A lovely olive green stemmed variety of the famous black bamboo Phyllostachys nigra, originating from Japan it is the largest and arguably the hardiest of the Phyllostachys nigra sub-species. Producing striking arching culms up to 4 inches in diameter and in excess of 6 metres high. Needs a fairly sunny position and a well drained soil and is pretty well behaved for such a large bamboo, making it a good choice if you're after those thick, architectural canes but haven't got acres of space. The wood of this variety makes some of the densest and strongest building material of all the giant timber bamboo, of which it was traditionally used in its native country, Japan. This bamboo can be planted on its own, creating a beautiful specimen or effectively used in a group to create large, dense hedge/screen.
- Eventual Size: 6 metres
- Position:Full sun to partial shade
- Foliage: Evergreen
- Soil: Prefers a fairly well drained soil.
- Botanical name: Phyllostachys nigra 'Henonis'
- Common Name: Henon bamboo, Giant grey bamboo, Blue 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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Andy on 10 Aug 2018
Arrived safe and sound inside a box, upon opening the bamboo looks healthy and in perfect condition.