I've talked before about trading plants with other gardeners, and how it's better in some ways than mail order plants especially when it's bamboo plants that are being traded. I didn't mean to imply that ordering plants through the Internet or from catalogs isn't fun though, because it is. It's especially fun for me when the plant that was ordered was bamboo.
I haven't purchased too many bamboos for delivery, as most of my plants were either purchased locally or gotten on one of my road trips to Needmore Bamboo Company. I did purchase one recently though, and it arrived last week.
One "problem" with mail-order bamboo is that in order to be delivered by the postal service or UPS, the plants need to fit into a box of a reasonable size.
This either means: 1) small plants, 2) plants that are "topped", or pruned to fit into the box, or 3) plants with culms that are flexible enough to be folded into the box.
In this case, it was flexible enough to be bent down. Upon unpacking, you can see it was a couple of feet taller:
I ordered this plant from Lewis Bamboo in Alabama, and they were quite helpful, offering advice to make sure I understood the special needs of the plant I was getting. They also have a nice warning on the top of the box to ensure you understand the risks and responsibility associated with planting a running bamboo:
The rootball was well-wrapped with packing tape, and a cut cane that prevented the rootball from moving if the box got turned over during shipping (already removed in the image below):
Under the tape was a plastic bag and damp newspaper:
Once exposed, I could see that the rootball has some new root growth:
I would like to have seen some evidence of rhizome growth, but this must be a fairly new division that was dug earlier this year, and hasn't had time for new rhizomes to grow. I trust that they know what they're doing at Lewis Bamboo, and that there are some viable buds on the existing rhizome that will create at least one new rhizome. If there aren't, this plant will never grow larger and will die in a few years. I would be very surprised if that happened though.
|Trying to fit a square peg into a round hole.|
I use a lighter potting soil on my plants, so soil type of the division doesn't really matter.
|This photo taken from the deck.|
This species is most likely not cold-hardy here, so I'll need to give it winter protection. It will stay in a pot for a few years until I can divide the plant and put part in the ground. It may end up staying in a pot forever though, which is fine with me -- bamboo in a pot is still quite beautiful!
Unfortunately the cold weather returned after I potted this up, so the plant has been staying in my garage. I'm eager for it to warm up again so I can move it back outside, as I'm sure it would appreciate some natural light.
So that's a look at my newest bamboo. I wonder if I'll be getting any more this year?