The Q&A Archives: Yellow Groove Bamboo

Question: I bought 2 of your yellow groove bamboos, I loved them, I planted them in 10 Gallons pots, I was told there are too small.
What size of pots do I need ( there are 6 feet tall right now)and does it take 3 years to established and star growing or grows right away?
Thank you

Answer: Phyllostachys aureosulcata is a very large, running bamboo. It reaches 15 to 25 feet tall and is a strong runner (spreader) so it is not really suited to container growing -- even in a larger, stronger one -- in terms of size.

To keep it as a container plant you would need to divide and repot it annually, by next year you would need about a 30 gallon container or larger. You would need to divide it each year to allow space for the new rhizome growth. Also, in a container, you would have to bring it into a sheltered area each winter to protect the roots from freezing. This would be a place where temperatures are above freezing but below 40 to 35. In my experience, this is just not at all practical to do with a large running bamboo.

It is winter hardy in your area (when planted in the ground), so it would be better if you could grow it in the ground. The establishment period refers to plants grown in the ground outdoors. They need to become rooted and established in their new location and each year the new culms should be taller with the clump expanding wider by its underground runners. It can take eight years or so for the clump to begin to reach full height; it will also grow best in rich soil with ample water, and full sun. You probably would also want to use a root barrier to prevent it from spreading too far, or plant it in a place where it can be mowed around to prevent spreading culms from growing.

I'm sorry I can't be more encouraging about growing it in a container.

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