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containing golden bamboo

Posted by kvolk 5aUt (My Page) on
Tue, Sep 13, 05 at 9:40

Can golden bamboo--Pleioblastus viridistiatus--be contained by burying a 5-10 gallon pot? Would the roots grow out the drainage holes of a nursery pot? Would the roots go over the top if I kept the lip an inch or so above the soil surface and then put wood chips around it to hide the lip of the pot? How deep would a barrier need to go? I know nothing about bamboo and have never seen it growing locally.


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RE: containing golden bamboo

  • Posted by kudzu9 Zone 8b, WA (My Page) on
    Tue, Sep 13, 05 at 13:26

1. Pl. viridistriatis is only hardy to about 0 degrees F, so it's probably not going to survive a Zone 5 winter.
2. Bamboo planted in buried containers with drainage holes will ultimately find its way out, while bamboo buried in containers without drainage will not do well.
3. You should be able to contain a bamboo, especially in your climate, with a sharp shovel and a couple of minutes of rhizome pruning each fall.
4. Your worry will be having the bamboo prosper, rather than that it will get out of control. Bamboo can grow in your Zone and survive the winter, but you will likely have leaf loss and at least some culm death, depending on how cold it gets and how windy your area is.
5. The most hardy of the bamboo can typically survive until it gets down to about minus 20 degrees F. That would include Ph. nuda and Fargesia murielae. You should try a search of earlier posts here to see if there are any threads remaining from the couple of bamboo growers who frequent this forum and are succeeding in Zone 5 climates.


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RE: containing golden bamboo

kvolk - with ground covers such as Pl. Viridistriatus you can mostly toss out the book on hardiness since they are grown for their foliage and not culm size. They need to be mowed down every year anyway, so as long as the rhizomes have a bit of protection they can be grown quite well in zone 5. I generally mow mine in February as they are looking ratty and the new spring growth will start coming up in late March with fresh new growth.

Plant it and mulch it well, then each year after you mow it is the time for new mulching before the new growth starts to come up.

I would not worry too much about this one, it is pretty tame compared to the other ground cover species. As Kudzu suggests you can rhizome prune or if it starts to come up out of bounds, you can easily prune it back to where you want it.


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RE: containing golden bamboo

Pl. Viridistriatus was one of the plants I had in the ground when it was -24 degF so I would not worry about hardiness. Just mulch well.

On mine the leaves will burn in the summer if it has to much sun so plant it in the shade.

Bill


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RE: containing golden bamboo

  • Posted by kudzu9 Zone 8b, WA (My Page) on
    Tue, Sep 13, 05 at 22:10

Bill-
I was going by the data on Bambooweb.info for the hardiness temp. How do you explain your success in withstanding so much lower temperatures. What happened aboveground to the plant when it hit -24F?


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RE: containing golden bamboo

Bill, I have it planted in full sun, partial shade, and nearly full shade. You're right that the full sun will burn over the course of the summer but for me it by far has the best coloration in the spring through early July. Full sun gets a very intense yellow with green stripes and the heavy shade is green with green stripes. Some visitors have preferred the shaded ones coloration so to each their own, but I think that one can use this info to site it so that you get the color that you want.


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RE: containing golden bamboo2

Kudzu - meaning no disrespect to anyone, anywhere, but in my experience there is not one single website or book that contains accurate hardiness data because many species have not been tested in COLD climates to see how they really perform. I think that folks are reporting the data that they have and in many cases, it is just an estimate perhaps based on climate/elevation of origin and not a tested rating. If you think about it, most nursuries are in tempreate locations.

Some websites are too conservative, and one in particular is downright deceptful, I think.


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RE: containing golden bamboo

When it was -24 everything above ground was toast. The plants were also heavily mulched with wheat straw.

The temperatures in the ABS species list, and bambooweb.info, are for leaf loss with no wind. The culms should be 5 to 10 degrees hardier. The rhizome hardiness depends on the ground temperature which can be kept warmer with mulch and snow cover.


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RE: containing golden bamboo

Thanks for all of your help and thanks for clarifying the temperature data. The book that I have lists it as zone 5 but all on the online stuff says 0 deg so I was thinking that it was not paractical.
In zone 5 am I better off waiting until spring or can I safely plant now and mulch well? When I order some can I divide it into a few clumps and spread it around a little in the same spot or am I better off ordering several 1 gallon pots and just putting them in the ground?


