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Monday, November 12, 2012

Getting new bamboos on my road trip

last weekend, I happened to be in the area of a fellow bamboo collector so I got a few bamboos from him. I acquired phyllostachys Shanghai III, phyllostachys prominens, phyllostachys huangwenzhu inversa, and another cultivator of phyllostachys parvifolia. It was already getting dark by the time I got there so the pictures may be a bit blurry. Here are the groves.

Phyllostachys Shanghai III: This one behaves and looks just like Dulcis, except it may be a bit more vigorous with straighter culms.

Its biggest culm is just a bit under the 3 inch mark, and still have the potential to get a bit bigger in the next few years. Its potential is still unknown in the U.S.

Phyllostachys Prominens: These are 2 year old divisions from a 1ft length of rhizome which shows that this species upsizes pretty quickly. This also means that this species probably won't be rare in the U.S. for that much longer.

Phyllostachys Vivax Huangwenzhu Inversa

Phyllostachys Parvifolia: I already have this species, but this is supposed to be a different cultivator with slightly longer internodes, but I can't tell a difference between them.

Potting the bamboos up

Shanghai III: The larger Shanghai III divisions were planted in 15 gallon containers, and topped to balance the root mass and number of leaves to ensure survival as these guys are the most important ones.

 The 2 smaller Shanghai III divisions also look good since they were originally potted up, and have plenty of root mass

Phyllostachys prominens: These are the 2 main culms which happen to have lots of root mass, rhizomes, and shoot buds attached so they should explode with new shoots next year.

The whip shoots from the prominens seemed to have much less root mass since they ran along the side of the pot so they may or may not be viable. It has some pretty bad leaf curl now, but I hope they can recover soon as they are kept in the greenhouse.

There were a lot of prominens rhizomes running along the side of the pot so I decided to pot some of them up hoping some will be viable, and sprout shoots next spring.

Phyllostachys Vivax Huangwenzhu inversa: It looks like the one on the left should recover, but the one on the right might not make it through the winter.

Phyllostachys Parvifolia

Most of these bamboos went into the greenhouse where they have higher humidity and more favorable conditions. It is more like a zone 8 inside the greenhouse even without heating so they should be very safe in there.

I have a 400 watt metal halide light which I still haven't turned on, but this should be strong enough to keep the greenhouse from getting below freezing in the winter.

The field divisions were too big so I decided to put them in my tarp bed which has many other small potted plants.

I added leaf bags around the bed, but don't plan on tarping it unless it drops below 22F. I wrapped up the 2 Big Shanghai III's in plastic trash bags to make sure the soil doesn't pour out when they are tipped over on their sides.

This shot shows both the tarp bed, and greenhouse in the background.


  1. Great selection of bamboos there Steve! Shanghai 3 performs well in our garden.

    1. When I'm collecting, I might as well get the best ones that grow in my climate. I should have the biggest ones by now.