3/5/11

Graceful Bamboo - Bambusa textilis gracilis

Bamboo is an instant gratification plant and even 3- or 7-gallon size bamboos will form a solid wall of green in one growing season if planted in a rich soil that is fertilized and watered regularly. 

Our son, Toby, stands next to a young clump of Graceful that has had some of its lower leaves clipped off on order to better see the canes.  When using Graceful to block off unsightly objects, we often suggest clipping leaves off the front canes and not the back ones.  That way you can appreciate Graceful's attractive 1" to 1.25" diameter green canes while still having the blockage you desire.

But sometimes you don't want to wait even one season to block off an unsightly object or create that tropical paradise look.  In that case, starting off with a larger plant like those in 15- or 30-gallon containers is the way to go.  

In the photo below, Tim is standing next to some of our 15-gallon and 30-gallon Graceful plants.  Like all our bamboos, Graceful is also available in 3-gal and 7-gal containers.

Our son Timmy is almost 6' tall.  These 15- and 30-gal Graceful Bamboos are between 15' and 18' tall.  Graceful can grow 20-25 feet with 1¼" diameter canes.

Graceful is a very handsome plant with a soft, gentle look that is never overpowering. It is an excellent choice for narrow spaces or smaller yards because of its upright growth pattern. Proven to be one of our most popular bamboos, Graceful works well in city as well as country settings. 

Below are some of the attributes that make Graceful so popular: 
  • It isn't too tall or too short (grows 20-25 feet).  
  • It has the right amount of leaves - not too many or too few.  
  • It is very cold hardy (down to about 18 degrees).  
  • It is an upright grower with a small footprint, which makes it ideal for landscapes with limited planting beds.  
  • New shoots come up very close to the previous year's canes, which gives Graceful a tight, compact appearance.
 
Below are some posting about Graceful including those sent by customers like Ken (below) who planted Graceful in their yard to provide a quick-growing hedge:

Ken, a customer from Tampa, emailed to say how pleased he is with the screen provided by the 9 Graceful bamboos he installed in August 2009.  Eager to create a tall, dense screen to hide a noisy A/C unit and provide privacy from neighbors, Ken decided to purchase 7-gal size Gracefuls instead of 3-gal size plants.  Bamboos in larger containers have bigger root systems, which can support more culms as well as larger diameter and taller canes.

Sherry and Ralph,
It has been almost a year since we installed the Graceful bamboo I purchased from you. I have enclosed pictures showing the transformation in just 1 year! We are very pleased with the outcome.

August 2009

Three 7-gal Gracefuls were planted about 4' apart in front of a noisy A/C unit
The remaining six Gracefuls, also planted about 4' apart, bordered the fence.  Note the narrow planting bed in both pictures.
 One Year Later  
July 31, 2010

Where is that annoying A/C unit???
And the fence...What fence?  It must be behind there somewhere...
One more view of the entire fence line, including the now-hidden A/C unit

Another customer writes to ask which bamboo would be best to create a screen in a  6' wide space:
 
Hello Sherry, I am working on a project in which the homeowner found your website and loves bamboo. She wants to use it along a chain link fence to block the neighbors unsightly landscape, the width between the chain link fence and the house is only 6 ft wide, she would still like to use the area as a pathway from the front of the house to the back yard. Which variety do you recommend to use? The length of the fence to cover is 40 ft. How much would you recommend to use for this length as well?

My response:
I would suggest Graceful, a very upright growing clumping bamboo. In a 40' length she would need anywhere from 4 to 10 plants depending on how quickly she wants to form a solid hedge. If she went with 3-gal size plants planted 4' apart in enriched, irrigated soil the fenceline will be completely blocked by the end of the summer. If she went 8' to 10' apart, it would take two to three years worth of growth before a solid hedge formed. Graceful is a delicate looking bamboo with canes a bit over 1" in diameter that will grow about 25' tall at maturity. By the end of summer expect the 3-gal plants, which are now about 6' to 8' tall, to just about double in height.


After only one growing season, these two Graceful bamboos planted 4' apart are now touching. When first planted, each bamboo only had one cane and were half as tall as they are now.

Transporting large containers of Graceful:
Customers often wonder how to get the bamboo they want to buy home.  Although they have the option of having us deliver their purchases to them, they can often save time and money by fitting the bamboo into their own cars, vans, station wagons, trucks or trailers.

(Remember to bring along some old sheets, blankets and tie-downs when you schedule your visit to Beautiful Bamboo)

Repeat customers Matt and Kelly really wanted an instant look in their landscape and when Kelly saw our selection of 15-gallon Graceful clumping bamboos she knew that was just the plant she was looking for.  

Ralph and our grandson Atom pose in front of some 15- and 30-gallon Graceful bamboos
But would a 20+ foot tall, multi-caned plant fit into their station wagon?  Not a problem!  After a few of the taller shoots were snipped off to a 14' height and all the canes were tied together, the plant was ready to be gently slipped into the back of the wagon.  


But at 14', the canes were still too long to fit completely inside the car. 

Solution:  Open the passenger side window and let the canes stick out.  

 
With leaves secured by blankets and straps and anchored to the front grill work, the bamboo was ready for the 45-minute drive home. 

Instant privacy and beauty ready to go!


Amazing 'Before and After' pictures
I received this email from customers in the Orlando area who bought Seabreeze and Graceful clumping bamboos from us in 2008 to shield their backyard from a neighbor's home that was being built right along their fence line.

Sherry,
We are happy with how much our bamboo has grown these past 2 years.  It gives us the privacy, beauty and serenity we were looking for.

Attached is a recent photo and another photo from planting 2 years ago along with a photo prior to planting.  Such an improvement!  Sorry it took so long to send - 3 kids will keep you busy.

