Thursday, February 19, 2015

Bamboo by Mail, Fargesia rufa 'Green Panda'

I was looking for a partial shade plant tall enough to hide my air conditioning unit, and I kept hearing great things about 'Green Panda' bamboo [Fargesia rufa 'Green Panda']. In fact, some websites go as far to say this is the ONLY clumping bamboo that is hardy and appropriate in Indiana. Well ok then!

Doing some research, it looks like 'Green Panda' is actually an individual specimen of Fargesia rufa. Not a genetic variety, but a specific plant that is being propagated and sold worldwide for its "exceptional vigor and beauty." So I'm not sure if the one I got is actually the same one trademarked by Jan Oprins of Bamboo Select in Belgium - nevertheless the name 'Green Panda' is being used to market it.

This 'Green Panda' I got on Amazon, sold by Hirt's Gardens. This is my second time getting a plant by mail (See also: Bonsai by Mail, Golden Gate Ficus), and I like to learn about how the plants are packaged and photograph the unboxing.

live plants sticker on package
My bamboo arrived in the mailbox, and unfortunately had to sit outside in 5°F temps until I got home from work!
mail order bamboo in a box
It arrived kinda scrunched over completely packed in foam peanuts

hand warmer for plants
Very clever! It looks like they included a heating pack to try to keep it warm during shipping. Unfortunately when I opened the box the heat pack was frozen solid. Oh well, the bamboo SHOULD be hardy to -15°F so fingers crossed!

Fargesia rufa 'Green Panda'
If it's not really 'Green Panda' they are definitely using the marketing. Who knows, I'll give them the benefit of the doubt.

green panda bamboo in sink
The soil was frozen solid so I ran it under cold water to thaw. Then I read on Dave's Garden that brown tips means it's over-watered so they must have soaked it right before shipping or had it growing damp the whole time.

young bamboo culms
Bamboo stems are called 'culms' and emerge at their full diameter unlike tree trunks that get wider over time. These currently range in size from thick mechanical pencil lead up to about the size of pen ink cartridges.

bamboo in windowsill
My Green Panda will get bright sun in the morning and ambient light all day. Hopefully I'll be able to stick it in the ground in a few months! If this thing gets 8 feet tall it'll be nice to have baby photos like this since it is currently only 13 inches haha!

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