The Bissett Bamboo (Phyllostachys Bissettii) Care Guide


The Bissett Bamboo, otherwise known as the Phyllostachys Bissettii or White Spruce ‘Echiniformis’, Echiniformis White Spruce, Alberta Spruce ‘Echiniformis’, Dwarf Alberta Spruce, Dwarf White Spruce, is a rather well known shrub plant by gardening enthusiasts around the world.

Best known for its low maintenance and fast growth, this shrub will likely liven up your house (or garden) with its green colored leaves. But, only if you learn how to take proper care of it for it to thrive.

Fortunately, this is exactly what we’ll cover in this Bissett Bamboo Care Guide. So let’s dive in.

The fundamental caring guidelines for every Bissett Bamboo can be summed up into the following:

  • Water: The Bissett Bamboo grows best with regular watering to keep the soil moist during the dry season. Reduce watering once the plant is established.
  • Light: Keep your Phyllostachys Bissettii in an environment where it can receive partial to full sun on a daily basis. 
  • Soil: Make sure to keep the Bissett Bamboo in soil with moist but well-draining properties, so ideally, one that is made of sand, loam, and clay.

And as with many other plants, these are the only three care factors you need to remember to make sure your Bissett Bamboo is, for the most part, healthy and well to survive.

Phyllostachys bissettii plants

Scientific / Botanical Aspects

In botanical terms, the Bissett Bamboo belongs to the Pinaceae family, the genus Picea and the species Glauca, hence its scientific (or botanical) name Phyllostachys Bissettii (fil-oh-STAY-kis bis-SET-eye).

As with other Picea’s, the Bissett Bamboo is an evergreen plant, which means it will be present year round in your garden.

Growing Region

As a rule of thumb, we recommend to always keep in mind your plants’ native region and environment, since these are the conditions that your Bissett Bamboo is most accustomed to, thus where it can most favorably.

With this in mind, the Phyllostachys Bissettii will be most used to the heat zones in the 1 – 7 region, as the plant hardiness level falls between 5b, 6b, 6a, 7b, 7a and the ideal climate zone is between 1, 1A, 1B, 2, 2A, 2B, 3, 3A, 3B, 4, 5, 6, 7, 14, 15, 16, 17, A1, A2, A3.

Growth and Size

Growth

In terms of size and growth, the Bissett Bamboo is a relatively fast grower, which makes things tricky for any plant enthusiast.

Size

But, what size of Bissett Bamboo are we talking about? What can you expect in terms of height, spread and spacing? Let’s dig in…

The Phyllostachys Bissettii can grow up to 1′ – 2′ (30cm – 60cm) in 1′ – 2′ (30cm – 60cm) and 1′ – 2′ (30cm – 60cm) in 1′ – 2′ (30cm – 60cm). 

These dimensions make the Bissett Bamboo a relatively medium shrub compared to others, so it’s best to keep this fact in mind since it will affect where you want to keep yours at home.

Also, expect it to grow in a wonderful spreading shape, which is something worthwhile to remember when making your garden landscape plans.

This is why experts recommend keeping an area of approximately 20″ (50cm) free so the Bissett Bamboo can spread to its best extent.

Water

In terms of watering, the Bissett Bamboo is a fairly complicated plant to take care of.

This is mostly because it has a not so straightforward watering schedule and somewhat regular watering needs.

Specifically, most experts agree that the Phyllostachys Bissettii grows best with regular watering to keep the soil moist during the dry season. Reduce watering once the plant is established.

Which is why it is considered a plant with relatively average needs in terms of water. 

Phyllostachys bissettii care

Watering

As a rule of thumb, you should remember to keep your Bissett Bamboo in soil with moist but well-draining characteristics, as these will guarantee the right conditions for your plant to grow and thrive. 

When you consider this, this is why you should aim to choose soil that has good drainage properties to keep the right moisture levels at all times. 

However, in our experience, the best solution to knowing the right amount of water for your Bissett Bamboo is with the ‘thumb’ technique. Basically, you insert your finger into the soil, and based if you feel the soil moist or dry, you determine if it needs any water, which is the most appropriate way to go about watering your leafy friend.

Soil Mix

As mentioned earlier, the Bissett Bamboo prefers to have soil with good drainage properties at all times, reason why you need to make the soil mix out of sand, loam, and clay.

This is why most experts agree that the Bissett Bamboo requires soil with loam (silt), which will give you the right conditions it needs.

In addition to this, expert gardeners recommend having preferably neutral to acid soil.

Light and Exposure

In terms of light & exposure, the Bissett Bamboo requires partial to full sun in order for it to thrive under the right conditions. 

Most experts agree that this shrub will do well as long as you keep it in full sun, and it will be able to grow properly.

Specifically, we recommend that you place your Phyllostachys Bissettii in little to partial shade (only 2-6 hours of direct sunlight a day), to full and direct sun (more 6 hours of direct sunlight per day).

Season

Being an evergreen plant, the Bissett Bamboo will be present year round in your garden.

But, you can expect it to have its ‘prime-time’ during the spring (early, mid, late), the summer (early, mid, late), the fall, and during the winter.

Foliage

The leaves from the Bissett Bamboo have a beautiful green color during most of the year.

In particular, they have a needles arrangement with a alternate organization in its leaves.

You can expect the leaves from your Phyllostachys Bissettii to be around (< 1 inch) in size.

Phyllostachys bissettii branchy

Attracts, Tolerance and Resistance

The Bissett Bamboo is well known for being able to attract birds, so keep that in mind when choosing your plant, as you’ll likely end up finding one or another in your garden.

Additionally, it has a special tolerance for animals like deer, so don’t worry if any of these come along, your Phyllostachys Bissettii will be fine.

Garden

Does your Bissett Bamboo have any garden recommendations? Does it serve any gardening purposes? Here’s how you can get the most out of your new plant.

Most Phyllostachys Bissettii owners agree that this shrub will look great in most asian/zen and contemporary gardens of all types. 

Other owners consider that they complement well most gardens of informal and cottage, gravel and rock garden, and in traditional garden styles. 

In particular, the Bissett Bamboo’s best location within your garden is in patio and containers, beds and borders, and in small gardens, others use it for landscaping in a privacy screen, container, or a windbreak.

Companion Plants

Bissett Bamboo’s do well with some other plants beside it. One good companion plant is the Acer, which will pair up nicely with your leafy friend.

Others consider that a nice Azalea will work well too, so choose whichever you find works best for you!

Conclusion

Even though we covered a lot of care information for your Bissett Bamboo, remember the basics: sunlight, soil and water, as these should be enough to grow a healthy plant at home.

Sebastian Moncada

I’m also a plant enthusiast and researcher. I’ve been privileged to have lived my whole life around the wilderness of Colombia and I’m happy to share everything I learn along the way. “Adopt the pace of nature. Her secret is patience” – Emerson.

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