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Phyllostachys atrovaginata

Maximum height: 40 ft.
(Yet unknown for zone 5)
Maximum diameter: 2 3/4 in.
(Yet unknown for zone 5)
Minimum temperature: -5ºF
(The roots are at least 10ºF more hardy.)

Digging season -
We have found that the best time to dig species in the Phyllostachys genus is late October to early November.

Species in this genus are sometimes dug in June and ready to be planted in September. This dig timing depends on an abundance of rain. A summer drought eliminates the possibility of a June dig.

Occasionally the digging season for this genus can begin as soon as April, provided that the groves haven't received too much winter wind burn. To be on the safe side, orders for species in this genus should be placed before April 15th.

They would be dug between April and November. The timing of a bamboo dig is very weather dependent, with the most likely case being late October for this genus.

This timber bamboo is one of only two bamboos under that classification that we can grow here in zone 5. The other one is Phyllostachys parvifolia.

We base our size and hardiness data on a ten year trial growth period here at the nursery. We're only into year six. So the potential size here in our region is yet unknown.

One thing we have observed is that this species doesn't seem to be as heat and drought tolerant as some other members of this genus.

On hot summer days the leaves tend to cup when grown in drier soil, but not quite curl, in an effort to reduce moisture loss though the leaf surface.

This species has air channels in the outer walls of the rhizomes. This is an adaptation for growing in wetter soils.


While it will grow in wetter soils, it still needs to be first established in well drained soil and allowed to spread into wetter areas on its own timing.

Right now we're going with a cold hardiness rating of -5ºF with no wind for a brief period. Or 5ºF to 0ºF with mild winds for a brief period.

As with the seeming lesser heat and drought tolerance of this species, we've also observed less tolerance for winter winds.

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