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RE: containing golden bamboo

  • Posted by kudzu9 Zone 8b, WA (My Page) on
    Wed, Sep 14, 05 at 20:44

hoosier52-
No offense taken, and given the relatively balmy climate I grow in, I always defer to you on low temperature experiences. I just wanted to caution someone who sounded like a bamboo newbie so they wouldn't end up disappointed.


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RE: containing golden bamboo

Another newbie question--If I do go ahead and plant some how hard is it to get rid of should I change my mind?


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RE: containing golden bamboo

  • Posted by kudzu9 Zone 8b, WA (My Page) on
    Wed, Sep 14, 05 at 21:00

If you don't like it, you'd have to dig it up. Shrub bamboos typically don't have large or deep rhizomes, so it's not a big deal in my opinion. It will spread some, but, as I explained above, you can control it with rhizome pruning. If you were in a more temperate climate, and planting timber bamboo, then it would be more work to remove.


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RE: containing golden bamboo

Kvolk - is it just me or has your climate gotten a lot colder in the last 24 hours? Kidding, I noticed that your zone rating has changed. If I were you, I'd wait until early spring to plant Viridistriatus. The early spring growth is the attractive feature and it starts to look a bit tired by now, so let someone else deal with it in the winter. Mulch it deeply when you plant it and I would not try to divide anything smaller than a full 2 gallon plant, you're better off to buy multiple small pots and plant them a few feet apart. If your supplier grows it in a heated greenhouse the shooting cycle may be off and no spring shoots year one but I'd still plant it then. If you can find an established stand of it, the ideal thing is to go there in early March and mow it down and then dig up a square foot by square foot 'sod' of it and plant that chunk and mulch it several inches deep. It should shoot within a few weeks up through the mulch and have lots of rhizome vigor from the tangle of rhizomes in the sod.


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RE: containing golden bamboo

in march i planted 5 large bunches of golden bamboo in big containers (30 gallons) in my back patio. so far the plants are thriving. i had great growth in the spring.

this is the first i've read about "mowing" them. In Feb? Just cut 'em in half, or what? right now they're about 8 feet high. i planted them for screening purposes and hate to lose any of that height.

also, in addition to tons of extra mulch, etc, what should i do to protect them this winter? (containers have insulation on sides and bottom, 4 inches of mulch on top.)

should i do anything special next spring?

thanx.


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RE: containing golden bamboo

pluvious
Another example of common names getting in the way. Kvolk was referring to Pleioblastus viridistiatus which is a dwarf bamboo that has yellow leaves. You probably have Phyllostachys aurea which is commonly called 'Golden Bamboo'.

Bill

Here is a link that might be useful: Pleioblastus viridistiatus


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RE: containing golden bamboo

  • Posted by kudzu9 Zone 8b, WA (My Page) on
    Fri, Sep 16, 05 at 13:19

pluvious-
The reference to shearing refers to shrub bamboo, which is what the original post was about. I think there is a little confusion here over common names. In my experience, the term "Golden bamboo," means Ph. aurea, which I think may be the plant you have. (I've never heard Pl. viridistriatus referred to by this common name before, but I didn't want to sound like a bamboo snob so I didn't say anything before.) In your case, if you want maximum growth, leave the culms alone.
If I remember correctly, there was an interesting series of threads back when you were building these containers, and I'd like to hear from you about them after you've gone through your first winter. Given your not-too-bad climate, the hardiness of the species you chose, and what you've already done, I think you'll be just fine, but I'd like to hear in spring whether you had any significant loss of foliage.


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RE: Containing golden bamboo...

  • Posted by kudzu9 Zone 8b, WA (My Page) on
    Fri, Sep 16, 05 at 13:25

Bill-
We must be channeling one another!


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RE: containing golden bamboo

Yes, yes, don't chop down the real Golden! Only the little guys!


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RE: containing golden bamboo

thanks for the clarification, folks. i appreciate that. it would have been terrible to cut everything in half, only to learn later that i'd made a terrible mistake.

i, too, am quite interested in seeing how these container bamboo plants overwinter. they're certainly thriving so far. winter will be a big test for them. hopefully, by the spring, i'll have worked out how to post photos!

thanks again.


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