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Planting Moso Giant Hardy Bamboo Seed #193469 - Ask Extension

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Planting Moso Giant Hardy Bamboo Seed #193469

Asked June 23, 2014, 10:28 AM EDT

Schuylkill County PA. I have several hundred fresh Phyllostachys pubescens / edulis Moso seed ( which I will share ). Now the end of June. Best planting method? Any information appreciated. I do not know if the seed will keep until next Spring. I had considered a long row; but a lot of extra work if the seeds do not take; so possibly a large clump & if the seed germinates, then later moving the pips.Thanks. Jim Brosius

Schuylkill County Pennsylvania

Expert Response

Hello Jim, and thanks for using the Ask an Expert System.

I have not been able to find any good, research based, sources for germinating Moso bamboo.  All of the sources that I did find suggested starting the seed in pots or flats.  It may be warm enough now to start seed in the ground, but I think you will have better success planting in seed starting medium in containers.  

You should know that this species is said to be cold hardy in zone 7 to 8 and above.  However it prefers much warmer winters than those in Schuylkill County and generally will not survive temperatures below 0 degrees F.  Persons who have tried to grow Moso in the northeast suggest that while winters have not completely killed the roots, it has killed the above ground parts.  The plant keeps coming up, but never gets very big. The extreme low temperature we experienced last winter would have probably killed Moso bamboo.  

I am attaching two links to information on starting bamboo seeds. There are a number of sites that suggest germinating techniques, but they are all very similar.    You will find a clear description of one such technique at;  http://www.gator-ventures.com/bamboo/bamboo-propagation/bamboo-seed-germination.htm     

I found a video from a grower in the United Kingdom that is helpful because it gives a good idea of how slowly these grow in cool regions.  You will find it at; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EgiUgBUyHGY    

Good luck with your seeds.



David Orbin Replied June 23, 2014, 1:33 PM EDT

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