There are many varieties of bamboo available for planting in the garden or landscaping. Bamboo plants take several years to become established, after which the plant grows vigorously. Bamboo height ranges from 18 to 30 feet, providing additional privacy as well as visual appeal to the landscape. Many bamboo varieties are evergreen and hardy even in temperatures as low as negative -6.67 degrees Celsius, enabling gardeners in northern climates to enjoy year-round greenery.
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There are many hardy evergreen bamboo varieties. The hardiest varieties, Fargesia murielae and Fargesia nitida, can withstand temperatures as low as negative -6.67 degrees Celsius; however, they do not flourish in hot, humid climates. Phyllostachys bissetii and Phyllostachs aureosulcata are hardy in temperatures as low as negative -12.2 degrees C. Both grow as high as 30 feet tall. Some varieties, such as Sasa veitchii, have a smaller stature. Sasa veitchii is often used as tall groundcover since it grows between 2 and 5 feet tall. Sasa veitchii can withstand temperatures as low as zero degrees, and remains evergreen only in growing zone 7.
Soil and Lighting Requirements
Hardy evergreen bamboo varieties prefer soil that is somewhat acidic and fertile. Gardeners with heavy soil should add organic material such as grass clippings or compost to the soil. Lighting requirements vary among the varieties of hardy evergreen bamboo. For example, Phyllostachys prefer at least five hours of direct sunlight, while Fargesisas prefer light sun to moderate shade. Bamboo plants should be planted between 3 and 5 feet apart.
When to Plant
In mild climates, bamboo can be planted at all times of the year. In colder climates, the bamboo should be planted in spring to early summer to allow the plant to become established enough to survive the winter months. Additionally, gardeners in cold climates should plant bamboo in areas that have some protection from the cold and wind, and add a thick layer of mulch to provide additional protection. In hot climates, bamboo should be planted in a location that provides some shade from the searing summer sun.
Freshly planted bamboos require regular watering, at least twice weekly in moderate temperatures and daily when temperatures are hot. According to Bamboo Garden, bamboo plants that are smaller than a five-gallon pot size should receive a minimum of one-half gallon of water, and larger plants should receive at least one gallon of water.
Dead branches should be removed annually. Gardeners can trim bamboo in any way that enhances the attractiveness of the plant. Cut the bamboo just beyond a node to avoid branches from dying back. Additionally, bamboo with thin, tall reeds may require staking to prevent wind damage.
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