Cold

Cold weather ends the growing season sooner or later, this year it was rather soon. With no snow insulation, cold can induce more damage that with thick layer of snow insulation. This year, despite all the cold, we are yet to see the first snow.

Hard frosts had made Borinda fungosa suffer.

Hard frosts had made Borinda fungosa suffer.

Borinda fungosa seedling was holding on very well down to -5°C. Soon night temperature dropped down to -7°C and many of the leaves got damaged. Leaves that remained undamaged, surprisingly remained unfolded even during sunny and windy weather. It did loose all the shoots from this autumn, as it did last winter, but this time, some of them remained tall, only loosing their fragile top. Perhaps in the spring, they will begin the branching process. Cold weather persisted for around two weeks, daily highs were slightly above or below freezing, it was sunny and windy most of the time. Morning low temperatures were between -5°C and -8°C. This is it’s second winter outside, I’ll see how it resists cold. Last year when it was covered in thick layer of snow most of the winter, it managed to keep most of the leaves intact.fungosa winter damage
fungosa damaged by cold Well, the problem with all that snow insulation was weight. Heavy wet snow broke all the taller culms and only a couple of old tiny ones remained. Dead shoots that grew in late fall were not all dead, one of them managed to grow branches around the lowest node, that was buried under thick layer of mulch.
After almost a month of very cold weather, with fog persisting through most of the day, with day temperature slightly below freezing, leafs managed to unfold, showing the damage. It looks like most, if not all, leaves were completely killed or badly damaged. Culms and branches are showing their dark brown color and they seem to be alive even after prolonged period of cold weather. Hopefully in 4 months we’ll get some warm weather for it to recover.

 

Shiroshima with it's beautiful  varieagated leaves remains almost intact.

Shiroshima with it’s beautiful varieagated leaves remains almost intact.

Hibanobambusa tranquilans ‘Shiroshima’ is looking hardy enough to survive this kind of cold dry weather without hassle. There’s no evident damage, not even on several late fall whip shoots. Whips stopped growing with arrival of cold weather, lower nodes actually hardened enough to drop off culm sheathes, while their tops remained fresh and stopped growing completely. I guess we’ll have to wait and see if they resume in the spring. With temperatures close to freezing, white variegation on the leaves turned into bright yellow color, making bamboo look even better.

 
 

Moso seedling that remained inside the pot is showing quite some damage.

Moso seedling that remained inside the pot is showing quite some damage.


Phyllostachys pubescens ‘Moso’ seedling that escaped it’s pot is showing moderate leaf damage. It’s evident, that there’s almost no damage on the escaped part of bamboo that ran out of the pot two seasons ago. Leaves that were pale during the summer and showed some kind of stress, wilted after first heavy frost. Dark green leaves mostly remained undamaged, but they do tend to wilt when exposed
Moso seedling shows some damage, but it looks quite good.

Moso seedling shows some damage, but it looks quite good.

to sun. Wilting is normal, because soil already got frozen on top and bamboo have to save water inside it’s leaves.
The part that escaped managed to put out numerous runners and a couple of shoots that barely poked out through the mulch. They are most likely whip shoots that missed their growing season. So far they haven’t got soft and are most likely alive, waiting to resume in the spring. Last year, pot ended up as home of mice family that stayed there throughout the winter. They didn’t do much damage, but there were holes all around the pot and I’m sure there was some root damage. Well, better mice than voles! They can devastate whole bamboo clumps.
 
 
Umbrella palm seedlings, planted around the garden and inside the pond didn’t take the cold well. First hard frost killed everything above the soil/water level, and most likely, rhizomes as well. We’ll see if it restarts in the spring, if not, I still have one large seedling kept safely inside.
At first dark green damaged leaves turned into straw color. They’ve kept their appearance as they would still be alive. Dry clumps of umbrella papyrus are looking quite good. I’m going to keep them for a while, if rain or snow doesn’t make them look ugly that is.
Cyperus alternifolius that remained inside the pond got frozen. It's not ugly just yet, though.

Cyperus alternifolius that remained inside the pond got frozen. It’s not ugly just yet, though.

It changed color from dark green to straw yellow. I'm keeping those bushes, because they look quite fascinating.

It changed color from dark green to straw yellow. I’m keeping those bushes, because they look quite fascinating.

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14 thoughts on “Cold

  1. Rey

    hi, am trying to plant this babomo in my new house. did you buy it from the nursery? how long does it take to grow as tall as yours? if i plant just one, will it multipy to many other ‘baby plants’?

     
    Reply
    1. tarzan tarzan

      It depends. Which one do you have in mind?

      Bamboos are usually quite easy to propagate. I bought some from nursery and grew some of them from seed, bought over eBay.

       
      Reply
  2. Denis

    Hi! Tell us – what ended the story of the cyperus. What is the minimum temperature he endured?

     
    Reply
    1. tarzan tarzan

      Cyperus alternifolius at that time only lived around 0°C, when hard frost hit, it looked like that on the photo. It dried out and looked quite nice until rain and wet snow managed to break it.
      I now have much hardier Cyperus. Looks like alternifolius, perhaps it is. Well this one remained alive at -5°C. Got it from a nice lady on my vacations, who had them planted all year round. Temperatures there don’t drop that much though…

       
      Reply
      1. Denis

        Thanks for the answer. Excuse for my English)) I correctly understood, one your bush endured a frost -5°C? It grew in the spring? For alternifolius the zone appears 7b-8 – it seems to me that it is unreal.

