, or bambusa ventricosa kimmei. If you go with clumping, I would suggest getting 1 plant, let it grow out a bit, and then take divisions to space out around 8ft apart so they can fill in for a screen.


 o
RE: Need help with bamboo choice

Zilker Gardens has a nice selection to look at. You can get an idea from the bamboo growing there as to what kind you like and will work in your situation.

You will probably want one of the Bambusas. The largest cold hardy Bambusa is textilis, which has seen temps down to single digits here with little damage. However it grows to about 45 feet in height.

For shorter cold hardy Bambusas, look at the multiplexes...maybe Golden Goddess(15 feet) or Al Karr.

Kt


 o
RE: Need help with bamboo choice

Did you try and contact the folks at Bamboo Texas. I'll post their link at the bottom. They are a small family operated bamboo nursery in Hockely that does a lot of mail order.

It's always a good idea to transplant from locally grown bamboo that is already adapted to the conditions. A quick delivery also means less stress on the plant.

I'm sure they would be able to help you with selection and I believe they only grow clumping bamboo so you won't have to worry about it going wild.

Here is a link that might be useful: Bamboo Texas Nursery


 o
RE: Need help with bamboo choice

This post may have come too late, but i'll put in my two cents anyways. I too think textillis is a great one. It grows nice and straight, it shoots profusely and it's pretty. The gracillis is a good one. However, here's another choice; bambusa ventricosa eutuldoides clone x. Grows super fast, and makes the most impenetrable clump i've seen.


 o
RE: Need help with bamboo choice

Thanks Jon. You're post isn't too late. We still haven't planted anything.

Is the bambusa ventricosa eutuldoides clone x fairly weather-hardy?


 o
RE: Need help with bamboo choice

I've never heard of "bambusa ventricosa eutuldoides clone x".

There is a Bambusa tuldoides 'Clone X' but it grows to over 70 feet in height. A very fast grower but not sure how thick mine will be as a visual screen. It also leans outward a lot so it will need a whole lot of room once it is mature, but it is impenetrable as Jon mentioned.

Bambusa textilis gets tall also but is very dense at the base with culms which you cannot see through...a great all around plant and very cold hardy also.

Kt


 o
RE: Need help with bamboo choice

Yes Kentuck, you are right, tuldoides, but I think it will be renamed ventricosa tuldoides. And yes, it does lean outwards more that gracillis. I have not seen it grow to 70 feet, even here in tropical Florida. I have heard people say that though. Here is a picture of a mature clump of clone x over ten years old. It doesn't lean out that much and you can't see through it, because the branches on this species are very long (up to 15 feet long). They interweave the bamboo canes making the clump incredibly strong as a whole, while the canes have very thick walls. Bamboo forms a strong underground root network, but the canes are somewhat or mostly independent, while clone x has a branch network which makes it extra strong.


 o
RE: Need help with bamboo choice

Mine has been in the ground only about one year and it is already almost that height, but has fewer culms. It is among other bamboos, so it may be reaching out for light making it taller quicker.

The culms also lean outward more than other bambusas do, other than B.m. Silverstripe.

Nice looking plant there, Jon. I hope mine tends to be that tidy looking once it gets well established.

Kt


 o
RE: Need help with bamboo choice

It tends to become more tidy as the clump matures, keeping the branches inside the clump. I have seen other clone x that grows thicker and taller but only about 40-50 ft. My friend has tons and tons of it and it has already gone to seed once.
The silverstripe I have comes out of the ground at an angle. I like the variegated leaves though. The usda sent me 21 roots a few weeks ago with pleioblastus simonii included. I hope it's variegated as well.
Have you seen the silverstripe corkscrew?


 o
RE: Need help with bamboo choice

Hey everyone,
I appreciate all the recommendations. One follow up question. Part of the section we're going to plant is in partial to full shade. Will the species we've discussed have problems with that?


 o
RE: Need help with bamboo choice

Hey everyone,
I appreciate all the recommendations. One follow up question. Part of the section we're going to plant is in partial to full shade. Will the species we've discussed have problems with that?


 o
RE: Need help with bamboo choice

Not sure why that posted twice...


 o
RE: Need help with bamboo choice

That picture looks more like my B. ventricosa, and less like my B. tuldoides or B. tuldoides 'Clone X'. Ventricosa and tuldoides both grow to over 40 feet here.

