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PostPosted: Wed Jan 24, 2018 9:13 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jun 29, 2017 7:59 pm
Posts: 26
Location: Petersburg, IN
I think this spring it'll be time to do what I've always wanted to do: plant some bamboo!

Growing up I wanted to try growing bamboo, but my parents were worried about it taking over their farm. Last fall I bought my own place with 10 acres of woods and pasture in southern Indiana. I'm looking for the biggest bamboo I can reliably grow in my area (USDA Zone 6a, Arbor Day Zone 6-7). I don't have any real space restrictions since I'm planning for a grove of bamboo in the slightly wooded pasture behind my house.

I'm currently considering:
Phy. Nigra "Henon"
Phy. Rubromarginata
Phy. Vivax (worried we might too cold/snowy for Vivax to thrive here)
Phy. Parvifolia
Fargesia sp. "Rufa" (for decorative purposes near my house)
Arundinaria Gigantea (Being a native species, I figure this is the most likely to do well in my area if all else fails)

Does anyone have any opinions on my choices? I'm currently planning on getting 2-3 varieties now and if they do well, I can add more as I go.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 25, 2018 1:05 pm 
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Location: Island off Cape Cod Massacusetts
The Henon is similar to vivax, in that it will die to ground any time it gets around or below 0*F, does not happen often here, but when it does it is dissapointing. The P rubromarginata is worth trying, they are a nice plant. Rufra will should be OK. I have no personal experience with Parvifola, so I'll let someone else comment on that.

Other bamboos I's reccomend are in the Phylosachys aureosulcata group: P a 'spectabilis' (yellow with green striping on culm)is very pretty and hardy. The "species", P aureosulcata (green with yellow stripe on culm). P a aureocaulis (all yellow culms), in my experience a little smaller. P a alata is all green.

if you want some of the hardiest running bamboo you can grow in your location, it would be P bissetti. It is a plain green bamboo that is unremarkable (but still a nice bamboo) in every way except for it's cold hardiness, vigor and flexibility in snow and ice events.

Another one to possibly consider is P nuda. It is usually ranked as one of the hardiest, and seems to be, once it gets established. It is also one of the slower Phyllos I've grown, and takes a while to fill a space, which might be and advantage or disadvantage, depending. When it finally does size up, it is upright, green color with distinct culm rings. It is probably the thickest and hardest clumed Phyllo, making it more sutable for crafts than most of them.

Have not grown "gigantea" myself, but I have seen it runs around a lot without really sizing up, at least in this climate.

I'm in zone 7a, but occasionally get a sub-zero blast.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 25, 2018 8:59 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jun 29, 2017 7:59 pm
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Location: Petersburg, IN
Thanks, dependable!

Sounds like Henon might not be the best idea then. I've seen Spectabilis at the Indianapolis Zoo which is a good bit north of me so that sounds like a safe bet. Bisetti and Nuda look good too. I've seen Bisetti for sale slightly south of here so I think that would be an option though I'd prefer something a little bigger if possible.

Do you or anyone else have any experience with Phy Atrovaginata? From Bamboo Garden's website it looks like it would be closer to the diameter I'm hoping for while still being fairly cold tolerant.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 25, 2018 10:18 pm 
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Joined: Sat Oct 01, 2005 9:14 pm
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Location: Esparto, CA
Bamboo Society Membership: ABS - America
You might wish to check out my website at needmorebamboo.com I've got species photoed in Brown County grouped by hardiness.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 26, 2018 9:41 am 
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Joined: Wed Oct 17, 2012 6:02 pm
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Location: Zone 7a Oklahoma City
I live in a border zone 7a and we've gone down below zero multiple times over the years.(-3/-5f) The only bamboo species that have been bullet proof here from what I've seen are Atrovaginata, Bissetii, Aureosulcata, and I'm assuming Nuda will perform as well.

My Vivax can survive negative temperatures but ice storms will outright flatten the grove. It's happened 5 out of 7 years so far. Vivax + Ice = bad bad bad.

