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The right bamboo

I live in Greytown in the Wairarapa. Is there a bamboo that does not die down in winter, is frost tolerant, will cover an iron fence, and will not send out HUGE suckers?


I decided to seek help from a bamboo specialist for this question, so asked Pauline Isaachsen, from the Bamboo Specialists Nursery of Auckland, what she thought. Pauline suggested one obvious choice, "Fountain Bamboo", otherwise known as Fargesia nitida, Arundinaria nitida, Sinarundinaria nitida or Thamnocalamus nitida — all different names for the same thing! This particular species is frost hardy, slow growing, reaches 3.5 metres in height, doesn't send out long runners and has attractive purple canes. A related species, Fargesia murieliae, is similar, but has yellow canes. One problem with both species (and most bamboos) is that they do not cope with continuous cold winds, so would require some shelter.

Pauline also suggested having a look for species of Himalaycalamus or Yushania, which are also cold tolerant, but again are not so wind tolerant.

A useful book is "Gardeners Guide to Growing Temperate Bamboos", by Michael Bell.

Good luck!

UnitecAdvice by Dr Dan Blanchon from Unitec's Diploma in Sustainable Horticulture and Bachelor of Resource Management.

Reproduced with permission from NZOOM Home and Garden content,
from the previous website of  TVNZ News

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