My tuldoides is a very open clumper with culms up to 1 foot apart, and also this seems to be how my Clone X will grow, but it is still too early to tell.. The ventricosa is a tight clumper as in your picture..

I've never seen the Silverstripe corkscrew, but it sounds interesting. My regular Silverstripe leans outward a lot also.

Drew, all of my Bambusas do very well in heavy shade, especially when they are in pots. I have some planted under the shade of a live oak and they are doing fine, they just do not get as dense/thick as when they are in full sun.

Kt


 o
RE: Need help with bamboo choice

Here is a close up. Bambusa ventricosa clone x is a cultivar of ventricosa and tuldoides. It is an open clumper at first, but new shoots from unspent rhizome buds from inside the clump send up new shoots between them and the young canes on the outside, thereby forming a tighter clump.
It can be difficult, at times, to tell the difference between the standard ventricosa and clone x, but here's how I do it. The golden rule to ventricosa is that a buddha cane will form at some point. At least one.
Also, ventricosa canes only get to about 2 inches thick here. They both exhibit the ivory bands below and above each node. They both have smallish leaves, however the clone x has very long limbs, longer than the ventricosa, and you are right the ventricosa clumps tightly from the beginning. So if the clump has younger culms on the outside like the one pictured, it's clone x. This is a pic from one of the eight sister clumps to the first picture I posted.


 o
RE: Need help with bamboo choice

For being an open clumper, you sure can't see through it because of all the brances.


 o
RE: Need help with bamboo choice

Can you believe, one root with one cane 10 years ago became this?


 o
RE: Need help with bamboo choice

I also have propagated from a clump of ventricosa minima which only gets about twenty feet high, even when growing without swollen internodes. Kanapaha botanical gardens sells it. I have seen a ventricosa that could not be identified by two experts as standard or clone x. I think ventricosa has a lot of variation in the species, so who knows, you might be right and what I think is clone x is actually ventricosa. Still so much to learn about bamboo. p.s. I saw a seven foot tall ventricosa clump growing in lowland (very moist) florida bushy as can be with a bunch of culms all with swollen internodes. Go figure.


 o
RE: Need help with bamboo choice

Nice pictures and nice bamboo.

Yes, there is alot to be learned about bamboo and same varieties can grow very differently in different locations.

The textilis in my yard grew to about 45 feet tall with culms 2.5 inches thick. I took several divisions and planted one out in the open, about 50 yards from the 'mother' plant and after 9 it has never reached the larger size. It is only about 30 feet tall and the largest culms are 1.5 inches thick, though it reached this size a few years ago, so this is it's mature size.

I'll see what my Clone X does this year and keep you posted.

Kt


 o
RE: Need help with bamboo choice

Hey, Kentuck, which textillis are you growing that big?


 o
RE: Need help with bamboo choice

Wong Chuk is the only textillis that I know of that grows that big. If you have Wong Chuk, you are a serious boonut.


 o
RE: Need help with bamboo choice

I have four varieties textilis. I also grow Albostriata, Glabra, and Gracilis, but the one you are asking about was sold to me as plainly Weaver's bamboo, but I always assumed it was Wong Chuk which is listed to grow to 40 feet.

Kanapaha is listed to grow to 50 feet and supposedly the largest of the texrilis', but I believe that it is environment that is making it grow larger, just like my textilis growing differently only 50 yards apart, but under different conditions.

All of my Bambusa clumpers reach full maturity in 6 years or less. In ten years here, they have a base of 6 to 8 feet on the larger ones, and 4 to 6 feet on the smaller multiplexes.

Kt


 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!


Return to the Bamboo Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Please review our Rules of Play before posting.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.


Learn more about in-text links on this page here