Fargesia demissa 'Gerry' is a super new rarely available bamboo introduction from Gansu in China which we are sure will become very popular. We love it's chunky upright open spaced stems which are often a deep black in colour giving the appearance when mature of a minature black bamboo grove. Fargesia demissa 'Gerry' is quiet fast to establish quickly sending it's relatively thick black cane up to between 2-3 metres high the canes themselves often have alternate white banding due to persistent culm sheaths that remain through the winter to dramatic effect. As a clumping bamboo Fargesia demissa 'Gerry' is ideal in smaller gardens as a specimen.
Fargesia demissa 'Gerry' is also amongst the hardiest of bamboos able to withstand extremely low temperatures and shady growing conditions. Said to be the northern-most Fargesia species ever collected, Fargesia demissa is one of the the most cold hardy of any Clumping Bamboo.
Because ‘Gerry’ grows in area's with extreme winter cold it will lose up to 30% of its foliage in winter as part of its habit. Don't be put off by this however as this then shows off the beauty of the dramatic canes, just dont be alarmed when leaves start to fall in autumn.
You may also notice leaves curling in strong sunlight again this is part of Fargesia demissa 'Gerry's protection mechanism agaist water loss. As the sun fades so the leaves unfurl.
We have only a few of these plants available each year.
- Position: part shade to full shade sheltered site preferred out of strong winds
- Soil: most soils
- Eventual Size: 3 metres
- Habit: Upright
- Foliage: Evergreen (will lose some leaf in winter)
- Cane colour: Pastel blue, deep purple, grey to black
- Common Names: Black Fargesia, Black Demissa Bamboo
Before planting it is a good idea to soak the bamboo thoroughly to ensure the rots are well and truly saturated then dig a hole at least twice the size of the root ball add compost then place the bamboo so that the finished soil height will be slightly lower than the top of the root ball. Backfill using your soil mixed 50:50 with good compost. Once planted gently firm down the soil around the base add a top dressing of a good fertilizer, we prefer poultry manure, then mulch with a good 8-10 deep layer of compost. Finally water again to help settle the bamboo. In dry periods it may be necessary to repeat watering regularly, if the bamboo looks dry and the leaves are curling this is a sure sign. After the first season we repeat the mulching and feeding each spring.
Now stand back and enjoy. Don’t expect your bamboo to grow away like a rocket, yes bamboo can grow incredibly fast but most of this happens over a 3 month period which is very generally late May through to early August so if you’ve planted either side of this period I’m afraid you’ll have to wait.
Pruning and Grooming
Bamboo can be very accommodating here. I’ve seen pristine clipped hedges and topiary shaped plantings of both Phllostachys aurea and bissetti showing easy how easy it can be managed. What I like to do though on any large bamboo is to remove all old, thin and spindly canes (or culms as us horticulturists call them) then prune away all the side branches off the remaining culms to a height of between 60cm to 150cm depending on your choice. This in my opinion show bamboos off to there best making them stately specimens.
For more information see our Bamboo Care Guide for these types of Bamboo:
Also see our Bamboo FAQ
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Paul K on 18 Apr 2017
Many thanks for getting this back in, I missed out last year as they sold out before I could purchase. Have just put in the ground looking for to great things from Gerry!