Shooting bamboos

No, I’m not talking about practicing your gun skills. I’m talking about bamboo shoots rising from the earth like an army of zombies hell-bent on taking over the world. (OK, I got a bit carried away there.)

It’s the time of year when many running bamboos begin to shoot. Since we live on a small lot within the city limits, all our running bamboos are confined to containers. This limits their growth potential but I still enjoy checking for progress every day.

Here are some of the running bamboos that are shooting at the moment:

Dwarf greenstripe (Pleioblastus viridistriatus). Its color is so electric, it makes this dark corner of our back yard glow.
Chinese walking stick (Chimonobambusa tumidissinoda). The shoots turn into culms (“canes”) in just a matter of days. This species loses its culm sheaths much more quickly than any other I’ve observed.
Koi (Phyllostachys aurea ‘Koi’). In addition to the two fat shoots, there’s a third one, barely visible.
Koi (Phyllostachys aurea ‘Koi’)
Temple bamboo (Semiarundinaria fastuosa). The two shoots on the right are fairly wispy and won’t impress hard-core bamboo aficionados, but I love seeing even modest new growth on a potted plant.
Black bamboo (Phyllostachys nigra).
In this pot since 2009.
Black bamboo (Phyllostachys nigra).
Six shoots so far, much thicker than the existing culms. Funny how all of the new shoots are on one side of the pot.
Black bamboo (Phyllostachys nigra)
Black bamboo (Phyllostachys nigra). Amazing how intricate (and odd-looking) the anatomical structures of a bamboo shoot are.


  1. So how many times a day do you go out to check on the shoots? :-)

  2. It's a fantastic time of the year isn't it, seeing bamboos shooting. You're a tad advanced from us when it comes to shooting. Looking forward to the Phyllostachys shooting here, usually June onwards :)

  3. Just found three more 'Koi' shoots. At the rate my potted runners are going, I'll need to do some serious rhizome pruning later in the year.

  4. Do you have any motane clumpers and are they shooting, too? For me, Fargesia, yes, Borinda, Himalayacalamus, not yet.

  5. David, yes, I do. Fargesia dracocephala
    ‘Rufa’, Fargesia robusta, Fargesia apicirubens ‘White Dragon’ and Thamnocalamus crassinodus 'Aristatus' are shooting at the moment. In my experience, the borindas shoot a little later, with Borinda papyrifera being the first.


Post a Comment