Bamboos are waking up

The thing that speeds up the heart rate of any bamboo grower is the emergence of new shoots. Some bamboos, most noticeably members of the subtropical genus Bambusa, shoot in the late summer or fall, but many others produce new shoots in the spring. I’ve been making a concerted effort to keep my bamboos well hydrated and it’s beginning to pay off. Here are the ‘boos in our backyard that have started to shoot:


Pleioblastus viridistriatus
Easily one of the most vibrant bamboos there is. I routinely cut the old culms down to the ground in late winter to maximize the effect of the new leaves.


Chimonobambusa tumidissinoda aka Chinese walking stick bamboo


Fargesia dracocephala ‘Rufa’
This bamboo almost died because the drip irrigation emitters that water the pot fell out last summer so the plant didn’t get any water for a number of weeks. I cut back the desiccated culms a few weeks ago and now new shoots are emerging.


Fargesia robusta
This year’s culms are noticeably taller than last year’s.


Phyllostachys aureosulcata ‘Spectabilis’
This started out as a small division I received from fellow garden blogger Alan Lorence of It’s Not Work It’s Gardening.

In addition to the bamboos above, which are in the process of pushing brand new shoots, others are continuing their growth that was temporarily stalled by the nuisance that is winter.


Bambusa dolichomerithalla
The two shoots you see along the edge of the pot emerged in late fall, stopped growing for four or five months, and are now continuing their upward trajectory.

130331_Drepanostachyum-sengteeanum-_01  130331_Borinda-fungosa_01

LEFT: Drepanostachyum sengteeanum
RIGHT: Borinda fungosa
These two clumping bamboos are producing new leaves on last year’s culms. It’s great to finally see so much activity!


  1. It's funny how with many of the plants you grow you're months ahead of my midwest garden, but with the bamboos it's just a few weeks, maybe a month. Shooting season is so exciting!

    I am jealous of the shoot-stopforwinter-continue growing ability though -- for my fall shoots it's shoot-stopforwinter-die, or if I'm lucky they will grow some branches instead of dying (that I'll remove anyway).

  2. Lovely to see isn't it? Always great to see new shoots and fresh growth from bamboos. Still unseasonably cold here but I just noticed that our Phyllostachys nigra is already shooting despite that.

  3. "the nuisance that is winter" well put.

  4. I honestly did not know there are so many different species of bamboo. Beautiful. Do they grow very very fast? I heard that some bamboos do. It must be great to watch them grow in front of your eyes :)


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