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PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2019 3:58 pm 
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Joined: Fri May 12, 2006 1:08 pm
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Location: Elberta, Alabama (near Pensacola, FL)
Are there tropical clumping bamboos that would perform as "cut back perennials" somewhat north of their recommend zone? For example: are there certain varieties of bamboo with a minimum recommended temperature of 27 F come back decently from the ground each year in zone 8b/9a where temperatures typically get between 23-27 each winter and with a rare year to 18-20 F, as long as roots don't freeze? I'm sure there are many that would just die or do poorly but wondering if there are exceptions.
For example with a different plant; when I lived in Indiana, I could grow crape myrtle in zone 5 (well north of its zone 7-9 preference) with winter mulching. Each winter it would die to the ground, but each Spring, would vigorously grow back from the ground to a least 8-10'.
Doug


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 21, 2019 8:23 am 
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Joined: Wed Sep 20, 2006 5:28 am
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Location: Southeast Texas, Zone 9a
In my area, we grow many tropical plants as "dieback perennials", so I understand exactly what you mean.

To some degree, it depends on where you live. In the Southern United States, summers are long and warm, so they allow for good recovery of many subtropical plants. In the same zone in the Pacific Northwest, there is less summer heat, so recovery will be reduced. We might be able to give you better advice if you provide your location in your profile.

Generally, I have found that growing subtropical bamboos in a climate where they regularly get badly damaged is very disappointing. The regrowth tends to be very floppy, so you will not get a smaller version of a plant with beautiful form, but rather a bushy mess. I have found no exceptions to this general rule.

If you are in the South, the temperatures you describe should allow you to grow any variety of Bambusa multiplex and most varieties of B. textilis fairly well. The latter may be damaged during the colder winters, but should still have enough good years to be rewarding specimens. Other species will get more cold damage, but may be acceptable, depending on your microclimate, etc.

If you have particular varieties in mind, list them, and I can share my thoughts.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 21, 2019 2:49 pm 
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Joined: Fri May 12, 2006 1:08 pm
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Location: Elberta, Alabama (near Pensacola, FL)
Thanks, Glen. I added my location to my profile. I'm SE US; zone 8b/9a. Actually 9a most winters.
We can grow most of the Bambusa that you'd grow in 9a without foliage burn in most winters including B. chungii, Kanapaha, Seabreeze, muliplex(es), etc.
What are some you grow in Texas 9a as cut back perennials vs. those that die or perform poorly? I'm especially interested in those with big leaves and/or big culms. But, you may have answered my question that they generally don't do well as cut back perennials- floppy, poorer versions...
Thanks, Doug


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2019 6:09 am 
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Joined: Wed Sep 20, 2006 5:28 am
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Location: Southeast Texas, Zone 9a
My statement about dieback perennials was referring to non-bamboo plants.

While almost all of them seem to resprout following severe winters, I know of no tropical bamboo that will look good after a winter where it is topkilled. Without going into details, their growth pattern and rhizome architecture generally prevent them from forming strong upright shoots after they are topkilled.

B. oldhamii will reach full size here, but is occasionally badly injured. When it resprouts, it does produce nice, large leaves, but on long floppy shoots. There used to be a lot more around here, but many were removed after a severe freeze a few years ago.

I would really recommend staying with the ones that are generally hardy in your location.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2019 2:45 pm 
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Joined: Fri May 12, 2006 1:08 pm
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Location: Elberta, Alabama (near Pensacola, FL)
Thanks, Glen. That's what I needed to know.
I've still got several "bamboos of size" I can grow in 8b/9a. Here's what I have now: All Bambusas; B. textilis 'Kanapaha' (new this year but have seen two other guys in the area growing it and it's done well); B. chungii 'Barbellata'; B. multiplex 'Alphonse Karr'; B. dissimilis; B. dolichomerithalla 'Silversstripe' (rated 25 F some sources but Robert at Tropical Bamboo rates it at 20 F); B. malingensis 'Seabreeze'; & Asian Lemon.
Doug


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2019 6:24 am 
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Location: Southeast Texas, Zone 9a
Also consider trying the full sized B. chungii, B. emiensis, and B. distegia. They are not quite as cold hardy as B. textilis, but they all perform well for me.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2019 3:54 pm 
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Joined: Fri May 12, 2006 1:08 pm
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Location: Elberta, Alabama (near Pensacola, FL)
Good advice, Glen. Thanks. I was thinking about adding the full size chungii. I posted a new topic on B. dissimilis, that Tropical Bamboo sells. I'd be interested in what you can add.
Doug


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