Short Running Bamboo
Dwarf bamboos are understory plants and prefer to be shaded from hot afternoon sun. Some prefer mostly shade, while others may take some morning sun if not placed against hot walls or other excessively sunny conditions. These are some of Laurie's favorites and have a wide landscape use. They provide interest in the garden with attractive foliage, leaves which make a nice rustling noise in a breeze, and easy care.
Indocalamus latifolius-"Broad Leaf Bamboo". Grown for its foot long glossy green leaves. Average height is about 6' although it may reach 10' in perfect conditions. Hardy to 0 degrees. Prefers shade, partial shade, or morning sun with afternoon shade. Limited supply.
Indocalamus tesselatus -"Big Leaf Bamboo" Large glossy leaves are the largest of any bamboo. Average height is tends to be 3-4' but can get as tall as 10'. Prefers shade, partial shade, or morning sun with afternoon shade. This one isn't as fussy about sunshine as other Indocalamus sp. Very tropical looking but will take cold temperatures down to -15 degrees. Large leaves used in Asia to wrap food when cooking, much like grape leaves. This is one of our current favorite bamboos. Laurie likes the way all of the Indocalamus sp. wave their leaves in the breeze and how the breeze makes a pleasant rustling sound. Looks great in a large container in a shady location, which will accentuate the large leaves and deep green color.
Pleioblastus distichus "Dwarf Fern Leaf Bamboo". Ferny leaves make a nice ground cover under a shady tree canopy. Good container plant. About 2' high. Will take some sun but will look best with some shade from the hot afternoon sun. Karen's favorite. Limited supply.
Pleioblastus humulis -very attractive short bamboo, especially when used as a ground cover. Dark green leaves. Usually a knee-high groundcover but can possibly grow up to 10' with ideal conditions. Possibly but unlikely in this region. We prefer to cut or mow it in the winter to keep it tidy. One of Laurie's favorites. Prefers partial shade or morning sun with afternoon shade.
Pleioblastus viridistriatus -"Dwarf Green Striped Bamboo". Extremely attractive in spring and early summer when the leaves are golden yellow with green stripes. Can be mowed in winter to encourage new brightly colored leaves in spring. Beautiful in the garden or in a pot, as well as a ground cover. Usually grows to about 3' or less. Prefers partial shade or limited morning sun with afternoon shade. A nursery favorite each spring when the leaves first unfurl-everyone loves the striking springtime-chartreuse colors.
Shibataea kumasaca -to 7' but usually about half that size, about 3' or so. Unique bamboo with zig zag nodes. Prefers acid soil. Makes a great short hedge, mounding garden shrub, or container plant. A nursery favorite. Soft look in a shady location. Very attractive. Prefers shade or filtered light in this area but can take a moderate amount of morning sun with sufficient water and deep soil. The foliage on this has a lovely sweet aroma that permeates the air on warm days. Try it in a container on a patio. Priced low compared to many bamboos.