Bamboo as it should be -- HUGE !!

Saturday, March 3, 2012


Spring time is when the majority of bamboo species begin their yearly growth.  Unlike trees & bushes in the garden, bamboo grows to it's full height & diameter in it's first growing season. Growth in coming years will only be to replace leaves. The stalks of bamboo will not get bigger or taller.

With the non-Winter we have had in Arkansas -- & in just about all the other parts of the U.S. -- the growing season for everything on my property has started earlier than in other years. [Question:  Will this Winter, with it's lack of cold weather & snow, be the "new normal" ??  Check back next year.]

Because in most years the first bamboo growth can begin (usually) in mid-March on my property, I have started making daily visits to the South end of my land.  This is where the species of bamboo -- common name MOSO ...  which is the first bamboo to sprout new growth in my yard in the Spring -- is planted.  With the warmer weather conditions, the first small "heads" of this bamboo are already poking through the earth. Certainly, earlier than "normal" at this time of the year.

All of the bamboo I grow -- 12 species -- is "cold hardy".  The green, gray, yellow & black colors of the bamboo really help to add "color" to my Winter time landscape.

However, one planting of bamboo does have me mystified to some degree. It has always appeared to be more sensitive to freezing temperatures & does not ... ah, "normally" ... due well in our Arkansas Winters.  But, since we have not had a Winter per say, it's growth this year does not seem to be affected.

 I don't have a specific name for this bamboo & I do not know exactly what species it is.  It is a "clumping bamboo", meaning it does not send out "runners" any further than the base of the plant.  Also, it's growth is always in late Summer/early Fall, making me believe it is a bamboo from the Southern Hemisphere, where the seasons are reversed from those in Arkansas.

I acquired this bamboo at a roadside plant nursery in Florida, many years ago. There was not a complete identification for the plant, just a tag listing it as "Bamboo".  Well ... DUH.   Still, I liked the color -- it's yellow, with green stripes -- so I bought the plant & divided it into two groupings when I returned home & put it in the ground.

Most years, I would have many brown leaves & dead stalks with this bamboo at the beginning of March, all due to the cold weather of our Winter.  The bamboo would then spend much of the Spring & Summer "recovering", aided by all the cutting & trimming I would have to do to remove the dead growth.

This year both plantings of this bamboo show no dead stalks or leaves. No doubt our lack of freezing temperatures this Winter have been more to the liking of this bamboo. It will be interesting to see how the weather conditions of this past season manifest themselves in the future growth of this plant when the true "warmer weather" arrives.

1 comment:

  1. Every variety of bamboo in all of your photographs is just amazing. I guess it's a plant which I have a strong connection with. I love it! Thanks for sharing.