Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Invading bamboos...

If you ever needed a reminder that you should always plant Phylostachys bamboos with a rhizome barrier, just take a look at this photo I snapped whilst working in a clients garden last week!
Running rhizomes from Phylostachys. Use a rhizome barrier!

At this point, I'll quickly add that this was not planted by me! Several times each year for the past 3 years I have had to excavate and remove the rhizomes spreading from this clump of bamboo. In this instance, the longest was over 2.5m in length, which is quite a bit shorter than they have been in the past.

Thankfully the plant is surrounded by gravel and so it is not really a problem to remove them once in a while, but if the bamboo had been planted in a border or next to a lawn then this would create quite a headache!


  1. The problems of good soil and the (except for this year!) comparative warmth of the south west. I'm growing P.nigra without a barrier - though I can easily remove rhizomes - but I'm not risking planting out my newly acquired P.aureosulcata 'Aureocaulis' without protection.

    Looking on the bright side each node of the rhizome could give you another plant within a year or so. Given the prices charged for bamboos you could be rich (albeit in a distant country to avoid ex clients). I'm not serious, of course.

  2. I have a Chusqea culeou and I am always amazed by the size and vigour of the new shoots each spring - like asparagus spears on steroids! I once observed my neighbour clandestinely removing one. (I had a migraine that day so otherwise might have challenged him.) I have often wondered why he did it. Did he think it would threaten his garden or did he cook it? my Hillier refernce says its edible!

  3. John, yes there is definately potential for propagation. This time next year, Rodney!...

    Ian, that is definately a bit cheeky of your neighbour! Maybe he was cooking up a stir fry!