Phyllostachys bissetii or as it's sometimes called David Bisset bamboo is a striking bamboo very garden worthy bamboo. Bissettii is extremely useful as a bamboo that alway looks fresh and healthy with its glossy deep green canes which when young are covered in an attractive grey downy powder. The foliage is also the same depending green, slightly glossy in appearance and produced in profusion.
Phyllostachys bissetii is incredibly hardy and was the first bamboo I planted in our garden 15 years ago when it was just an exposed field exposured to strong wind from all directions. Bissettii responded by establishing rapidly and despite my best efforts to abuse it always remained strong and healthy looking. It is now a magnificent bamboo over 6 metres high planted amongst white stemmed birches, Japanese maples, Chusan palms and of course other bamboo.
Phyllostachys bissetii is very versatile and can be planted as a tall impressive specimen or screen. It can also be planted as a hedge and can easily be clipped to whatever height you need up to 4-5 metres high. We recommend using: Bamboo Root Barrier for this bamboo as it will spread unless the roots are contained.
As with all bamboo Bissettii responds well to regular feeding, I top dress spring and mid-summer with pelleted poultry manure and if I remember to annual mulch of composted horse manure.
- Position: sun to part shade out of cold, drying winds - especially coastal winds
- Soil: all soils, but avoid waterlogged areas very dry soils will need extra watering
- Eventual Size: up to 5 metres, but can be pruned
- Habit: Columnar/Upright/Spreading/Invasive
- Foliage: Evergreen
- Common Names: Bissett's Bamboo, David Bisset bamboo, Green 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
QUESTION & ANSWER
Can I grow Phyllostachys bissetii in container pot?
Well this is something many people wish to do. A lovely bamboo in a pot on the patio looking lush and exotic all year, what could be nicer. It’s entirely possible to keep Phyllostachys bissetii in a container / pot as long as you are prepared to pamper your bamboo all year round. Bamboo needs to be moist but free draining so regular watering even in winter is required especially as the dense canopy often prevents enough rain from reaching the pot.
Feed though the growing periods, April to September and re-potting every 3-4 year. If you want to keep the same container size remove the bamboo from the pot in late spring, saw in half replacing half back into the pot and either re- pot the remaining half or make a new friend with a gift of a bamboo plant. Use a good compost ideally quality multi- purpose mixed with 25% John Innes No3.
One last thing try to avoid allowing the pot to freeze in winter as your lovely bamboo will suffer drought and the leaves will dry and
I live by the sea, will Phyllostachys bissetii do well on the coast?
Phyllostachys bissettii can and will tolerate an exposed position, just be prepared for a slightly scruffy look coming out of winter until the first flush of new leaves in spring.
Jonathan allen on 30 Sep 2017
Well worth the money! We popped in by chance on the way down from Surrey and were very impressed the quality of the plants and the prices. The plants were too big to take back in the car so arranged for delivery the following week. Bamboo looks great, looking forward to it flourishing and providing well needed screening. An absolute gem of a nursery, looking forward to a return visit.
Big Plant Customer on 18 Aug 2017
Arrived earlier than expected and perfect condition. Fantastic service, will definitely be back!