London (change)
Today 20°C / 17°C
Tomorrow 22°C / 14°C
16 messages
27/03/2013 at 11:11

I am considering adding some bamboo to my garden.Please could you suggest some suitable candidates to look out for.

The area is quite shaded and damp. I am looking for something that is a vibrant green. I am also likely to pair it with ferns due the the conditions, unless anyone has any better suggestions!

27/03/2013 at 11:38

There are hundreds of species of bamboo. The best thing would be to get hold of a catalogue, or look at the website of an on-line supplier.

Most bamboos appear evergreen. You want a bamboo that is clump-forming, and not invasive. Most bamboos are clump-forming, but you need to be sure you buy one that is.

Flopiness or erectness is another important factor. Most bamboos flop, to some extent, some more than others. Some people like this. It makes the overall appearance of the plant more graceful. But some people may prefer a bamboo that is more erect. Rain or snow will tend to weigh the long branches down too.

Ultimate height is another key factor. A bamboo frequently recommended on TV progams is Phyllostachys aurea. That bamboo reaches a height of 18-20 feet, and flops. In my opinion, bamboos such as that one are not suitable for small gardens, although you may have a large garden, and sufficient space. That bamboo will grow in shade, and would not be as vigourous.

27/03/2013 at 12:16

Gary's right - what height are you aiming for? I have an evergreen Golden Bamboo (haven't got Latin name in front of me I'm afraid), which is tough as old boots and in a shady part of the garden, with only uppermost branches getting some sun afternoon.

Without lopping top off, it has grown to 7 feet in a year :-0 so it;s vigorous too and I do need to contain it, but you can be very harsh with it.

It only ever flops when it's covered in snow or pelting with rain - otherwise very erect I'd say and lovely fresh green in Spring.

It does like a LOT of moisture and probably a heavier soil too, as my plot is.

I also have ferns undergrwoing mine.

Be aware though - this variety does spread - every autumn I dig a shallow trench around the base and cut any side roots that are trying to find their way into the garden - otherwise these can send up shoots and turn into new plants!

Sorry i only have the one photo - it's the plant immediately right of the shed

 

http://s4.gardenersworld.com/uploads/images/original/20597.jpg?width=512&height=350&mode=max

 

27/03/2013 at 12:20
Jess is in the Garden wrote (see)

.. I have an evergreen Golden Bamboo ...


Golden bamboo is Phyllostachys aurea.

The one shown in your photo is tiny. That plant can become huge. Though if you're cutting it back regularly that will control it.

27/03/2013 at 13:11

Nice garden Jess

27/03/2013 at 13:28

Thanks Gary Hobson and Jess is in the Garden for your suggestions. In answer to your questions between 10 - 15 ft tall and preferable erect.  Nice garden Jess.

27/03/2013 at 13:47

There are lots of places you can buy bamboo from.

Crocus have a nice page:
http://www.crocus.co.uk/plants/_/bamboo/plcid.301/

They have litte diagrams showing how tall each plant grows, relative to the size of a person. And also some important comments. For example, under Sasa they say "It should only be introduced if you are prepared to keep it under control, since it can be extremely invasive".

I've bought several bamboos from this specialist supplier:
http://www.junglegiants.co.uk/

There are other specialists too.

You will also find bamboos in your local garden centre, and stores like Homebase. The range of plants at a small garden centre will be limited, probably a few plants like Golden Bamboo. If buying from a garden centre, it's best if possible, to write down the names of what they have, and then research those plants on the internet at home, to find out exactly what you might be getting, before you actually buy one.

27/03/2013 at 14:01

plant bamboo with care,it can take over and be hard to eradicate if you get fed up with it.If you should want to buy one buy the small variety .

27/03/2013 at 17:00

Be very careful which bamboo you chose. If it is an invasive one with rhizomes, make sure you plant it inside a rhizome barrier, Google "rhizome barrier" and "non invasive bamboos"! We omitted to do this and after 2 years it was all over the garden, into drain pipes and came up under the pond lining. Took us ages to get rid of it, winter 2011/2012 helped as we had -21°C for several days and some of it froze, but spent the whole spring and summer spraying every new shoot with Super Strength Glyphosate and now have to hack out all the dead roots!

27/03/2013 at 18:50
SwissSue wrote (see)

Be very careful which bamboo you chose. If it is an invasive one with rhizomes, make sure you plant it inside a rhizome barrier, Google "rhizome barrier" and "non invasive bamboos"! We omitted to do this and after 2 years it was all over the garden, into drain pipes and came up under the pond lining. Took us ages to get rid of it, winter 2011/2012 helped as we had -21°C for several days and some of it froze, but spent the whole spring and summer spraying every new shoot with Super Strength Glyphosate and now have to hack out all the dead roots!

OOPS! pysical barrier to contain them is probably the best solution Earl but as previously mentioned here are some more well behaved varieties so don't rush in!! Gary's advice is spot on. They are lovely to have in the garden though 

27/03/2013 at 19:26

Sorry, Earl, didn't mean to frighten you off getting a bamboo. As Fairygirl says, there are some great ones that don't spread, we just didn't check and paid the price. I can only say again, google, google, google e.g. "bamboo varieties" and you will find some great ones suitable for your purpose. Have fun searching!

27/03/2013 at 19:35

thanks

27/03/2013 at 19:36

thanks wish I'd googled 'non invasive types' but didn't have a clue back then...barrier sounds good though.

27/03/2013 at 21:55

If I was to plant only one bamboo at reasonable cost, it would be Phyllostachys nigra var. Henonis.   Look that one up if you wish, and see what you think.   They don't come cheap unfortunately, which is why I haven't got one so far...but it's a wonderful plant...

 

Fargesia Rufa is one I do have, but it's much slower growing and probably would not suit your purposes... it's also quite dense and weeping... but gives a good sub tropical effect and completely hardy... which they both are...

28/03/2013 at 09:24

SwissSue are you sure you didnt buy a triffid Thanks everyone for the really helpful advice and I will now be very careful to ensure the one I purchase is non evasive.

28/03/2013 at 19:11

I will advise Amulree in Norfolk. They do deliveries and are really tall and heathy bambo

http://turn-it-tropical.co.uk/scripts/prodList.asp?idCategory=2

email image
16 messages