Note: This plant can only bought in set of plants.
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Phyllostachys Atrovaginata, or Incense Bamboo, was formerly called Phyllostachys Congesta. It’s a vigorous, quick-growing and hardy bamboo variety which will thrive in UK gardens. Its uses as a screening and landscape plant make it a winner!
Originating in China, Phyllostachys Atrovaginata has adapted very well to cultivation in the UK. Its stiff, lance-shaped, evergreen leaves are a glossy dark green. New shoots emerge from the ground in April, with an interesting wavy pattern. These new shoots are also quite tasty to eat! As they mature, the culms grow very upright, and are very thick relative to their height, with diameters up to 7 cm. They develop a waxy surface which smells of incense, hence its common name Incense Bamboo.
Reliably winter hardy throughout the UK, Phyllostachys Atrovaginata will quickly grow to a mature height of 8 metres and spread of 6 metres over the space of a few years. If you wish to limit its spread it is best to provide an underground or bamboo barrier, as it spreads by rhizomes. Otherwise, cut out runners at the edge of their bed twice a year to keep it within bounds. Rhizomes can be split after a few years to establish new clumps. Thin the canes out periodically in winter to maintain a healthy, open clump. Planted 1 metre apart, the plants will grow into a solid screen in 1 to 2 years.
Incense Bamboo is a great choice for a damp spot, as it will happily grow in the boggy soil that other plants will not tolerate, as its rhizomes have air channels to supply air to the roots. Plant your Phyllostachys Atrovaginata in a moist, rich soil for best results. Avoid heavy clay and alkaline soil. Incense Bamboo will do best in full sun or partial shade in a sheltered position with protection from strong winds, but can also be grown in full shade.
Phyllostachys Atrovaginata is an excellent choice for evergreen screening, as its dense growth habit and evergreen foliage will provide year-round coverage. It’s a natural choice for planting in a wet spot next to a pond or stream, as it tolerates boggy conditions. Incense Bamboo can also be grown in a container, creating an evergreen screen on a terrace for year-round privacy.
Phyllostachys Atrovaginata is an excellent winter-hardy bamboo for a variety of planting situations in the UK.