WHAT: Zigzag bamboo (Shibataea kumasasa) is one of the finest small garden bamboos. The evergreen, almost teardrop-shaped leaves are arranged in a zigzag pattern along each stem.
WHY PLANT IT: It is a compact grower and a very slow spreader, not becoming rampant in the garden. Zigzag bamboo maintains its best color in part to full shade, providing and interesting texture to a shady landscape. It is extremely resistant to the unsightly damage of bamboo mites.
WHERE: Zigzag bamboo grows best in full to part shade in well-drained soil with average moisture.
HOW: It is easy to control and can be cut to the ground in late winter if it looks untidy.
ACTUAL SIZE: Its stiff, upright canes spread very slowly; in about 10 years they make a plant 3 to 4 feet tall and 6 to 7 feet wide. Remaining the same height, it gradually spreads to 10 or 15 feet across.
LEARN MORE: See www.greatplantpicks.org.