I can tell you my Henon has never been topped killed by below zero temperatures. The only issue is the tops of them will die off and it don't look pretty anymore. I have 20ft+ with no tops.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 26, 2018 4:24 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jun 29, 2017 7:59 pm
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Location: Petersburg, IN
Needmore--Thanks! Your site has some great info. I'm a little further south than you, but not by much. I noticed you had Parvifolia growing there. How did it do, in your experience? I also noticed your Atrovaginata got pretty big. What was the biggest (diameter) variety you had growing in Brown County?

springtimeshoots--Thanks for the input. I'm thinking between your recommendations and Needmore's pictures, I'm going to add Atrovaginata to my list. Vivax sounds like more trouble than it's worth. We don't get ice storms here very often, but it does happen. This year has been bad for low temperatures so far. We've seen at least -10F with close to -20F wind chills and day time highs in the single digits. Obviously I don't expect miracles out of my bamboo. Just about anything would get damaged in weather like that. I may still try Henon as I really like the look of it from the pictures I've seen online.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 26, 2018 8:24 pm 
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Location: Esparto, CA
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Atrov hit just shy of 2.75" diameter at it's peak, never that big again and all those culms were winter killed.

Parvifolia was around 1.50" last time I saw it but it too got killed back. I have not seen my bamboo there since 7/2015 so I don't know what is happening, I rent that place now and it surely looks messy bad with dead bamboo all over.

In your area I'd stay away from all forms of Vivax, Nigra, Aurea, Bambusoides and Fargesia unless you have plenty of space. They will be marginal performers and others will be more rewarding.

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Brad Salmon, zone 9 Esparto, CA
www.needmorebamboo.com


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 29, 2018 6:33 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jun 29, 2017 7:59 pm
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Location: Petersburg, IN
Thanks again everyone for the suggestions and info. Right now my short list is P. Rubromarginata, P. Nuda, P. Atrovaginata, and I'm going to try F. Rufa for around the house.

Does anyone have a preferred supplier for bamboo? Bamboo Garden seems to have the best selection and prices, but it's on the other side of the country so shipping rates aren't the best.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 29, 2018 11:17 pm 
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Location: Esparto, CA
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I've ordered from so many vendors, and each seems to have their specialty but all in all the cost tends to even out - some have lower plant prices with higher shipping, some the opposite. I think the best strategy is to contact a couple of different vendors, tell them that you want something well established in it's pot, ideally more than a year from having been divided. Try to obtain pots full of rhizome and I'd ask the supplier, and go with the one that has the best sounding division. I like Bamboo Garden but be aware that it will be in transit at least 7 days so order while it is cooler out.

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Brad Salmon, zone 9 Esparto, CA
www.needmorebamboo.com


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 29, 2018 11:19 pm 
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http://www.midatlanticbamboo.com is a bamboo nursery in Virginia. Not sure if there are any closer to Indiana.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 29, 2018 11:22 pm 
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Joined: Wed Oct 17, 2012 6:02 pm
Posts: 25
Location: Zone 7a Oklahoma City
needmore wrote:
I've ordered from so many vendors, and each seems to have their specialty but all in all the cost tends to even out - some have lower plant prices with higher shipping, some the opposite. I think the best strategy is to contact a couple of different vendors, tell them that you want something well established in it's pot, ideally more than a year from having been divided. Try to obtain pots full of rhizome and I'd ask the supplier, and go with the one that has the best sounding division. I like Bamboo Garden but be aware that it will be in transit at least 7 days so order while it is cooler out.


Not to change subjects here but do you know if bamboogardencenter is a reliable source?


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 29, 2018 11:25 pm 
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Joined: Wed Oct 17, 2012 6:02 pm
Posts: 25
Location: Zone 7a Oklahoma City
mshaffer wrote:
http://www.midatlanticbamboo.com is a bamboo nursery in Virginia. Not sure if there are any closer to Indiana.


I didn't know they were back in business. I guess a new owner took over after she retired?

Anyone here buy from Midatlantic?


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 30, 2018 12:57 am 
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Oh I didn't know they went out of business.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 30, 2018 1:04 am 
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Joined: Wed Oct 17, 2012 6:02 pm
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Location: Zone 7a Oklahoma City
mshaffer wrote:
Oh I didn't know they went out of business.


I could've sworn it was owned by Mary Ann Silverman and her husband Bert, if my memory is correct. Then he passed away(rip) and she retired a few years later? But it says to call Jason Cox on it's website. Did the business get sold? I am sure somebody will know.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 30, 2018 5:59 am 
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Location: Esparto, CA
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My original Moso came from them, not sure if it is still growing but it was a nice clone.

If you're only looking for a couple plants I'd stick with Bamboo Garden, Tradewinds, Steve Ray's Bamboo Garden, Lewis Bamboo.

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Brad Salmon, zone 9 Esparto, CA
www.needmorebamboo.com


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