A clumpa clumpa burnin' love...Bambusa, Borinda, and Fargesia for the garden
Bamboo is a wonderful garden plant (actually a large ornamental grass) that adds exotic asian flair to the landscape. There is just one problem with bamboo...many species will spread invasively in the garden and into your neighbor's garden, and then into their neighbor's garden and on and on. These spreading bamboos are called runners or leptomorphs, and they are high-maintenance garden thugs. Luckily, there is a class of bamboos that do not run and are well behaved. These are called clumping bamboos, or pachymorphs, and they form tight, circular clumps of graceful, arching stems. Clumping bamboo is the only kind of bamboo you will find here at Plant Delights.
Read More About Clumping Bamboo
Here at Plant Delights, we have sought out some hard-to-find, cold hardy clumping bamboo plants that are perfect for the temperate garden. These include gorgeous selections of Bambusa, Borinda, Fargesia, Sinocalamus, and Yushania.
Once you have chosen your favorite clumping bamboo, you should plant it in well-drained soil (bamboos do not like wet feet) and in the correct light exposure and expect to wait for a few years for it to mature. Once mature, clumping bamboo plants produce new culms (bamboo terminology for stems) each year that are a few inches from the previous year's growth. The plants form a slowly expanding, dense clump. As with all bamboos, the older culms die after 4 or 5 years and will look best if removed, but other than that, clumping bamboos are low maintenance. Try pairing your clumping bamboo with other part shade plants such as Hosta, Disporum, Polygonatum, Farfugium, Carex, and Ferns to create a beautiful and exotic garden. If you are looking where to buy clumping bamboos and other ornamental grass plants, check out our online list of clumping bamboo plants for sale below.
Since 1988, Plant Delights Nursery has been the choice of serious gardeners and plant collectors looking for the best and rarest perennial plants. We are pleased to have received the Perennial Plant Association Retail Award in 2011, the American Horticulture Society Commercial Award in 2002, and to have been selected as one of the Best Mail Order Plant Nurseries - Garden Design Magazine 2010. Welcome to our family of plant lovers!
Several years ago we had a green mutation on our clump of Bambusa 'Alphonse Karr' which, when planted on its own, grew to Sasquatch proportions (25' tall x 8' wide at the base). Our original clump is now 9 years old and, although we see some tip damage at 14 degrees F, it has much better winter hardiness than the other Bambusa multiplex cultivars we grow and doesn't die to the ground like Bambusa 'Alphonse Karr' at the same temperatures. Our largest canes are already over 1" diameter. Although it doesn't run, Bambusa 'Green Giant' still takes up plenty of space...so locate it correctly. Pot Size: 3.5" (24 fl. oz/709.77 ml)
No muss, no fuss, no trouble! We have long experimented with this heat-loving, deer-resistant, clumping bamboo and still find it strangely underused in southeastern gardens. Bambusa multiplex 'Riviereorum' is a 10' clumper that dies back to the ground at 8 degrees F, but returns late the next summer when the heat builds. In colder climates, Bambusa multiplex 'Riviereorum' can be grown as an ornamental grass and cut to the ground in early spring. When winter temperatures stay above 15 degrees F, the stems will remain green and the leaves evergreen. Pot Size: 3.5" (24 fl. oz/709.77 ml)
The words "refined elegance" come to mind when you grow Borinda angustissima. The tight deer-resistant clumps of 1" canes (when mature) can eventually reach 15' tall and are adorned with airy, tiny green leaves highlighted by dark purple sheaths...simply delightful. Borinda angustissima was accessioned in 1993 by Dr. Jim Waddick in China's northern Sichuan Province near Huang Long Si. Our plants have survived our oppressively humid 107 degree F highs and lows of 15 degrees F with no ill effects. Borinda angustissima is very slow to establish, but really starts to take off in its third year. Pot Size: 3.5" (24 fl. oz/709.77 ml)
