Return to the Bamboo Forum | Post a Follow-Up

cold hardy runner or clumper that loves shade and is SMALL

Posted by bobcat z5 OH (My Page) on
Thu, Jul 13, 06 at 12:26

Hi all,

I'm still new to bamboo-ing and have just fallen for them! I have searched for this but cannot find anything with all the specifics of my search. So I come to you, oh boo Gods..... :)

Is there a small bamboo (around or under 12 inches- small as possible) that either clumps or runs, doesn't mind acid, basic or neutral soil, and can handle some full sun, but mostly part/full shade?

Basically looking for a ground cover for under large trees, many of which are pines. Really just want something purdy. Really really want to stop mulching. Really really REALLY want to never use round up again!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I hate that stuff.

I realize I am asking for a lot here, but boo seems so special that I thought maybe....

If no 'boo fits this description.... any other suggestions?

Thanks everyone!

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: cold hardy runner or clumper that loves shade and is SMALL

Pleioblastus distichus is one of the smallest and one of the hardiest of the small, but it may not be perfectly hardy in zone 5. I've seen it rated for zone 6 and most bamboos are rhizome hardy beyond their normal given (leaf) hardiness. So, you might give it try. I wouldn't invest in a whole lot until you've tested it out and decided how well you like its performance in your garden. 2ft is more realistic, though. I imagine you could trim it down, though it may be hard to do without getting a ragged look.

RE: cold hardy runner or clumper that loves shade and is SMALL

Most of the groundcover bamboos are listed down to 5F - a zone 5 may be a bit severe for most of them. And I'm not sure of the likelihood they will fare well under the canopy of large trees, specially conifers. This tends to be a very dry as well as shady situation, not to the liking of most 'boos. Dryness encourages mite problems, a big issue with many bamboos. Also, the GC's often look best if given a haircut with a mower each early spring - hard to do under trees:-) And of course there is the issue of spreading......many groundcover 'boos are rampant runners, so consider if containment is advised.

RE: cold hardy runner or clumper that loves shade and is SMALL

I you haven't found anything yet I have something here that stays low but no name.
I'll try and get a picture to post I am sure someone here will know.

where do you live in ohio?

RE: cold hardy runner or clumper that loves shade and is SMALL

Here is a photo of Pleioblastus pygmaeus growing under my pine tree. In the winter it will die-back but it comes back each spring. (This plant has survived -24*F in my garden so it is hardy.)

If you would like a variegated bamboo my Pleioblastus fortunei only gets 10 inches tall after dieing back each winter.

If the top growth is unsightly in late winter just run a weed-eater over the plants or use hedge trimmers.


 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