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Monday, October 31, 2011

Adding a layer of leaf mulch to all the bamboos to overwinter

In zone 6 and cooler, a good way to help protect plants over winter is to add leaves so I ended up collecting over 100 bags to get the job done. This helps protect shoot buds and rhizomes that are close to the surface since it provides extra insulation, and also allows snow to cling to it. I believe this helps to reduce the chance that the plant dessicates over winter when it gets extremely cold and the moisture is sucked out of the plant. Tarping is the next step, but that can happen in late December when the temperatures can drop below 0F, and I will likely do it to the marginally hardy species.

Phyllostachys atrovaginata

Phyllostachys aureosulcata

Phyllostachys propinqua beijing

Phyllostachys edulis moso seedling with fargesia denudata on left, fargesia murielae on right

Phyllostachys dulcis

Phyllostachys nigra

Phyllostachys kwangsiensis

Phyllostachys aureosulcata spectabilis

Phyllostachys decora

Moso bicolor before adding leaf mulch
Moso bicolor after adding leaf mulch


  1. i would probably do same if i would have so much space. i hope that some day...

  2. If you look at the base of each of these bamboos, none of them really occupy that much space despite some of them being planted in 2009. Most bamboos don't run that fast around here.

  3. I am in zone 7 and plan to mulch heavy about 24" of tree leafs. I planted bamboo this month. can you think of anythings that may harm the bamboo from leaf mulch.

  4. I have seen some leaf yellowing due to the bamboo leaves smothering lower branches for 3 months, but that's about the extent of harm I've seen from using this setup. I do this to protect the rhizomes, and if possible I will tarp some of the bamboos to the ground so that they are completely insulated with the heat of the soil. This usually prevents any leaf burn at all on temperate bamboo.

    A 24 inch layer of leaf mulch should be OK.

  5. Lo felicito, Yo he plantado mozo en zona 7 y no he tenido problemas con el frío. No necesito cubrirlo en invierno, el frío llega a -12 C todos los años. Soy de Argentina.

  6. -12C is not a threat at all to mature moso bamboo, but it can get down to -23C in zone 6 so moso does need protection on most winters here.