Alphonse Karr


Probably the best looking of the hedging bamboos, Al Karr Bamboo always attracts attention. Pinkish shoots become green-striped, yellow culms. The colour deepens with age. This cultivar is shorter and more upright than the common hedging bamboo, and it always looks good, even in Melbourne’s winter.

Responds well to pruning and at 2-4 metres, is suitable for many urban landscapes as either dense hedge or feature plant. Hardy, easy to grow, handles most conditions, even high winds and sea air.

Alphonse Karr is suitable for a small area if maintained; I have seen several situations where the plant has outgrown the area and is spilling out and has become a nuisance. “Cut it back”; any plant needs maintenance, don’t be afraid to be ruthless with pruning bamboo, they love a good clean up.

Bamboo builds upon itself; if you keep it to a small size it will be much slower in building. Alphonse Karr is a gross feeder; it loves a heavy feed of “just about anything” high nitrogen fertilizers such as lawn fertilizer or chicken manure, or blood and bone. Application can be as frequent as monthly if desired, or at least annually.

Alphonse Karr is prone to become invested with Mealy bug; in the northern states of Australia this is an extreme problem. Mealy bug can devastate the plant and leave it unsightly and is extremely difficult to erradicate.

Plants at Red Cloud Bamboo are clean of Mealy bug and will stay clean of it growing in this climate unless it is introduced. Mealy bug can sometimes be spread by host plants (such as palms) which have been imported from the northern states.

Average height in Melbourne is 4mt.

Cold hardy to minus 4