Phyllostachys aurea 'Koi' is definitely one of my favourite bamboo it really is gorgeous with golden canes streaked alternatively between the nodes in deep green. Each cane holding masses pale green leaves to add to the beauty. It is also a ramrod striaght bamboo, large enough to be impressive but not too big to scare you off. For me Phyllostachys aurea 'Koi' makes a superb specimen and can even be used to make a very impressive screen or hedge. Given it's upright habit 'Koi' is perfect for adding height where space is limited and although it belongs to a family that can be invasive I've found 'Koi' to be pretty much clump forming rarely sending up canes far from the main plant.
In my garden each year I prune of the sideshoots up to 1.20cm from each cane to show off the lovely cane colour and crowded nodes like its more commmon relative Phyllostachys aurea.
- Eventual Size: Up to 4.5 metres, but can be pruned
- Position: Sun to part shade; out of cold, drying winds - especially coastal winds
- Foliage: Evergreen
- Habit: Columnar/Upright/Clump-Forming/Well behaved slightly spreading
- Soil: All soils, but avoid waterlogged areas; very dry soils will need extra watering
- Cane/Culm Colour: Yellow canes with a green sulcas
- Hardiness: H5 - Hardy in most places throughout the UK even in severe winters (-15 to -10)
- Uses: Screening Bamboo, Hedging Bamboo
- Common Names: Koi 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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Simon johnson on 11 Oct 2018
I have already re potted my new bamboo and its looking fantastic! great service.