Most species of bamboo flower and set seed so infrequently that it is uncommon for a person to aquire seed. There are a few bamboos that seem to flower continuously, one of theose being Phyllostachys heteroclycla f. pubescens. Sometimes many decades may pass for a particular species to flower and set seed, and in most cases it is usually a global phenominon as most cultivators come from the same source.
If you do happen to get some seed, germination can be greatly unpredictable. Coupled with the fact that after germination there is a high mortality rate, growing from seed can be very disappointing. However, the gardener in most will desire to grow and nuture a new bamboo from seed to watch it grow into the majestic beauty that they are.
Anyways, I was able to get my hands on some Phyllostachys heteroclycla f. pubescens and Dendrocalamus strictus seed in Spring 2005. This was fun and exciting. Of the several thousand young Moso that germinated only a few hundred survived. Initially we had about an 80% germination rate. Most deaths probably occured due to our Florida heat and I'm sure some occured due to natural selection. We had similar results with the Strictus, but with a higher survivability rate.
If you are fortunate enough to get some bamboo seeds, feel free to use the germination directions provided here:
One more thing...do not underestimate how fast these grow. We probably would have much more seedlings had we not hadthem underpotted! The root systems develop fast...much faster than we expected!
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