Bamboo For San Diego Gardening

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Bambusa multiplex

'Alphonse Karr'
Common Name: Alphonse Karr Maximum Height: 30 feet
Container Height: 12 to 20 feet
Diameter: 1.5 inches
Hardiness: 15° F
Recommended for USDA zone 9a - 10

The culms on this bamboo are golden with random green stripes of variable width. The golden color of the culms takes on a magenta cast when exposed to bright sunlight, as visible on the large culm in this picture. This bamboo makes a wonderful container plant. It, like other forms of Bambusa multiplex, are among the best bamboos for a well lit area indoors. Bambusas generally grow a very tight cluster of canes, and 'Alphonse Karr' is no exception, making it an excellent choice for a privacy screen where a clumping bamboo is desired. Tolerance of full sun makes it versatile, though the canes will show significant die back in the winter if exposed to temperature colder than 20 F.

Phyllostachys nigra
Common name: "Black Bamboo"

Expected Height: 15 to 25 feet
Diameter: 1.5 inches
Hardiness: 5° F
USDA Zone recommended 7 through 10

Nigra - black bamboo - is the most distinctive of all the Phyllostachys. Its intensely black culms have a deep gloss resembling polished ebony. Seldom reaches over 25 feet in Southern California. When established, it has long culms and masses of frothy foliage. Very pretty, and much used in temple gardens in the East. The creamy shoots emerge late May, and at first are green, turning black through the summer. Prune the lower branches and cut back spindly weak growth. Good as a single specimen in full sun.

A good general perfomer in the garden.

Bambusa Textilis“Weaver’s Bamboo”
Max. Height: 40 feet
Max. Diameter: 2 inches
Min. Temperature 18

: 13º F

Grows in tight clumps. An extremely handsome plant that arches gracefully. Medium-sized clumper, non-invasive. The largest cold-tolerant clumper.  This bamboo is rare because it's more difficult to propagate than other giant tropicals.
It has been used to weaving (the culms are thin-walled enough that they can be split and woven), but most collect it for its landscape appeal. Native to the Guangxi & Guangdong Provinces in South-east China.

Bambusa oldhamii  (Giant Timber, Tropical Timber bamboo)

Probable height in Southern California within 3 years = 20-30'
Probable ultimate height in Southern California = 50'
Height in habitat = 55'
If growing in the ground it prefers to grow in full sun.
A clumping bamboo - rhizomes will not run sideways.
Minimum soil depth required for a healthy plant = 1'
Fibrous root system depth in moist soil = 24"
4" maximum cane diameter with thick cane walls. The most common & widely grown giant bamboo in the southwestern U.S. Good landscaping plant, it forms a clump of canes which in August-September grow straight & vertical with relatively short branches & relatively long leaves. Rather easily trimmed as a standard or as a very high, dense hedge.
Plant 4' on center for a tall hedge in a warm climate. In southern California this plant, if planted in spring & watered generously, will grow from a 5 gallon pot to 4-8' high the 1st year, 10-15' high the 2nd year, 25-35' high the 3rd year, 50' within 10 years.
  In California oldhamii is often used for screening because plants growing in full sun it is leafy to the ground.

Otatea acuminata subsp. aztecorum (Mexican Weeping Bamboo)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia....
The Mexican weeping bamboo Otatea acuminata aztecorum is a clumping bamboo found in Mexico and Central America. It produces thick stands of long narrow leaves. The weight of the leaves cause the long thin clums to bend, or weep.
The Mexican Weeping Bamboo is often used in ornamental gardens which receive partial or full sun. It is somewhat drought tolerant, but benefits from occasional watering and feeding. Allow the soil to dry out between watering. Mexican Weeping Bamboo is easily grown in pots to around 6 feet tall, but may achieve 15 feet or more if planted in the ground and regularly fed and watered. A particularly delicate look can be achieved by thinning the culms so that they are spaced a foot or more apart. This allows dappled light to pass through the Mexican Weeping Bamboo, and the plant will sway gracefully in a gentle breeze. It is well suited to the climate and soil in Southern California, and can be successfully grown with minimal effort.

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