Worst Foliage Followup ever? The "cold snap" (that's a friendlier, happier way to say it I think) we had to welcome the new year did what I expected to the bamboos: fried them.

Some of these groundcover bamboos get fried every year so no real harm done -- they provide a good way to ease into this post though.


That was Sasaella masamuneana 'Albostriata' above. This one is Pleioblastus viridistriatus:

Nice and golden, earlier than everybody else. A hint of the yellowish brilliance of the newly-emerged foliage to come in the spring?


...but those don't bother me too much. Things are as expected, which is why they get mowed down.

The big bamboos though, the Phyllostachys...

...they're another story altogether.

That's the top of Ph. aureosulcata 'Aureocaulis' (or however we're supposed to write it these days, maybe Ph. aureosulcata f. aureocaulis, for the aureocaulis form?). However it's written it's my garden centerpiece, so I want it to do well.

That's the south side of it, and you can see how the leaves don't look right. Too light in color and rolled up -- that's desiccation for you.

The interesting thing about bamboo leaves is they can still absorb water even though they're dead. A nice rain like we had a week or so ago and they all unroll and green up again, a trick played upon the overly optimistic grower. They'll start turning brown over the next few weeks, rather pretty as I've shown you before.

The plant is still looking good though...

...and the inner leaves appear to be undamaged so far.

Ph. bissetii looks similar, with a mixture of good and bad leaves...

...although I can't see the north side of it, and that may show much more damage.

Way in back the Ph. rubromarginata and Ph. aureosulcata f. spectabilis...

...are showing lots of light green (desiccation) too.

Nothing as bad as Ph. virella though:

That one looks to be in bad shape. I have high hopes of it leafing out again though, as it's reported to be quite hardy. We'll see.

I didn't have the energy to bundle up and actually go outside to check on the new transplants. Better not to know for certain on those yet I think.

Another update on all of the bamboos once they brown up.


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chavliness  – (January 17, 2018 at 11:06 AM)  

Heartbreaking is what this is! There isn't much you can do but wait and hope for good new by spring.

Unknown  – (January 17, 2018 at 10:00 PM)  

Yeah you read my mind on the "false hope" front of green leaves during a rain. Very interesting how dead leaves are still helping the overall plant. Bamboo continues to amaze me. I just started "Bamboo for Gardens" by T.J. Meredith and I'm learning a lot but I've learned just as much from you already! I may be looking at Ph. Nuda as it's reported to be one of the hardiest but the "not tolerant of winter winds" line from the ABS source list gives me pause. Let me know if you have the time whether you have any experience with that one. Hope your new transplants will make it.. looks like you guys put in a lot of work on that one.

Alan  – (January 18, 2018 at 2:37 PM)  

Sr. Sinc: the dead leaves are NOT helping the plant, they're just absorbing water and flattening out -- like little sponges. I never grew Ph. nuda myself (but gave away a potted specimen of it) but what I read from other z6 growers led me to believe its practical hardiness was overrated.

Hoover Boo  – (February 1, 2018 at 11:00 AM)  

Well, it's a refresh, right? Easy for me to say, but it has been a thoroughly disgusting winter here. Hope yours is better, despite the damage.

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