Bamboo Shooting Calendar

One of the bamboo characteristics is its shooting date. Some will start shooting in early spring, as soon as the soil starts warming up. Early shooters from my list of bamboos are Fargesia Rufa and Phyllostachys pubescens ‘Moso’ seedling. There are also bamboos that do not like to wake up in the spring, but they will gladly shoot vigorously just before the winter kicks in and fries all the new growth – Borinda fungosa (gaolinensis ?).

I used to write down shooting dates into an online data table which became messy and way too large. To make things a bit more simple and easier to understand, I created separated charts of shooting dates I recorded for each of the bamboos I own. It may be a bit harder to compare multiple bamboos since the graphs are separated. By including more bamboos on the same graph, the whole thing becomes too crowded and it gets even harder to get any useful information from it.

To make it easier to compare different bamboos and their average shooting dates, I included another graph which holds that information. Bamboos are sorted from the latest shooter to those that start earlier.

Graph 1: Borinda Fungosa shooting date
Graph 2: Fargesia Denudata ‘Lancaster 1’
Graph 3: Fargesia Rufa shooting date
Graph 4: Hibanobambusa tranquillans ‘Shiroshima’ shooting date
Graph 5: Phyllostachys arcana ‘Luteosulcata’ seedling’s shooting date
Graph 6: Phyllostachys aurea shooting date
Graph 7: Phyllostachys aureosulcata ‘Spectabilis’ Lamatempel shooting date
Graph 8: Phyllostachys pubescens ‘Moso’ shooting date
Graph 9: Pseudosasa japonica ‘Tsutsumiana’ shooting date

Graph 10: Average Shooting Date Comparison
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9 thoughts on “Bamboo Shooting Calendar

  1. Alec

    Hey there! Where in Europe are you located? I’m trying to grow ‘Moso’ and P. A. ‘Spectabilis’ up in Scandinavia at the moment. What are your absolute winter lows, if I may ask?

  2. tarzan


    I grow them both in zone 7a, Ljubljana, Slovenia. It’s in Central Europe. Usually temperatures during winter drop to around -15°C, sometimes lower. For example, last winter, we’ve seen -20°C for a couple of nights, this winter, we’ve only seen -10°C, which means we’ve had a very warm winter. Phyllostachys aureosulcata ‘Spectabilis’ had shown almost no damage at -20°C. Some of the branches on the north-eastern side were partly leaf burnt, but overall, all the leaves remained undamaged or got a small brown leaf tip.
    Moso was badly damaged and the parts of it, that were not completely covered with snow, got completely defoliated and eventually in the spring leafed out, but not without strange leaf deformations and continuous loss of leaves and branches – I removed most if not all the damaged culms. Since the plant (seedling) is still young, cold hardiness improves each year. I think that Moso damage that winter was not caused by extreme cold alone – most likely it dehydrated due to strong dry north-eastern wind and sunny weather. Deadly combination for any evergreen plant.

    1. Alec

      Thanks for your speedy response! Ah, Slovenia! The one country here in Europe I really want to go to – seems like a little known gem 🙂

      It seems like your winters are similar to ours. Annual lows over the past five years (my neighbor kept records) were all between -11C and -16.5C, but once every decade, we may get down to -20C if northeastern/eastern winds blow in from Sweden. Winds from that direction, however, are extremely seldom here with the nonstop Gulf Stream from the southwest. My fear is that temperatures tend to stay above 0C in December, leaving most plants bare for the ca. -15C cold snaps in January. I’m predicting many years of mulching. It’s good to see that the Moso survived -20C temps, though! That gives me even more hope 🙂

      Our summers are probably much cooler than yours, with last summer not producing a single day of temperatures over 30C or a single night over 20C. With this mild coastal climate, the challenge will be getting the plants enough sunlight and heat.

      I’ll be following your blog from now on! Just discovered it through your comments on Grannos’ blog 🙂

      1. tarzan

        Moso likes sun, but as soon as it gets well above 30°C it starts rolling it’s leaves around here. If there’s wind, it looses water even faster. I’m sure it won’t grow as fast as ‘down’ here, but you should be able to keep it alive. Winters without snow are being an issue here as well – snow usually comes from south, which means it often rains, rather than snows. On the other side, cold comes from north-east and it’s usually dry, sunny and often windy. Without snow, there’s a good chance Moso gets damaged. Just a bit more to the south, there’s Mediterranean climate and they don’t have such problems.

        Grannos must be close. Possibly a bit more to the south, because he sees first shoots earlier.

        If you ever need advice just feel free to ask. Good luck!

        1. Alec

          Yeah, we have the same patterns here. I’m excited to try it, though! My moso are grown from seeds, but I should be looking around for rhizomes as well.

          Thanks! I will definitely ask if I need a consultation 🙂

  3. Suman Peel


    I am not a seasoned gardner and trying to grow a variety of Phyllostachys Aurea in Bristol, UK. The weather here is usually mild (5 – 20C) with an average rainfall of 80mm, but we do see occassional snow.

    I bought a variety of Phyllostachys Aurea in a pot with 5 canes reaching a height of 2-3 m about 5 weeks ago. I replanted it in a bigger pot straight after, and to my surprise I noticed 4 fresh culms about a week ago. My bamboo seems confused and so am I as to how to care for it. It was planted in new compost, would it be advisable to fertilise it at this stage?

    Many thanks for your time.


    1. tarzan

      When the young bamboo gets planted, it’s best to leave it alone and only fertilize with well composted manure or compost. When it settles enough and starts growing roots and rhizomes, you can start fertilizing, but if you used compost when planting, it should have enough. I would also stop fertilizing by now, because there’s a chance it gets damaged during the winter if it still actively grows when the weather cools down. Phyllostachys aurea is a bit more prone to cold damage than other, more hardy Phyllostachys. I would leave it alone and start with fertilization in the spring, right before shooting (around mid March should be fine).

  4. Carmel

    Enjoy your bamboo articles! Do you have a list of bamboo species, in order of hardiness? I live in Canada, on the east coast, and in USDA zone 6, because it’s closer to the ocean, we don’t get extreme cold–usually. And often it gets hot in the summer now that the climate is changing, many days above 30*C, which was not the case in times past. Thanks!


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