Arundo donax

Brummie Brian
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Arundo donax

Post by Brummie Brian » Mon Mar 24, 2014 10:59 pm

I am looking for a tall bamboo like grass to add to my garden and I think it is called Arundo donax. Does any one use it. I am looking for a tall variety. If anyone does use it I would be grateful for any info about height, hardiness, invasiveness. I have searched some plant sites and ebay but cant find any for sale. So if any one wants to part with a clump I am willing to purchase. Thanks


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Birmingham Chris
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Re: Arundo donax

Post by Birmingham Chris » Tue Mar 25, 2014 7:51 am

Neither of us have ever had any success with arundo donax - the winters just seem a bit too brutal iin the midlands. I have something similar with very long arching leaves with a white mid-rib which grows to about ten feet and dies back for the winter, really well behaved but can't remember what it is (sorry - that was REALLY unhelpful!).

You must be super close to Akamba though, Brian, and they always have arundo there or will be able to point you to something better. They are very knowledgeable and if you say you are part of HTUK they give a 10percent discount too!! Bargain! icon_cheers
Coming to you from sunny North Birmingham. Where the sun always shines.....somewhere else!


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Yorkshire Kris
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Re: Arundo donax

Post by Yorkshire Kris » Tue Mar 25, 2014 8:23 am

It's hardy up here to at least to minus 10 if not more. Grows to about 8 foot and stands up to wind quite well. It's best to cut most of it it down in spring and let it grow up again from ground level. In Spain it's appararently very rampant but probably not that bad over here. It likes lots of moisture. There is a big clump near me growing in a compost heap.


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Delboy
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Re: Arundo donax

Post by Delboy » Tue Mar 25, 2014 8:53 am

I've tried twice here in worcester and both have died in the first winter.
Not sure why although both were in fairly damp spots so maybe winter wet.
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New garden......coming soon.


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Blairs
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Re: Arundo donax

Post by Blairs » Tue Mar 25, 2014 9:00 am

Delboy wrote:I've tried twice here in worcester and both have died in the first winter.
Not sure why although both were in fairly damp spots so maybe winter wet.
I have the variegated form that has done alright here in a drained spot on a slope. I put some mulch over it in winter, though the grass stalks can stay green.


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multim
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Re: Arundo donax

Post by multim » Tue Mar 25, 2014 10:10 am

I've grown A. Donax in the green form and the variegated form for some years.
The green form makes good height each year, probably 12 + feet. The stems go brown during Winter and are cut to the base in Spring. Perfectly hardy here, no protection, no additional water or food - they just get on with it and look good at the back of the border.
The variegated form is a little less hardy and although a very pretty form, only gets to 6 feet tall where I live.
To get the best culms and the best height, previous seasons growth must be cut to ground level each Spring.
They are shallow rooted and although they do spread, they are much easier to control than bamboo. Thin or divide when needed with the aid of a sharp spade or mattock again in Spring
Growing the improbable - not the impossible


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DAVIDEVANS
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Re: Arundo donax

Post by DAVIDEVANS » Tue Mar 25, 2014 10:26 am

I have grown the green and variegated form for years, I'm not too far south of you so should be similarly hardy in your garden. I leave the old stalks on for as long as possible in the belief that it must help the plant. If you want to bulk up you need second year stalks to propagate from. Mine hasn't got out of control but they do walk towards the sun so needs the spreading bits to be dug out and moved back every couple of years. The variegated variety is not as hardy and the spears are much thinner but can still reach 8-10', the green can easily do 12' once established.
Dave


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Re: Arundo donax

Post by Kristen » Tue Mar 25, 2014 11:52 am

I've got Green and Variegated in front.

First year grew well, last (second) year was pathetic - only 3 shoots on the green, but they are a good 12' high. Still there of course as the winter was so mild. This year will tell if it is going to get established, or not. I wonder if I did not water it enough in summer?
K's Garden blog last update 30th December 2012, HTUK Blog


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Blairs
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Re: Arundo donax

Post by Blairs » Tue Mar 25, 2014 12:34 pm

Kristen wrote: I wonder if I did not water it enough in summer?
You see a lot of really tall Arundo donax in road side ditches and at the bottom of hills in med countries, so heat and water seem to be key.


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Blairs
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Re: Arundo donax

Post by Blairs » Tue Mar 25, 2014 5:10 pm

I bought mine from Homebase if it helps.


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Arlon Tishmarsh
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Re: Arundo donax

Post by Arlon Tishmarsh » Tue Mar 25, 2014 6:08 pm

Birmingham Chris wrote: I have something similar with very long arching leaves with a white mid-rib which grows to about ten feet and dies back for the winter, really well behaved but can't remember what it is (sorry - that was REALLY unhelpful!).
Miscanthus perhaps ? Mine has a white mid rib.


Brummie Brian
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Re: Arundo donax

Post by Brummie Brian » Tue Mar 25, 2014 6:08 pm

Thanks for all your kind replies and for the great advice. I will keep hunting for the green variety and avoid the variegated species. Chris I pop into Akamba most weeks (mostly for a pint after work) and know both the management team really well. They don't seem to get many unusual plants in anymore tending to concentrate more on promoting the place as an entertainment venue. They are currently in the process of building a tropical aviary :(


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Birmingham Chris
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Re: Arundo donax

Post by Birmingham Chris » Tue Mar 25, 2014 6:55 pm

NOOOOOOOO!haven't been for a LONG time, but saw the new development and thought it looked good.....but not at the loss of their ideal and original plan! it'd be such a shame.
Coming to you from sunny North Birmingham. Where the sun always shines.....somewhere else!


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Re: Arundo donax

Post by Kristen » Tue Mar 25, 2014 11:44 pm

Brummie Brian wrote:avoid the variegated species
:shock:

I think it looks nice - Will Giles has one with a Green one behind (sorry, not that easy to see from this photo)

Image
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miketropic
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Re: Arundo donax

Post by miketropic » Wed Mar 26, 2014 7:01 am

I grow peppermint stick and the green form here both hardy and slightly invasive. hoping to add varigata and golden chain this year
moonshine made in the kentucky tropics


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