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A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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Sunday - May 19, 2013

From: Staten Island , NY
Region: Northeast
Topic: Invasive Plants, Non-Natives, Container Gardens
Title: Non-native and invasive bamboos from Staten Island, NY
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Hi I put some black Bamboo and some bias Bamboo in a large container about 6ft by 2ft and ht 18 inches .How can I get this Bamboo to thrive ? Suggestions on types of plant food or fertilizer or ant thing else that will be helpful.Being its in a large container can I leave it out through winter months ,Zone 6 b

ANSWER:

The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, home of Mr. Smarty Plants, is dedicated to the growth, propagation and protection of plants native not only to North America but to the area in which they are being grown; in your case, Richmond County, a burough of New York City. There is a genus of plants called Phyllostachys (bamboo) of which there are about 75 species and 200 varieties, all of which are native to Central China. We did find a Phyllostachys nigra (black bamboo) but we could find nothing called "bias" bamboo.

Since this plant is not only non native to North America but also considered seriously invasive, we have no information on it. We can comment only on the fact that it will grow much too large for a container and, in view of its origins, will probably not survive in a New York Winter.

 

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