Bamboo – The Great Experiment

running bamboo I have ordered two 1 gallon pots of Phyllostachys decora, commonly called Beautiful Bamboo to be planted on the north side of Michelle’s house.
She has a nice bed about 20 feet long and 10 feet wide that has been a real challenge. It is very wet from roof water run off much of the time and in our dry season becomes very dry. It is also shaded much of the day and has presented a real problem to find plant(s) that can survive in such severe conditions.

Grin… This is the sellers sales pitch, so all of this must be considered in developing my expectations of just how well this bamboo will do in my tiny area of Southwest Oklahoma.

*Native to the Yangtze valley of China where it is referred to by the locals as “Beautiful Bamboo”. It is a fine bamboo for a tall (up to 35 feet) dense screen.
It is one of the best performers under the stress of desert heat, cold, and drought conditions.

*Year old bamboo that is about 8 feet tall with 4 canes, may produce 3 additional new shoots in the spring that grow to 10 feet, within two months time.
Next spring those 7 canes will produce about 5 to 10 new shoots that could reach 15 feet. Fast forward 4 years: the same plant is now 60 canes strong and up to 30 feet tall.
Because the canes are connected by rhizome, it is functioning as a single plant. Now it has the energy needed to produce larger and more numerous new shoots each spring that grow from the ground up to 35 feet in two months.

*Planting at wide intervals is recommended (5- 10 feet apart.)
Starting from a small size, most bamboo will reach mature height within five years. Running types gain about 3-5 feet per year in height, and spread outward at the same rate.

If all the hype is any where near what I may see in Michelle’s growing beds. In 5 years we will be digging bamboo and be looking for new areas to start bamboo thickets.

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7 responses to “Bamboo – The Great Experiment

  1. Will be interesting to see how this works out for you. I love the look of bamboo!!

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  2. Bamboo has caused a real problem in my daughter’s garden. The bamboo from the next door neighbour has invaded their garden and they are having a dreadful time trying to eradicate it. Any suggestions welcome.

    Liked by 1 person

    • SF Gate said “Physical Removal’
      1 Mow, chop or saw the clump of bamboo down to near ground level. Use a mower or trimmer for bamboo with thin shoots; a heavy loppers or saw is necessary for larger shoots.
      2 Mow or otherwise cut down the stand of bamboo as it reemerges regularly, with about the same frequency as a home lawn. Rigorous mowing can deplete the bamboo’s resources and kills unwanted bamboo within a few years. Alternatively, dig up the bamboo root mass.
      3 Dig up small clumps of bamboo after shoots are cut down. Although these plants can spread extensively, their roots are fairly shallow, typically growing less than a foot deep. Remove as much of the root mass and rhizomes as possible.
      4 Monitor the bamboo removal site regularly for at least a year, digging or pulling up the roots of new shoots as they emerge.

      Chemical Treatment
      1 Mow, chop or saw the bamboo close to ground level.
      2 Monitor the bamboo shoots regularly for regrowth. Once the new shoots are 3 feet tall or their leaves have expanded, apply the herbicide.
      3 Spray the bamboo leaves with a herbicide that contains glyphosate or imazapyr. Thoroughly treat the foliage so that the leaves are completely covered with herbicide but not to the extent that the chemical drips off of the leaf.
      4 Monitor the treated bamboo clump regularly for at least a year, inspecting it for regrowth.
      5 Spray herbicide on any regrowth that appears once its leaves have expanded.

      😦 Good luck

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  3. That will be interesting to see how well it does in your area. Shade seems to be the main thing around here that will slow bamboo down a little bit. Other than that, it grows like crazy and you have to be careful what you plant and where. I’m guessing water will be your biggest problem.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Without supplemental water even the native American bamboos (river bamboo or river cane) can not survive our hot dry summers and our reoccurring 5 to 8 year droughts.

      Happy Holidays

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  4. Next, you’ll be needing a panda!

    Liked by 1 person

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