The bamboos are waking up

After a month of below-average temperatures and record precipitation, we’ve now swung to the other end of the extreme: Today’s daytime high was above 80°F. Since the soil is still saturated from all the rain, many bamboos are now going into catch-up mode. Here are some of our bamboos that are producing shoots right now.

Our Chinese walking stick bamboo (Chimonobambusa tumidissinoda)
has two new shoots
New shoot on Sasa veitchii. Clearly the nursery container is getting too small…
Temple bamboo
(Semiarundinaria fastuosa),
two new shoots (at the very edge of the pot)
Dwarf greenstripe bamboo (Pleioblastus viridistriatus). This is probably the most vibrant bamboo there is. I cut the old growth down to the ground a while ago, but in a few weeks the whole container will be a riot of chartreuse.
Fargesia robusta, producing taller culms than last year but still in its juvenile phase. This has not been a fast grower for me.
Yushania boliana in a half-barrel. One of my favorite mountain bamboos.
Baby Blue bamboo (Bambusa chungii ‘Barbellata’), fat new shoot
Baby Blue bamboo (Bambusa chungii ‘Barbellata’), another new shoot
Baby Blue bamboo (Bambusa chungii ‘Barbellata’), new branches developing on a culm from last year
Asian lemon bamboo (Bambusa eutuldoides ‘Viridividatta’), the shoot on the left is new. I love the vibrant contrast.

I fertilized our bamboos about six weeks ago with an all-purpose lawn fertilizer. However, the copious rain we’ve had since then probably washed a lot of that away so I’m going to fertilize again this weekend. Now is the time when bamboos begin their most active growth phase and they need lots of food to grow.


  1. Always a fantastic sight to see bamboos shooting in the spring. You've got a fine collection of bamboos there Gerhard!

    Your bamboos probably loved all that rain that your area has had the past few days, rewarding you with plenty of new shoots :-)

  2. Always exciting! I wish I could grow Yushanias.

  3. Mark and Gaz: The rain was a boon for the bamboos and the grasses. And now with temperatures in the high 70s, everything is growing very fast, especially our lawn :-)

    Alan: It's always surprising to me how wimpy some "mountain" bamboos are. Yushania boliana is rated hardy to 10°F. Do you think it would survive in St Louis with some protection?

  4. I can hardly wait for the snow to be gone so I can see some new shoots on our bamboos! Love the Bambusa eutuldoides ‘Viridividatta’. Very striking!

  5. Becky, if you can say Bambusa eutuldoides ‘Viridividatta’ ten times fast, I'll intercede with the weather gods on your behalf :-).


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