Browsed by
Category: clumping bamboo

Pachymorph bamboo

Borinda fungosa update 2016

Borinda fungosa update 2016

Borinda fungosa in early fall 2016
Borinda fungosa in early fall 2016
Bottom nodes with anchor roots
Bottom nodes with anchor roots

This growing season, Borinda fungosa seedling was 5 years old. Like during it’s previous seasons, it started shooting late in the spring and managed only to push out a couple of shoots that were about the size of last year’s growth.
We’ve had relatively mild winter last year. Since there was not enough snow, to protect the bamboo, like year before, there was some damage. Most of the late summer shoots have been defoliated completely, fresh branches died off, but the culms remained alive. Most of the unbranched nodes restarted by mid spring. This year, one of late autumn shoots actually remained alive and started growing when soil temperature got high enough.

A bunch of new shoots in early autumn
A bunch of new shoots in early autumn

The shooting season began early, because one 3cm tall shoot from previous autumn managed to survive the winter. As usual, spring shots are roughly the same size as large shoots from previous year. With a bit more damage than usual, seedling lost at least 6 fully grown culms during the winter. Winter damage is probably the main cause of smaller upsize this year and very bad spring shooting cycle. The late summer / autumn shooting, however, ended up “heavier” than ever. Shoots are not much larger, but they really came out in great numbers this year.

Culms upsized a notch during their 5th season
Culms upsized a notch during their 5th season

The summer was quite dry, with abundance of sun and mild summer temperatures that never reached more than 33°C. Night temperatures also remained below 20°C most of the time. Leaves remained healthy and green throughout the whole summer. I was watering it occasionally, especially when the weather remained dry for longer periods of time in late summer. Borinda fungosa is supposed to look bad in warm and dry weather, but it seems that with maturity, the plant became resilient enough to withstand strong, full sun exposure. Seedling behaved differently from any of my bamboos from the early beginning. The shooting is usually completed in about 2 months. Not the case with my Borinda. Shoots are maturing throughout the whole season, and only the earliest shoots manage to harden off completely before the winter cold destroys all the branches that are still soft. During summer, it looks healthy, but it’s growth slows down considerably. With cooler weather in late summer it starts growing faster and doesn’t stop until hard frosts kick in.

Lush Borinda foliage
Lush Borinda foliage

So far the vigor and overall appearance of Borinda fungosa seedling is surprisingly good. Due to the fact, that it grows in marginal climate with cold winters and (too?) warm summers, it grows extremely well. It survived cold, drought, heat, got infested with insects, rodents,… It grows faster than all of my Phyllostachys seedlings, including my vigorous Phyllostachys pubescens ‘Moso’.

 
 

What do you think of this post?
  • Interesting (1)
  • Awesome (0)
  • Useful (0)
  • Boring (0)
  • Sucks (0)
Bamboo shoots

Bamboo shoots

Each spring or early summer, bamboos start shooting. It’s favourite time of the year for most of Bamboo growers, that anticipate the new season with curiosity.

Many bamboo varieties  look similar if not almost identical when they are mature, but most of them, if not all, have unique shoots. To successfully identify a bamboo, we usually depend on unique characteristics – mature shoot appearance offers just that.

I’m growing several different bamboos and I decided to take shoot photos and try to capture their uniqueness.

Borinda fungosa shoot
Newly emerged Borinda fungosa shoot

Borinda fungosa is the first bamboo I owned. I had grown it from seed in 2011.

Shoots are a bit different from other bamboos, because of extremely large culm sheaths of Borinda genus. As they emerge, they seem completely hollow. After a while, they start to look more like other bamboos, when stem starts elongating and fills the empty space inside the shoot.

Borinda is a late shooter, it usually shoots around mid May. It usually (always so far) sets another round of shoots around September which get killed during the winter.

Shiroshima shoot
Hibanobambusa tranquillans ‘Shiroshima’

Hibanobambusa tranquillans ‘Shiroshima’ is thought to be a natural hybrid between Phyllostachys nigra ‘Henonis’ and Sasa veitchii. It’s variegation and large leaves make it look spectacular.

Shoots often appear completely pink or white and then, after they get exposed to light, turn into light green, with cream white stripes and pink tanned sheath blades.

Young shoot just starting to take off!
Fargesia rufa shoot

Fargesia rufa is clumping bamboo that shoots early. Usually first shoots emerge in early to mid March.

Dense hair on the shoot offer good protection from pest that wakes up early in the spring, like slugs for example.