         
        Reply
        1. tarzan tarzan

          Last night it was close to -8°C for a couple of hours during the night. I’ve kept three outside and one protected inside to keep the plant. One is standing in water, two are more or less in dry soil. In a week or so when the weather gets warmer and we get some rain, I’ll be able to inform you about the final verdict. Funny thing is, when it got to -5°C, none of the exposed plants got damaged, some burnt leaf tips, but nothing serious. The thing is, we are just now experiencing first low temperatures that persist throughout the whole day. This time the soil got completely frozen, which means they are most likely gone. They are now getting covered in snow. I’ll keep you informed and perhaps write about strangely superior hardiness. It might be another version of Cyperus that looks just like alternifolius. Keeping my fingers crossed that they survive 🙂

           
          Reply
  3. Denis

    Thanks, very interestingly. There is one moment – the plant perishes when drying soil during frosts. My cyperus alternifolius ‘gracilis’ transferred in a pot full frost penetration at -4 °C without loss. Then, I was afraid and carried away him to the house))
    So and what you now a cyperus grade, have a photo to look? And what zone at you?

     
    Reply
  4. tarzan tarzan

    I’ve made 2 photos. Lousy quality photos because my phone can’t snap good photos, especially when it’s almost dark like today. Temperature remained below freezing (went up to around -4°C). Low temperature was around -8°C this winter, but these pots were somewhat protected. The soil is dried out completely now though. I’ve left one outside and got one inside, I’ll water it tomorrow when soil temperature gets above freezing.

    https://cold-hardy.com/cyperus-alternifolius-hardy/
    https://cold-hardy.com/cyperus-alternifolius-hardy1/

    Not the best quality, but it can be seen that they remained green. Well current cold might have killed them, I can see the stems getting darker-watery color. I’ll see if the one that went inside starts shooting when I place it under lights in a week or so. I know it would die instantly if I get it to a warmer spot right away, so it’s going to stay in the basement for a while. 🙂

     
    Reply
    1. Denis

      It is so much snow!) in Yalta today too I dropped out, but the other day already warmly will be. Dark watery color it is possibly bad. But probably the rhizome is still live. Can do this ‘baby tut’ or ‘gracilis’? Here photo of my ‘gracilis’ https://flic.kr/p/uoMotW

       
      Reply
  5. tarzan tarzan

    I live in zone 7, so it gets quite cold, way too cold for any of these papyrus plants. I’ll know soon and I’ll let you know. I don’t think it’s one of the small varieties, because the mother plant was way too tall. If I remember correctly, it could be growing up to almost 2 meters tall. It was well established plant (possibly many of them) that grew there for many years.

     
    Reply
    1. Denis

      Yes, it is probable at you simply young bush. And the zone 7 really isn’t suitable for these cyperuses. I read that ‘diffusus’ maintains 7b. I have ‘eragrostis’ https://flic.kr/p/z1WLTe the 5th zone also is suitable for it. And here for alternifolius the minimum zone 8b (though I consider that actually not lower than 9). I have approximately the 8th zone, next year will experiment. Good luck to you!))

       
      Reply
      1. Denis

        Hi! As your cyperuses? Mine transferred-8 C today. Without damages. Only alternifolius looks good not, can because a young bush. I left him on the street, will be-12, it will interestingly be restored or not after

         
        Reply
        1. tarzan tarzan

          One (I took this one inside) is almost certainly dead. It does have a couple of stems that are still alive, but I think all shoots have died. If there are living rhizomes below soil level it might recover, but I doubt it. I took the second one into the basement, it seems to have kept some life, but not necessarily. One on the terrace is still outside in a bucket with no draining holes. Temperature remained below freezing for at least a week, so it’s sitting in a giant Ice cube – I’d be shocked if this one survives.
          The one that was kept in the basement during the coldest weather is all nice and green and even started flowering. Soil dried out several times already so it’s not the nicest looking plant on earth, but with each watering it recovers instantly.

          We also got to around -11 or -12°C this winter, I’ll have to check the weather station sensors graphs and read the lowest values. I’m pleasantly surprised that Cyperus alternifolius is quite hardier than I first thought, but it’s not nearly hardy enough to survive our Central European winters. If you are afraid of loosing any of your plants, take them inside or protect before they get hit by -12°C I think it might be fatal for them. If not (Cyperus plants are the easiest to propagate so loosing them might not be an issue at all if you took cuttings), it will be a nice experiment.

           
          Reply
  6. tarzan tarzan

    Regarding Cyperus alternifolius winter damage.

    In the spring, one of the plants I’ve left outside, completely unprotected, managed to push out several shoots. They were small, but it managed to survive winter temperatures around -12°C. As I already mentioned, it was locked inside an ice cube, completely frozen, yet it didn’t perish. The one in a pot with drainage hole dried out and died. Before -10°C I think.

     
    Reply

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