Plant pick: dragon’s head bamboo

  • Wed Mar 10th, 2010 11:40am
  • Life

WHAT: Evergreen bamboo. Not aggressive. Need we say more?

Introduced in the United States in 1995, dragon’s head bamboo, also known as the Rufa variety of fargesia dracocephala, has proved to be a top performer.

Its tight, clumping, nonrunning habit and feathery arching foliage make it a graceful presence in the home garden.

WHY PLANT IT: In early summer, new canes quickly grow to 10 feet tall, making it a great screening plant with fast coverage.

WHERE: It grows best in fertile, moisture-retentive soil. In hotter areas, it may need protection from hot afternoon sun.

HOW: Give canes room to spread. Avoid planting it near a walkway; its arching growth will cover it eventually.

Canes can be cut at ground level to reduce the overall width or density of the clump.

Occasionally, bamboo mites can be a problem. Pruning to the ground in late winter and removing fallen foliage will help reduce this pest. Mix it with bolder foliage to highlight its fine bamboo texture.

ACTUAL SIZE: This bamboo grows 8 to 10 feet high and about the same in width.

LEARN MORE: See www.greatplantpicks.org.

Source: Great Plant Picks