How to Buy Bamboo Plants in Missouri

Overview

Due to its size, bamboo is often treated like a tree. But the plant is actually a type of ornamental grass. Although some varieties of bamboo, such as Nandina, are treated as ornamental shrubs, others are considered invasive weeds due to their aggressive spreading habit. You can find many types of bamboo in local garden centers, but care must be taken to only plant a non-invasive variety. Once invasive bamboo establishes and spreads into areas where it is not wanted, the plant can be difficult to remove.

Step 1

Find the USDA hardiness zone within Missouri where your property is located. Missouri falls within USDA hardiness zones 7A through 4B. Average yearly winter lows may dip down as low as 0 degrees in 7A, but may fall as low as -20 in 4B. Some bamboo, such as White Dragon, will grow well in zones 6 and warmer, but will not grow well in zones 5 or cooler. Others, such as Phyllostachys Bissetii are hardy to zone 4. Your USDA hardiness zone will determine which bamboo species you can safely grow.

Step 2

Research bamboo to learn the various characteristics of each variety. Determine which varieties have characteristics that you desire. For example, clumping bamboo varieties such as Green Screen do not spread on rhizomes and become invasive the way that timber bamboo such as Robert Young do. Good sources of information on bamboo characteristics include Temperate Bamboo Quarterly and The Journal of the American Bamboo Society.

Step 3

Contact local nurseries to determine if they carry bamboo plants. If they do not, ask for recommendations as to nurseries that carry bamboo.

Step 4

Consult the American Bamboo Society for a complete list of bamboo specialty nurseries across the United States. A bamboo specialty nursery is more likely to have the exact variety of bamboo that you wish to plant. Nurseries that are not located in Missouri will sell you plants over the phone or through the Internet, and will ship plants to you bare root.

References

  • Grow It: Missouri USDA Hardiness Zone Map
  • National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service: Bamboo: A Multipurpose Agroforestry Crop

Who Can Help

  • American Bamboo Society
  • Grow It: Temperate Bamboo Quarterly
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About this Author

Tracy S. Morris has been a freelance writer since 2000. She has published two novels and numerous online articles. Her work has appeared in national magazines and newspapers, including "Ferrets," "CatFancy," "Lexington Herald Leader" and "The Tulsa World."