Time for another update on the winter-decimated bamboos, and it's good news this time!

Yes, most of the larger bamboos are almost back to their normal verdant selves, in the process of leafing back out. There is a thick blanket of fallen bamboo leaves under each plant, but it's so good to see them recovering like this!


Here's a reminder of what the above bamboo looked like at the start of April:

At that time it looked like I might have to remove most of the culms from this planting, and I'm so glad I didn't! Once the leaves finish coming in this plant will get more of the "feathery" look of a mature bamboo with the tips of each culm drooping a bit from the weight of the leaves. So exciting!

The very tops of the culms may not entirely leaf out, but I think I can live with that:

The plant along the driveway (Phyllostachys bissetii) lost so many culms this winter, but the side facing the driveway survived mostly intact:

Here it was back in April:

I think that I'll be seeing a touch of brown in this one all summer, as many of the leaves were only partially burned and won't fall off.

What may be my favorite bamboo is fine too:

I don't have a shot of this one alone from April, so let's look at it from down in the yard (instead of from the deck like this):

Back in April this is what I saw:

Seeing the before and after comparisons is just making me happier and happier!

The Semiarundinaria okuboi surprised me with its resilience:

Especially considering the "before" shot from April:

Yikes. It may not be as full as it was before the winter, but we'll see once the leaves finish growing and the new culms -- if there are any -- fill things in.

Not everything is leafing back out. Phyllostachys nigra (black bamboo) was top killed -- all of the above-ground growth was killed:

This one will take a few more mild winters to bounce back. I'm going to miss it while it is gone!
It's an example of one that was more attractive in April:

Others like Hibanobambusa tranquillans 'Shiroshima' were also top killed but are producing lots of shoots:

I'm leaving the ugly dead culms in place so the deer can't munch these so easily. Can't wait to cut them down!

Although this hasn't been a complete survey of all of the bamboos, it's a mostly-optimistic look at the ones that are bouncing back nicely, so I'll end with another good one:

Phyllostachys aureosulcata 'Spectabilis' way back in the corner looks to have very few dead culms too. Back in April, I wasn't so sure:

That's it on the right. The Ph. rubromarginata on the left lost a few culms but is also greening back up, although I didn't get a photo of it now.

Although I'm annoyed by the top kill and setback of a couple of them, overall I'm thrilled with how the bamboo in my garden did this past winter!


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Garden Fancy  – (May 20, 2014 at 11:12 PM)  

I'm so glad your bamboo are coming back! Isn't spring regeneration cool? I had some bad losses over the winter here in Iowa and wrote my last post about them, but most things are defying the -19F temps we had and are coming back strong. Glad to read your good news! -Beth

danger garden  – (May 21, 2014 at 12:39 AM)  

How wonderful, I am so happy to see all that green!

Alan  – (May 21, 2014 at 11:34 AM)  

Beth: There are some who try to grow bamboo in Iowa, but I would not be one of them. It certainly was a year to weed out the marginals, wasn't it?

Loree: it was looking bleak for a while. Other bamboo growers who saw the same temps as my garden had almost total topkill. We're still trying to figure out how mine were spared.

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