We are really enjoying the pool and our view. It is really relaxing and we now spend lots of time outside.  

Hope all is well.  Happy Mother's Day! 
Lisa and Wes

Above:  Before planting - a new house is being built next door
Below:  Right after planting - the new house is looming larger but the bamboo is in the ground right along the fence line.

Below:  Two Years Later - you can't even tell that the neighbor's house is there.  The bamboo hedge completely hides the neighboring building while adding beauty and a tropical feel to the backyard.


Another 'Before and After' view of Graceful Bamboo
A customer who bought two different types of clumping bamboo in May wrote to say how well their bamboo is growing:

Aloha Sherry and Ralph - Six months ago I bought a 30 gallon Textilis Mutabilis from your amazing collection. This Emerald has generated 26 new canes already. I enriched the planting bed with 30 bags of Black Kow, peat and organic soils mixed together,fertilized, plus watered faithfully every morning before work.

The two little sisters are Textilis Gracilis (Graceful); these two were only 3 gallon specimens and have produced 17 new canes each in the five month interval since they were planted!

My neighbors are thrilled with the unique tropical beauty of these upright, tight clumpers in our typically small suburban lawns. I'm looking forward to the privacy screen, shade and windblock/ noise barrier this living fence will create.

Thanks for your informative web site and blog. Kind regards, Freddy

After planting in May - One Emerald on the left with two Gracefuls to the right

6 Months Later - the same Emerald with the 2 Gracefuls to the right
The same 6-month-old plants as seen from the opposite side


 


12 comments:

  1. I really love this great looking bamboo. I would like to plant it on my backyard.
    I tried to find seeds but no luck. Does anybody know where I could get seeds for this Graceful Bamboo?
    Thank you. (jirimac@yahoo.com)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Jiri,
      Bamboo does best by division, and we would be happy to mail you a plant. Bamboo flowers maybe once in its 100-year life span, and is not typically grown by seed. Thanks for the interesting question!

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  2. Hi, Sherry,
    i live in Berkeley, CA and i am very anxious to block the ugly two story building that is only 2 feet away from our fence and stop feeling like a fish in a bowl every time i step out into the back yard. (by the way, this is the best website i found so far on bamboo, thank you so much. all the others are so overwhelming since there are so many different kinds of bamboo). so, i have several questions for you:
    1. i love the look of emerald timber bamboo, but graceful seems to be better choice since it's shorter and we don't really want anything much higher that 25-30 feet. what do you think?
    2. which one is really faster growing, since we want that green wall very, very quickly?
    3. when would be the best time to plant it?
    4. what would be the growing conditions, like soil, water etc?
    5. if i wanted to plant it in a container, how wide and deep should the container be to create a thick screen? i am asking because the yard is on a smaller size, and i dont know how deep the roots get to be?
    6. how long does the plant live?
    7. how long would it take to ship to CA?
    thank you so much for your time, i am so excited to have found your site
    mia

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Mia,
      We are glad you found the site too! Yes, Graceful is a slightly smaller version of Emerald bamboo. If you'd like it to stay below 30', Graceful is more your size. Graceful will shoot up new canes earlier in the spring than Emerald. Early spring is the optimal time to plant, so that your bamboo is in the ground ready for its new shoots to appear in spring and summer. Bamboo roots get to be about 2-3' deep, so you'd want to get a container at least that deep, then make sure it's wide enough to cover what you want to block. Bamboo plants can live about 100 years with good care and growing conditions. It would take about five days to ship to CA from here in Central FL. Thank you so much for your detailed questions, and sorry it took us a while to get back to you!

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  3. Hello Sherry,
    Like your blog. I have about 15-20 Graceful plants that were planted about 6 months ago.
    Although new culms are arriving, the original ones don't look so hot. They have turned yellow, and dropped quite a few leaves. They get regular water, and have great soil. Going to try a turf builder. Any suggestions??

    ReplyDelete
  4. Older graceful canes have a tendency to yellow especially if they in a sunny location. Once the newer shoots grow up, there will be more shade and the canes will tend to stay greener. You can also try adding some ironite to the soil (available in garden centers) and continue to give your plants plenty of water, add extra mulch to retain moisture and apply a high nitrogen, time-release fertilizer. Those are all good things to do during the warm-weather growing season.

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  5. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  6. This plant is known in Australia as slender weavers bamboo. You have great examples of how effective it is as a screening plant. Nicely done. Anyone looking to screen there backyard cannot go past this plant as you demonstrate.

    Also ordered your Rowing through the mist book to enjoy also great reviews :)

    Great Work ! Bamboo Man Bamboo Gracilis Textilis Plants

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you in advance, for ordering my first book. I hope you'll add a comment to the Amazon.com reviews once you've read it.

      I always think of Graceful (slender weavers) is a one of the most perfect bamboos because it has all the right traits that most people are looking for in a bamboo - not too tall with good sized canes, grows densely with lots of leaves, very upright and hardy.

      One can't go wrong with this most beautiful of beautiful bamboos.

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  7. Will these bamboo plants grow in UT and can I plant them in the ground rather in containers? I love the look and how quickly it grows.
    This sight is very helpful and these plants were fun to find.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I love the look of these plants and would like to plant them in my yard. Can you plant them in the ground rather than in containers and will they grow well in Ut? Also, one post I think you said they don't do well in full sun, is that right?

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  9. I wish I could tell you that Graceful bamboo will grow in Utah, Margo, but it won't. It is a tropical bamboo and although it is one of the hardier varieties, it can't tolerate temperatures when they get below 15-18 degrees. If you want to grow bamboo in Utah, you would do best to consider one of the running bamboos, which do better/grow bigger in cold climates.

    ReplyDelete