Sasa palmata 'Nebulosa' is a magnificient jungly bamboo from the forests of Japan. Sasa palmata produces long narrow canes up to 3 or more metres high, they are highly ornamental showing alternate light and dark banding with purply black random blotches hence the name 'Nebulosa'. The large, 20cm or more leaves are held high on the top of each cane and arranged in a palmate, hand like manner.
Although Sasa palmate 'Nebulosa' has been grown in the U.K since it's first introduction in 1889 it not easily found, why you might ask given its exotic appearance? Well I can tell you from experience this bamboo needs care when planting, all you've heard about bamboo being invasive is true here I'm afraid. Like all Sasa 'Nebulosa' is very invasive and spreads rapidly so be warned. I'd say it is an essential bamboo if you want a really jungly garden in the U.K but take care, either keep it in a large container or use a deep root barrier to prevent it spreading. Do that and you'll love it, don't take my advice and after a year or two they'll be trouble.
Like most bamboo we grow Sasa palmata 'Nebulosa' is very hardy and evergreen and will respond well to regular fertiliser and watering especially if you are growing in a container.
- Eventual Size: 3 or more metres tall
- Position: full sun/semi-shade
- Soil: all soils, but avoid waterlogged areas very dry soils will need extra watering
- Common Names: Nebulosa
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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JPaul on 19 Sep 2016
Good and healthy decent sized, purchased to keep in planters, they actually look good in the pots proved for the time being allowing me to find the right spot.