Keeping bamboo seedlings over winter?

Richard Grant grant at
Wed Oct 8 11:48:40 EST 1997

I'm in the midst of a modest bamboo adventure here.  While visiting
the National Zoo in Washington over the summer, I discovered a stand
of bamboo that had flowered and was covered with ripe seeds heads.
I gathered a handful of seeds, folded them into my zoo map, and brought
them home.  Later I made a second trip to the zoo for the purpose of
trying to get a definitive I.D. of the species involved.  It was a
clumping variety, and I believe it was in all likelihood _Fargesia
murielae_.  It was less upright than F. nitida, which I've got growing
here in Maine, and did not appear too happy in the blazing Washington

Anyway, I've now got a seed tray filled with about 22 seedlings,
averaging roughly 2 and a half inches tall, with about 4 or 5 leaves
apiece.  Some of these have sprouted secondary branches from near
root-level off the original culm.  They are very diminuitive and
pretty.  But now I am trying to figure out what to do with them over
the winter.

My experience with growing a potted Fargesia nitida indoors through
winter indicates that the seedlings (if they're indeed Fargesias) will
just sit there looking rather forlorn until next spring.  (Already,
in fact, some of their leaves are browning and withering.)  Should I
instead try to give them some a bit of exposure to winter, maybe by
placing the seed tray in an unheated back room?  Or should I try to
convince them that it's active-growth time by giving them warmth and
many hours of halide light?  Or should I just be tough and plunge the
seed tray into the wild outdoors -- after all this is a very hardy
species -- and let them winter it out on their own, more or less as
Nature intended?

    I'd welcome any words of wisdom about this.  Thanks very much in

    richard grant            

    "The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is
    a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the
    servant and has forgotten the gift."       -- Albert Einstein

More information about the Bioforum mailing list