The Q&A Archives: Sick Bamboo

Question: My Monrovia Golden Bamboo are looking brown and dry this year. They spent the winter in pots (wrapped in insulation and burlap) or heeled in a trench of our sandy soil. These plants do grow well out here on the south fork of Long Island, though we did have a week of unusually cold weather late in February. Will they come back? Did they need special protection to get through the winter?

Answer: This plant is hardy to zone 7, but as with any planton the edge of its hardiness zone, may be somewhat less hardy during the establishment phase. An above ground container will not afford the root protection that a deeply rooted in-ground planting would have, and a recently heeled in plant would also be less protected especially if there repeated are freeze thaw cycles or cold temperatures without benefit of snow cover. Bamboos may die back to the ground during winter and then regrow grom the roots. Allow your plants some time to see if they will recover or not. For next winter you may want to consider bringing the containers inside a protected unheated area.

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