More new plants? Yes!

Yesterday I talked about new plants that I brought home in my truck after a long drive. Today I'll talk about more plants that made a long trip too, but they arrived in a box.


Technically they probably arrived in a truck too, but I choose to ignore the middleman and talk about just the part I see: the box. This was another plant trade, and I think this is probably the heaviest plant box I've ever received. Thank you USPS for flat-rate boxes with no weight limits!

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Although the box was obviously battered a bit -- hard to avoid when the box is so heavy -- the plants in it were just fine:


Hey, imagine that -- more bamboo! But underneath them is something different:

What is this, flounder?

First the bamboos:


These are smaller or "groundcover" bamboos. Pleioblastus humilis:


This one is said to reach 7' (2m) tall, but not in my cold climate. It will stay much shorter than that I think, or at least hope.

The other two plants are the same: Arundinaria appalachiana:


This is a newly-discovered species of bamboo native to the southeastern US, as the name suggests. It's got a bit of a mite problem right now:


The interesting thing about this species is that it is deciduous -- it loses all of its leaves for the winter! So I'm not too concerned about how ratty they look right now, but I do want to take care of any mites so I'll spray with insecticidal soap (and take a blurry photo):


I sprayed the Pleio. humilis too even though it doesn't have any evidence of the mites. Better safe than sorry.

The smaller of the two appalachiana went into a pot, but the other two bamboos went right into the ground:



This is a new strategy for me, as I usually grow the plants in a pot for a year to baby them. I'm tired of taking care of dozens of pots though, so into the ground! (If these were smaller plants I would probably pot-grow them for a year, but these seem substantial enough.)

I also took this opportunity to plant another species that I've had in a pot for a few years and is really rootbound and struggling because of it:



That's Pleioblastus argenteostriatus, and it sure looks ratty right now. It will be a lot happier in the ground, that's for sure -- and one less pot to worry about!

Now, what about those other things in the box, the newspaper-wrapped pancakes?


They are Opuntia ellisiana, a spineless prickly pear cactus. This species may not be quite cold-hardy enough for my climate, but I'm going to give it a try. Since there are three of them, I can experiment and see what works. That's for another day and another post though -- I was told I can leave them unplanted for up to a year, so I have plenty of time to decide.

Trading plants is so much fun! Which reminds me that I need to get the reciprocal plants ready to send out -- a one sided trade isn't much of a trade, is it?

That's okay, because our weather has been amazing lately, with high temps around 80ºF (26ºC), sunny and breezy. I'm getting some planting and other garden chores done this weekend, so there should be plenty to talk about. Yes, there will be more posts about bamboo planting soon. Surprised?

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Lancashire rose  – (October 9, 2011 at 2:01 PM)  

I can see you have a serious addiction to bamboo! You might consider planting the opuntia in some fast draining soil in a pot and winter it over inside. That way it will grow roots over the winter and can be planted at a time of the year when it will establish well-summer.

Gerhard Bock  – (October 9, 2011 at 2:02 PM)  

Love that Opuntia ellisiana. Funny, I got a few pads in the mail as well. Could they have come from the same source, LOL?

Gerhard
:: Bamboo and More ::

M  – (October 9, 2011 at 8:15 PM)  

If you need a cold hardy variety of Opuntia, look no farther then Opuntia humifusa. Its native to your state and while not nearly as tall as its southern relative, this species can be left outside during the winter and won't require a pot :D.

M

Alan @ It's not work, It's gardening!  – (October 10, 2011 at 10:11 AM)  

M: I have a neighbor with a large patch of some Opuntia in their yard -- probably humifusa? Not spineless though, which is what makes this one attractive to me.

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