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Cold climate bamboo

 
gardener
Posts: 504
Location: Wabash, Indiana, Zone 6a
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I wanted to give a shout-out to a great family enterprise Country What Not Gardens in Rochester, Indiana. I ordered a couple of Giant Cane plants from them yesterday and they went out and dug them up for me. I picked them up just as the last daylight bled from the sky. We talked with Petzl headlamps on, by one of their pole buildings and David's passion for all things bamboo is evident. He's completely geeky over it, and I love that. Giant cane is called River Cane around here, but that is actually a different plant.

Here's a video of David where you can see his passion in action:


j
 
J Garlits
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Posts: 504
Location: Wabash, Indiana, Zone 6a
244
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I hope eventually to have some mature culms to use for weaving, smaller enclosures. But it is more about the species it will attract and protect! It will also provide a nice screen for my black walnut stand, maybe even some understory on one side.

j
 
master gardener
Posts: 3192
Location: Upstate NY, Zone 5, 43 inch Avg. Rainfall
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This is something that I have kind of flip flopped on.

I have a hard time finding bamboo that can survive in 5B conditions, but even if I could find it I worry about having to prevent its spread. I know some kinds are less aggressive than others but I'm not very knowledgeable on bamboo.

Do you have any concerns with spread?
 
J Garlits
gardener
Posts: 504
Location: Wabash, Indiana, Zone 6a
244
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Giant cane (they still call it river cane around here) is cold hardy in this area. The cultivar I bought from them is called "Macon" and in their first-hand experience, they know that it can survive to -20 degrees Fahrenheit for several days. Because the temp went that low and it survived. Obviously, the leaves die on some colms. And some entire colms die (if they don't re-leaf by mid-summer, you cut them back. The roots should be fine. They're deep enough that they will recover from a cold shock of that magnitude. But that basically means it will be starting over with baby colms.

I bought it more out of curiosity than anything. It is useful as a permaculture plant because once it begins to spread, I can take colms and use them for making stuff. And the tender new shoots are edible.

j
 
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Location: Canadian Prairies - Zone 3b
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I would love to grow bamboo here, but I don't think any variety would survive. I guess I could grow it in the indoor fish pond maybe?
 
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