(syn: Yushania boliana) We have longed for hardy clumping bamboo of Sasquatch proportions, and thanks to Jackie Heinricher at Boo-Shoot Gardens, we have it. Our 3-year-old clumps of the deer-resistant Borinda boliana have already reached 10' tall, with 0.5-1" diameter arching blue-green culms. In warm temperate climates, mature plants of Borinda boliana should top out at 50' tall, so don't plant these under power lines or airline flight paths. Our Borinda boliana plants, however were burned back at 9 degrees F, despite prior information to the contrary. Conversely, they have thrived through 3 consecutive weeks of above 100 degrees F heat and humidity in full sun. We are ecstatic about this new bamboo...blue marlin-sized fishing poles, biomass fuel potential, and a quick way to hide your untidy neighbors! Pot Size: 3.5" (24 fl. oz/709.77 ml)
Borinda macclureana is the latest addition to our widening selection of clumping bamboos, originating from a Keith Rushford collection from 11,000' elevation in Tibet. We planted our first trial plants of Borinda macclureana in 2007, and so far, so good...despite reports that it wouldn't withstand our brutally hot and humid summers. Our plants in full sun for a few hours each day actually look far better than our clump in shade. Borinda macclureana makes a 20' tall, slightly arching clump with 10" long leaves along the top of the purple stems. Pot Size: 3.5" (24 fl. oz/709.77 ml)
This new generation selection of the popular clumping Fargesia nitida hails from the World Heritage Preserve of Jiuzhaigou in China's horticulturally rich Sichuan Province. Fargesia 'Jiuzhaigou' (pronounced "zhu zhi go") has much better heat tolerance than past selections of Fargesia nitida we've trialed. Fargesia nitida 'Jiuzhaigou' makes a 10' tall clumper with small, narrow green leaves adorning the green canes which turn a beautiful cinnamon red in their second season...brighter in better light. As the deer-resistant clumps age, the older canes eventually turn to yellow. Fargesia nitida 'Jiuzhaigou' is a stunning new bamboo that we are thrilled to make available. Pot Size: 3.5" (24 fl. oz/709.77 ml)
This selection of the heat-tolerant, clumping Fargesia robusta is much shorter than other selections of the species we grow, forming an 8' tall x 2' wide deer-resistant clump in four years. The upright, arching stems spread out to 9' wide, forming a superbly elegant specimen clump, or if you can afford enough...a great green screen. Myths of much more cold tolerance have been thoroughly busted. For years, we sold this as Fargesia 'Green Screen', until we determined that 'Ping Wu' was the correct cultivar name and "Green Screen" is simply a marketing name for clumping bamboo. Pot Size: 3.5" (24 fl. oz/709.77 ml)
Fargesia robusta 'Wolong' is another clumping gem that hails from the high mountains of Sichuan, China. Fargesia 'Wolong' boasts larger than normal, deer-resistant foliage than on typical Fargesia robusta, which consequently provides a more tropical feel in the garden. Despite the fact that Fargesia robusta 'Wolong' is often touted as heat-sensitive, we have not found this to be the case with our clump which received afternoon sun during our hottest summer on record with 95 days above 90 degrees. Expect 5-year-old clumps to hit 10' tall on their way to 15' at maturity. Pot Size: 3.5" (24 fl. oz/709.77 ml)
(aka: Fargesia 'Green Panda', Fargesia sp. 'Rufa') Fargesia rufa is a recently-introduced species from the mountains of western Sichuan, China. Fargesia rufa is a pachymorph, which means it couldn't run even if it was being chased down the mountain by a pack of starving pandas. This short, deer-resistant clumping bamboo makes an elegant, 6' tall upright fountain, with stems arching outwards to 8'. In addition to the wonderful form, the culm sheaths are reddish-brown. In our trials, Fargesia rufa has been wonderfully tolerant of both heat and cold. Pot Size: 3.5" (24 fl. oz/709.77 ml)
Fargesia sp. 'Scabrida' is a relatively newly cultivated and highly coveted upright Chinese clumping bamboo. First described in the 1970s, plants of Fargesia sp. 'Scabrida' from 8,800' elevation in Ping Wu county in Sichuan Province were finally imported to Holland by Jos van der Palen of Kimmei Nursery in 1997. Fargesia sp. ‘Scabrida’ has a habit similar to Fargesia robusta as it forms a 12' tall clump, prized for its prominent leaf sheaths which often emerge bright orange. In cool climates, the new shoots may take on a blue/purple color. Despite warnings that it may not like hot, humid climates, it has fared well for us since 2008 in a few hours of sun. Pot Size: 3.5" (24 fl. oz/709.77 ml)