Phyllostachys Nigra growing in a tub
The Phyllostachys Nigra black bamboo has nowhere to run to sitting in a pot in our patio.
We have two of these Bamboos, both planted in 50 cm diameter pots three years ago.
They have both settled in very nicely, and unlike the two other varieties of bamboo which we have in the border, do not threaten neighbouring plants by encroaching.
Bamboo are described as runners or clump forming. Do your homework, you really do not want to plant them in the garden border like I have done with two others.
The black Bamboo Phyllostachys Nigra tends to have a more clump forming habit than some other Phyllostachys forms, I still think it is safer to have it in a container. In fact, we had it in our Aberdeen garden and before we moved house I noticed it was starting to grow through the privet hedge. The Phyllostachys aurea which we have planted in the border of our present garden is getting a bit out of hand I am watching it closely. (Phyllostachys aurea in our back garden)
If left to its own devices Phyllostachys Nigra will grow to a height of about 4 meters. It is quite easy to maintain a height of 2.5 meters.
The black stems or culms if you want to be posh look very striking along with the arching habit which the plant has.
The black bamboo is evergreen and fully hardy in the UK. OK, the cold Winter weather does make the foliage look tatty. However, come late Spring, new stems come through the surface and grow at an alarming rate and the bamboo looks splendid in no time at all.
Possibly by the second season after planting you may want to prune, especially if it was quite mature when you planted it. First, in Spring remove most of those very thin spindly and dead stems.
In mid Summer, if there are too many new canes, cut some of them right back with secateurs. They are easily recognised as they are not black but a creamy green colour.
Reduce height by cutting back to just above a node. To show off those shiny black culms snip back all the growth around each black stem completely, leaving two or three feet from the ground bare. (see pic 3) (Experiment, you will cause no harm.)
Use a general liquid fertilizer in the Summer months, once in June, July, August. Bamboo are very thirsty and require a lot of water in Summer.
Full sun/partial shade
For container growing use equal parts of John Innes No, 3 with a good quality general garden compost.
Fully hardy in the UK and recommended for container growing.
RHS Award of garden merit
October in the garden
A few Autumn shots of what’s in the garden in late October
Acer Inaba Shidare
The Acer Inaba Shidare has settled in very nicely in the new border of our back garden
The leaves of Azalea Torchlight turn an intense shade of burgundy in late Autumn.
The flowering cherry Prunus Kanzan is colouring up nicely for the Autumn
Chrysanthemum meridian yellow
The Chrysanthemum meridian yellow enjoys this sunny spot at the front door.
The Hydrangea Petiolaris has been much happier since I transplanted it into this large container.
Acer palmatum dissectum watnong
My favourite Acer, it has been planted here there and everywhere. I finally found just the spot in the front garden, hmm, its encroaching on the box ball. I may have to move it back a little.
Sorbus Joseph Rock
Looking for an ornamental tree. The rowan, Sorbus Joseph Rock is hard to beat.
We have never had cyclamen in the garden before, flowers are tiny, but rather interesting.
Cornus alba Sibirica
As well as the bright autumn leaves the red stems of Cornus alba Sibirica look really good in Winter.
Rudbeckia little goldstar
I am finished with all those Begonias. From now on the tubs that they once graced will be planted with perennials and patio roses. Getting rid of all that old compost has become too much of a problem in this small garden.
I really like the Prunus Accolade in the front garden. In this position I am unconcerned about how tall it may become. It’s the best looking tree in the street, eh, it is the only tree in the street, except for the others which we have.