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Fargesia Papyrifera Borinda Blue Dragon

Fargesia Blue Dragon Bamboo how to grow

Fargesia ‘Blue Dragon’ (Fargesia papyrifera Borinda) is known for its stunning stem colouration. Blue Dragon’s whitish-blue culms can reach a full height at 5m to 7m. The borinda bamboo family are ideal for natural privacy screens or as an ornamental garden feature.

Quick facts Fargesia ‘Blue Dragon’

  • Identification: Fargesia papyrifera ‘Blue Dragon’, Borinda ‘Blue Dragon’, Borinda Papyrifera.
  •  Foliage: Evergreen bushy foliage.
  • Culm/sheath: Tall, thick, powdery whitish-blue culms and large brown sheath.
  • Height: 4 – 7m, upright.
  • Spread: 3 – 4m, clump-forming.
  • Use: specimen, containers, oriental garden, individual plant, landscaping.

Growth requirements

  • Site: Shade to full sun.
  • Soil: loam (equal amounts of sand, clay, silt) or loam-based composts.
  • Moisture: Well-drained and moist.
  • Hardiness: –15 to – 10 degrees Celsius, UK H5 hardy.

Check out the bamboo collections at Thomson & Morgan UK.

What are the other Borinda clumping bamboo cultivars?

There are several varieties of Borinda clumping bamboos cultivators. They are clumping umbrella bamboo, non-invasive, upright with evergreen foliage. They are hardy, vigorous and tolerant plants.

Many of them are recent cultivars in the UK. For instance, the ‘Blue Dragon’ (or Blue Stem Bamboo) cultivar was introduced in 2015.

There are several Fargesia Borinda varieties that are thriving in the UK. Here are the three that you can find online or at your local garden centre:

  • Fargesia ‘Blue Dragon’ (Fargesia papyrifera Borinda)
  • Frost Bamboo (Fargesia Borinda Angustissima).
  • Chocolate Bamboo (Borinda fungosa).
  • Borinda yunnanensis (Fargesia yunnanensis)

These recent cultivars are not prominent in the UK. You will be lucky if you can find one easily.

What are the standout features of Fargesia Borinda bamboos?

The four Fargesia Borinda bamboos have stunning features from the new shoots to culm colours, sheets and leaves. They are prominent in the US and Australia where there are pronominally seen in feature gardens and landscaping. These bamboo varieties also add splashes of different colours to the backyard garden and outdoor areas.

Fargesia papyrifera Borinda: The ‘Blue Dragon’ Papyrifera Borinda is a clumping umbrella bamboo, also called the ‘Blue Dragon’ after its spectacular blue culms. It is a tall upright bamboo that will eventually arch under the weight of the shiny green leaves. A great ornamental plant.

Fargesia Borinda Angustissima: Borinda Angustissima is probably the common Fargesia Borinda  bamboo in the UK. Angsutissima is known for its crimson-purple shoots, lime green culms, creamy sheaths and frosty leaves giving it a white powdery appearance. Fantastic as an individual plant or in rows as a privacy screen and hedge.

Borinda fungosa: This clumping bamboo is a standout due to its burgundy-red culms. It has large slender leaves that closely resemble the leaves of Fargesia yunnanensis. Both bamboo fungosa and yunnanensis have beautiful leaf patterns. The leaves tend to form a full, lush screen perfect for small outdoor spaces.

Fargesia yunnanensis: This fountain bamboo has peculiar purple-pink sheaths, and the young foliage has hair-like nodes. The leaves of bamboo Fargesia yunnanensis and Borinda fungosa are similar. You must pay close attention to the sheath, culms and shoots to tell them apart. They are perfect for small outdoor spaces, or pots and containers.

Fargesia Borinda Angustissima Bamboo UK

The ‘Frosty Bamboo’

How to grow Fargesia papyrifera ‘Blue Dragon’?

Growing the Fargesia papyrifera ‘Blue Dragon’ from clump separation is probably the quickest way.

Culm cuttings is another effective way to grow the ‘Blue Dragon’. However, you have to propagate the cuttings in a propagating medium before transplanting them.

Growing these spectacular specimen bamboos requires care and attention to get them off to a good start.

But, as mentioned, the Fargesia Borinda family are quite recently cultivars in the UK. Therefore, you may have difficulty finding a ‘Blue Dragon’ grove near you. If you cannot get a plant at your local nursery or garden centre, check online.

Where to buy bamboos in the UK

Here are some UK Gardens Shops where you can get your bamboo plants, supplies and accessories from.

Bamboo Plants, Tools & Roots Barrier

UK Sales

Phyllostachys Bamboos

Clump-forming Bamboos

Black Bamboo Plants UK

Bamboo-based Natural Products

Hand Tools & Roots Barrier

To help you choose the right bamboo, we provide a complete Guide to Selecting Bamboo Plants. The neat sequence of 6 questions leads you to the right plant! Read and Download the guide.

Uses of Fargesia papyrifera ‘Blue Dragon’

This clump-forming bamboo is the best choice for tall garden hedges and privacy screens. In fact, the thick green leaves, arching evergreen foliage and upright dense culms are the best choices for tall covers.

It is also an ideal bamboo for large pots and containers. One reason why it makes a good container plant is its compact (clumping) nature. It adapts well to confined spaces.

‘Blue Dragon will grow to its full height when planted in pots and it will still give the admirable stem colourations, slender culms and evergreen foliage.

In addition, if you want to grow a Fargesia Borinda in pots and containers, the best option is Fargesia Borinda Angustissima.

How to care for your Fargesia ‘Blue Dragon’?

Fargesia papyrifera ‘Blue Dragon’ plants are tolerant to pests and variable soil conditions. But, be mindful of slugs’ attacking the new growths.

Protect the new growth, especially in Spring and Summer when the new growths are prominent, by applying Slug and Snail Killer.

The ‘Blue Dragon’ is tall. This bamboo, like the tall bamboo plants, is susceptible to wind. Stake the new culms to protect them from swaying and breaking.

General care for bamboo plants

Generally, the running and clumping bamboos love moist soil, but they do not like waterlogged areas.
Newly planted bamboo plants will thrive in well-aerated loam, or sand and loose clay soil. So, make sure that the soil remains well-drained and aerated.

In addition, the older plants will require fertiliser and mulch, at least, once in Spring.

Check to see if they are putting out new shoots, or whether the leaves and soil are in good condition.

Slugs and Snails Killer

Feeds and Fertilisers

Rhizomes/Roots Barrier

Heavy Duty Pots and Planters

For healthy bamboo plants, do these:

  • Apply Slug and Snail Killer around your new bamboo.
  • Add organic mulch.
  • Tie the culms to bamboo sticks/stakes.
  • Add NPK fertilizers.
  • Trim old culms to promote new growths.

Finally, the Fargesia ‘Blue Dragon’ and three other Fargesia Borinda bamboo plants are stunning plants. The clump-forming bamboos are recent cultivars hand have outstanding colourations and features.

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