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In our latitudes, bamboo is one of the few evergreen and partially hardy plants. Bamboo growers also value not only height, compact growth, leaves and color, but also robust and hardy properties.

Around 150 species are currently available in garden shops throughout Europe. And new ones are added every year. A real treasure trove for bamboo friends to experiment. But due to the climate, only 20 are suitable for German gardens.

Why bamboo species and bamboo varieties belong to the grasses

In order to classify the variety of plants, botanists divided the plants into the following example of the bamboo genus Pyllostachys:

  • Family - Grasses (Paceae)
  • Genus - Phyllostachys
  • Species - aureosulcata
  • Variety - Aureocaulis

Blossoms and genes determine the systematics. This is not possible with bamboo because it blooms so rarely. Therefore, the bamboo was assigned to the grass family according to its stem and leaf structure.

A bamboo that is 30 meters high therefore has a culm and no trunk. In the bamboo family there are grasses that only grow to a height of 30 centimeters, such as Pleioblastus pygmaeus, but there are also grasses that grow over 10 meters in this country, such as Phyllostachys viridiglaucescens.

Which bamboo is the right one?

When it comes to bamboo plants, not only hobby gardeners but also professionals are often overwhelmed by the variety of the range, the growth forms, the space requirements and the different information on winter hardiness. We want to thin out the bamboo jungle a bit. Bamboos are basically divided into 2 groups:

  • Clump-forming that do not form rhizomes
  • Rhizome-forming, spread underground indefinitely

If you want to find the right bamboo, you have to decide whether it should be the clumpy bamboo species or not. This bamboo plant is comparable to a tree where only the trunk (in the case of the bamboo nest) slowly becomes thicker. They can be cultivated to a limited extent by cutting them off at smaller locations.
They are clumpy, easy to care for, tolerate pruning very well, are evergreen and hardy. Such as the varieties of Borinda or Fargesia:

  • Borinda
  • Fargesia murielae denudata
  • Fargesia murielae Flamingo
  • Fargesia murielae Fresena
  • Fargesia murielae Green Arrows
  • Fargesia murielae nitida fountain
  • Fargesia murielae robusta Campbell
  • Fargesia murielae Standing Stone
  • Jiuzhaigou1
  • Jiuzhaigou Geneve

Rhizome-forming, endlessly growing bamboo plants are like a jungle feeling if you let the bamboo run wild! Culms can grow up to 10 meters high. Particularly suitable for a larger bamboo garden. A 70 cm wide rhizome barrier made of PEHD or HDPE foil with a locking bar is absolutely necessary!

If you don't shy away from costs and effort and have a huge garden, you can enjoy a magnificent bamboo jungle. The main group of the rhizome-forming bamboo genus Phyllostachys are the following species:

  • Phyllostachys auresosulcata
  • Phyllostachys Aureocaulis
  • Phyllostachys Spectabilis
  • Phyllostachys bissetii
  • Phyllostachys Humilis
  • Phyllostachys vivax Aureocaulis
  • Pseudosasa japonica

tips and tricks

Keep an eye out when buying bamboo! Look out for the variety protection symbol. These plants are from a seedling propagated by division. For plants labeled New Generation, the origin is unknown. They come from different seedlings. Do not buy plants that have been propagated in the laboratory (meristem), such as Bamboo Select!

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