Filling a minivan with bamboo

Customers often wonder how many bamboo plants they can take home in their cars.  Today a customer visited the nursery to purchase and pick up 8 plants in 7-gal containers.  The bamboos all had multiple canes and stood between 8' and 12' tall.  We had no difficulty fitting them into the customer's minivan even though he already had a large dresser in the van taking up about 18" x 3' x 5' of space.  It always amazes me how many plants we can fit in cars - even in small hatchbacks and sedans, but especially in minivans. 

Vivax sending up new shoots in February


Two new  2" diameter Vivax shoots have just emerged!  Vivax is a large-caned running bamboo and, like all runners, it sends up its new shoots earlier in the season than clumping bamboos.  But in February???  Not normally.  Yet the Vivax in one of our groves already thinks it's spring.  It's so exciting when new shoots emerge.    


Some bamboo questions

I have some bamboo questions. I live in New Jersey. I would like to purchase some bamboo plants to hide my fence. I would like it to be tall about 8 to 10ft. I need to know the best place to purchase and the going prices. They seem expensive $25 a plant. If I purchase the small plants how long will it take for them to grow to my 8 to 10ft height?

My response - Our nursery ships bamboo across the country but in NJ you are limited to running bamboos since all clumping varieties except Fargesia (a clumping bamboo that we can't grow in Florida because it requires a mountainous climate) are tropical plants and cannot tolerate temperatures below 15 degrees.

However, any of the running varieties will work fine in your area.  But keep in mind that runners are invasive and you have to be able to control their growth by either mowing a 20' to 30' swath around them or putting into place a bamboo barrier.  To learn more, read Clumpers or Runners - Which is best for you?

Concerning the cost, keep in mind that you don't need many plants to form a hedge.  It's far less expensive and better for the environment to create a living hedge than to build a wall or install a fence.  Bamboo will also grow taller and thicker than any fence or wall. 

About height, all bamboos grow very quickly from bottom to top.  As long as you give your plants rich soil, water and fertilizer, they will grow from nothing to their full height within a couple months.  You can expect an 8'-10' hedge within one season even from small 1-gal to 3-gal container plants.

To learn more, please take some time to read the information on our website and blog.  Bamboo is different from other plants in so many ways.  It helps to educate yourself as much as possible before planting.


A wedding chuppah constructed from Beautiful Bamboo poles

I just received this letter and photo from customers in Maine who purchased several of our 2" domestically grown Designer Quality Polished Bamboo Poles for a wedding chuppah.  Building chuppahs or wedding arbors is one of the most popular uses for bamboo poles.  This customer's design is special in that it incorporates a family heirloom for the top canopy.
Hi Sherry,

Thank you again for sending us the truly beautiful bamboo!  Here's the chuppah that my husband, Peter, constructed in Maine.  Then we transported it, along with our daughter's harp, to NYC, where the wedding took place at the New Leaf Cafe in Fort Tryon Park.  The chuppah had bouquets of flowers on the two front joints, but this picture was taken before they were attached.  If the official photographs have a good picture of the chuppah with its flowers, I'll send you that as well.  The covering of the chuppah was a tablecloth from the groom's grandmother, who died last year.  Peter got many, many compliments on the chuppah and it helped make the wedding even more special!

Thanks again!
Janet Rathbun (and Peter McDonald)






The earliest "shooter" - Bambusa chungii barbellata - "baby blue"

New shoots in Baby Blue come out at an angle curving upward as they grow to form what ultimately looks like a coffee mug shaped plant.
It's amazing that baby blue is sending out new shoots in February. All of our other clumping bamboos wait until the weather warms up in May but not baby blue. It's ready to emerge from its winter slumber in mid-February. Even though the temperatures are sill in the 40-50s, Bambusa chungii barbellata - "baby blue" - is already sending out new shoots!  What a prolific - the most prolific - clumping bamboo!

Our daughter Jenny poses in front of a 3-year-old clump of Baby Blue.  Note how dense the clump - which started with just one cane - has become in just 3 growing seasons!
New shoots have a blue powdery tint       

Seabreeze Bamboo - Before and After Pictures

A customer from San Antonio, FL needed to block the view of the road from his house so he planted a line of several Seabreeze bamboos alongside the road. Below are photos to show how quickly clumping bamboos can change a landscape and accomplish the goal of providing privacy with beauty.

Before bamboo was planted

The same view the summer after planting several Seabreeze bamboos in front of the house to block the view from the road

One year later, mission accomplished. The house is hidden behind a lush hedge of Seabreeze bamboo.


Using bamboo poles for interior decor

A customer from NC, Lexington Home Brand, used our 2” x 8’ polished black poles in a recent home show display.

Customers often ask, "Which bamboo poles should I use in a large vase inside my house?"

The answer is, "There isn't just one kind."

All of our bamboo poles – homegrown, imported, domestic-grown designer-quality - work well for interior d├ęcor. The key is deciding which type you like best. Your choice will depend upon the look you are after, your own personal tastes and aesthetic values.

Our homegrown poles are the most natural looking option. They are irregularly shaped and completely untreated. Homegrown poles are not as smooth as either the imported or domestically grown designer-quality canes nor are they as straight or even colored. Nonetheless, they have a rustic charm that works well in informal decors.

The imported poles are very traditional looking with smooth tan surfaces occasionally patterned with a natural patina. The imported poles tend to be very regular and straight although they occasionally bow outward and might have slight hairline surface cracks.

The domestically grown, designer-quality poles are the most finished looking. To achieve their smooth shine, freshly cut poles are dried in a low-oxygen high heat kiln. These poles are generally straight and crack-free although, like all bamboos, occasional fissures and bends sometimes occur.

Different types of poles as well as different lengths and diameter poles can be mixed together. Again, what you decide to use will depend on your personal tastes. Some people want all their poles to look similar while other people prefer a more irregular look with varying thicknesses of canes, different color finishes (like mixing black canes with the tan ones) and different length poles.