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Bamboo News & Updates

Bamboo Recommendations For The Pacific Northwest


January, 2013

When it comes to bamboo, the majority of people immediately fear a plant that will take over their garden and spread into their neighbor’s property. Although this misconception may be true (depending on the species), it has almost become common knowledge that all bamboo is invasive. This is due to the fact that many of us are just simply misinformed. You never hear about the bamboo that behaves and does not spread.

To the surprise of many, there are hundreds of species of bamboo that grow in a non-invasive manner. Now you know. But doesn’t bamboo grow in tropical places only? Not entirely true. Half the entire species of bamboo actually do not grow in tropical places. Many grow in much colder environments such as higher altitude mountain ranges. Now you know even more. Keep reading...

Here in the Pacific Northwest, we have a fairly mild climate for the most part. We can sometimes get the unexpected cold freeze or we can get a hot heat spell. We may have an area with too much sunlight or too much shade. Finding a suitable bamboo can be somewhat challenging.

The good news is that there are many bamboos that are non-invasive and can thrive in all of the above situations. Although there are too many to cover in one article, we will showcase just a few that are very suitable for gardens in the Pacific Northwest. Each has their own unique physical characteristics. All of the below mentioned bamboos are tolerant of full sun or shade. They grow naturally in colder environments so they can withstand even our coldest winters. Most importantly, they are non-invasive and low maintenance.

Fargesia jiuzhaigou '2'

fargesia jiuzhaigou 2

Fargesia jiuzhaigou '2' exhibits an open growth habit and vertical culms. With the right amount of shade and sunlight, the culms turn a rusty, burgundy color. This gives a stunning contrast with the green foliage. Together with the thin culms and small delicate leaves, this bamboo is one of the most elegant clumping bamboos. One of the shortest of the clumping bamboos, heights can reach anywhere between 8’ to 12’ high. For more information see Fargesia jiuzahigou '2'.

Fargesia robusta

fargesia robusta

Fargesia robusta is one of the tallest of the clumping bamboos, reaching heights of 12’ to 20’. With an open clumping growth habit, the culms grow very upright. The sheaths remain on new culms through early summer and results in an alternating pattern of light and dark colors. The combination of tall culms, quick growth habit and beautiful evergreen foliage, makes Fargesia Robusta a perfect screen. For more information see Fargesia robusta.

Fargesia scabrida

fargesia scabrida

Of the clumping bamboos, Fargesia scabrida has some of the most stunning array of colours. New culms are covered with orange sheaths that eventually open to expose blue, purplish culms. As the culms age, they slowly fade to an emerald green. The elegant, green leaves are slender and grow in an open, draping habit. Heights can reach anywhere between 8’ to 15’ high. For more information see Fargesia scabrida.