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Tallish (10 feet) bamboo for zone 5?

Posted by shadey z5 Chicago (My Page) on
Fri, Oct 5, 07 at 1:05

I am in the Chicago area and would love to have some bamboo as a screen in a partly shadey spot. It would have to get to about 10 feet tall. Out here in the western burbs, the winter winds can be harsh. Does anyone know of a bamboo that will survive here?


Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Tallish (10 feet) bamboo for zone 5?

The best bamboo for your situation would be Canebrake Bamboo "Arundinaria gigantea". It will grow to around 10 tall in your climate and will stay evergreen all winter. Also you may want to try the dwarf form of Phyllostachys bissettii it should also work well but it will spread more then the Canebreak bamboo.

RE: Tallish (10 feet) bamboo for zone 5?

Go to or they list the characteristics of dozens of varieties.

RE: Tallish (10 feet) bamboo for zone 5?

My yellow groove is about 8 feet tall and it spreads well. If you have it in a place where you can mow around it or put down a root barrier, it'd be a good one. We have lots of wind here, especially in spring, fall and winter. It will defoliate the first few years if it goes below zero with lots of wind, but as it gets more well established it stops doing that.

RE: Tallish (10 feet) bamboo for zone 5?

I didn't know there were bamboos hardy to our area other than a few Phyllostachys and Fargesias. In shade, my F. robusta and F. nitida have never gotten much more than 6' tall, and I'm at the lake with that extra warmth in the winter. P. aurea and P. nuda both get taller, but not quite much more than 6-7'.

OTOH, I do have the Phyllostachys in small root barriers, which could hinder overall growth and affect height. They spread like crazy, so be careful. I've seen one stand, I'm sure planted by an unknown gardener, take up easily a space 15' x 15'.

RE: Tallish (10 feet) bamboo for zone 5?

I live in the city of Milwaukee and my Phyllostachys nuda achieved 11 feet when I had it next to my garage. I decided to move it behind my koi pond (what a project!) and it was about 8 feet tall the last two years. It may take a few years to get back to its previous height. However, it does windburn in winter. I've heard that P. bissetii handles wind a bit better than nuda. Would fargesia rufa work for you? It clumps and achieves 8-10 feet according to the catologs and online comments I've read. Good luck,

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