 

 

 

What do you think of this post?
  • Awesome (0)
  • Interesting (0)
  • Useful (0)
  • Boring (0)
  • Sucks (0)
Bambusa ventricosa

Bambusa ventricosa

Not so cold hardy addition – Buddha’s Belly

Branches are showing some swelling and zig-zag growth.
Branches are showing some swelling and zigzag growth.
Basic information:
Height: up to 15 m
Culm diameter: 5 cm
Hardiness: -6 °C
Characteristics: cold sensitive, vigorous, clumping bamboo,
forms swollen internodes when kept in containers or in dry
conditions

Bambusa ventricosa is one of the bamboos that can easily be grown inside. It can handle low light levels better than most, doesn’t need dormancy, tolerates drought and can even forgive a bit of overwatering. The first time I bought the bamboo from a Chinese vendor, it arrived completely dry after more than a month. Since I never received a replacement – or at least a reply when I contacted him, I picked another seller and ordered B. ventricosa again. This time, it arrived with a couple of buds already elongated, despite the fact that it got completely dried out during transport. I planted it, and hoped that there are at least some roots that survived. Because it’s roots looked dry, I buried the lower branch buds that were already actively growing into the soil. Even if the roots were damaged, that way, I could promote root growth formation.

It started growing without any issues and I in fact noticed root growth under soil level, as I hoped and expected. When branches leafed out, first shoot emerged too, which proved that the plant wasn’t damaged during transport at all and it managed to put out quite large shoot.

Despite trying my best, Buddha’s Belly hardly showed any bulging. It did grow a zig-zag culm, but there was no or only minimal swelling of internodes. Bamboo tolerates full sun well, so I left it outside until early fall, when it got colder. When I moved it inside, it started to look ratty. Leaves got damaged and there was almost no leaf left without brown dried-out tip. New leaves were normal, and appeared even darker green in the end of the winter, but when I placed it outside in the spring again, bamboo started to decline once again. Leaves and even shoots started to show the same kind of damage as when I took it in for the winter. In a couple of weeks, it accepted it’s new location and looked perfectly happy again, but with a lot of brown leaves that were again soon replaced with hundreds of new small branches and fresh set of leaves. Even the damaged-looking shoots continued their growth and seemed perfectly happy – yet without any swelling.

What do you think of this post?
  • Interesting (1)
  • Awesome (0)
  • Useful (0)
  • Boring (0)
  • Sucks (0)
Spring 2014

Spring 2014

With warm weather, dormancy ended and new growth cycle started.

arundo-donax-variegataI stored weak Arundo donax Variegata divisions from last year in heated place without enough light. They survived, but not without casualties. Plants ended up even weaker and hopefully they will recover when I finally plant them outside. I learned my lesson to never store Arundo donax inside during the winter again. Most of the unvariegated clones I got by layering ended badly. Only two plants remain alive above ground, many died below the soil level as well. Heat, low light level and wet soil with minimal oxygen capacity did their worst. I left one clone outside and it froze and thawed continuously until spring, now it’s also waking up. It may end up the best.
One variegated shoot already decided it’s about time to break free.

Buds swelled early when temperatures were still low. It looks like they can take several late freezes if not too big.
Buds swelled early when temperatures were still low. It looks like they can take several late freezes if not too big.

Borinda fungosa seedling that got fried when temperatures dropped to around -10°C is regenerating. First branch buds are pale green, some of them almost white. Pale leaves that are starting to form have that distinctive pinkish tan like many other variegated bamboos. It doesn’t seem to be variegated though, no true leaves are fully formed yet.
Branches on last year's autumn shoot.
Branches on last year’s autumn shoot.
With some of the branches gone, new set is emerging.
With some of the branches gone, new set is emerging.

 
 

Culm color as seen using camera's flash light.
Culm color as seen using camera’s flash light.
With warm sunny weather, culms that were mature enough – all except the last autumn shoots, became dark brown. The more sun the culm receives, darker it becomes. It seems that after a while with some more sun exposure, dark brown color becomes almost red. Autumn shoots remained green despite growing in identical conditions. Without leaves there’s a lot of light and it will be interesting to see if culm color can get even more intense.

 

After prolonged sun exposure, even the newest shoots began to turn color from green to shiny dark brown. Culms get their specific color and they have a glossy look, just as they were polished. Young culms with wax coating take longer to change color. Culms with old, partly degraded remains of culm sheaths, can be totally brown, but beneath the straw colored sheath remnants, culms are green. During the spring, there are almost no leaves on fungosa, which means there’s a lot of light.

Fascinating colors on almost completely defoliated bamboo
Fascinating colors on almost completely defoliated bamboo

Amazing branching of Borinda fungosa
Amazing branching of Borinda fungosa

Hibanobambusa tranquillans Shirosima's elongated buds.
Hibanobambusa tranquillans Shirosima’s elongated buds.
Other bamboos also started to grow and will most likely start shooting as well. Hibanobambusa tranquillans ‘Shiroshima’ is already growing new branches and will soon replace leaves that got mildly fried by winter cold.

One of the last plants that started growing was cold hardy Hibiscus Hibiscus moscheutos. It was started from seed year ago and I can only speculate if it’s label was actually correct. Color of it’s flowers also remains a mystery.

What do you think of this post?
  • Awesome (0)
  • Interesting (0)
  • Useful (0)
  • Boring (0)
  • Sucks (0)