The Q&A Archives: Alphonse Karr Bamboo

Question: I planted Alphonse Karr Bamboo last summer and it did very well, however they dropped all of their leaves and turned wheat color over the winter.The plants are about three feet tall. The stalks are still green and yellow at the very roots. I don't think they are dead. My question is, should I cut them back to the root or leave them alone and hope they green up on their own?

Answer: According ot your zip code, you are gardening in USDA winter hardiness zone 6A or the coldest part of zone 6. Depending on your microclimate, it may be as cold as zone 5. Unfortunately, this particular bamboo Bambusa multiplex `Alphonse Karr` is only considered winter hardy into zone 8. It would not be expected to overwinter successfully outdoors in your area, so I think it is most likey dead. If you think there is a chance they are alive, be patient and see if they leaf out or send up new shoots from below ground. I'm sorry about your bamboo.

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