Monday, 31 August 2009

Canne de Provence


These are Arundo Donax or Spanish reed growing along one end of the swimming pool at my holiday cottages, Le Relais des Roches, which are located further into town from here at Le Banquet. I much prefer the French name; 'Canne de Provence'.

Anyway, the reason for this post is simply to let you know just how easy propagation can be.

I'll explain. Every winter I cut the brown, frosted canes back to the ground and dump them in a little area that I keep for, well, dumping stuff really, vegetative matter only of course. Inadvertently I had actually 'layered' the canes as lo and behold the ones at the bottom of the pile grew new shoots vertically, new plants in effect complete with their own little root systems.

It was just a simple matter of cutting out a little piece of stem section and potting the new plant on.



Voila! pictured above is a new plantlet still attached to the layered stem together with its roots.

Needless to say I've potted them on and now need to find a home for them. They make a great foliage curtain or look grand growing as a big clump. The stems can reach to 4 metres in a season and they rustle gently in the breeze. There are no particular water requirements either. Sure enough I watered the parent plants well for their first season but after that nothing. Hardy to zone 7, these are low maintenance statuesque plants.





Happy in new pots, increasing your stock of these plants is as easy as ABC!

23 comments:

  1. I've never grown these as I heard they got too out of control. But they make an impressive screen and seem easy to propogate. Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Almost like bamboo? A good protection from some nosy neighbors!

    ReplyDelete
  3. We do have similar plants alongside some rivers...very dense with leaves almost touching the water. The reeds can absorb a little bit of the pressure when water rises and floods the surroundings... Sugar cane is easy to propagate too. So is tapioca.
    Cheers,
    ~bangchik
    Putrajaya
    MALAYSIA.

    ReplyDelete
  4. It looks like a good plant for screening. Is it invasive?

    ReplyDelete
  5. Hi Folks

    In warm climes it can be a bit uncontrollable i.e in the waterways of the midi say. That said, in the garden it can be managed with a sharp spade.

    ReplyDelete
  6. That does look like an excellent plant for screening.

    ReplyDelete
  7. In California it has become an invasive pest brought in by the railroad industry to help with erosion. Now it is ruining ecosystems & we can't get rid of it....be very careful.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Christopher Lloyd used to grow the variegated form to good effect at Great Dixter.

    ReplyDelete
  9. The new striped/variegated varieties sell for $20 around here. I didn't know that they are so easy to propagate.

    According to our NC invasive exotic species list, arundo donax is a "low threat" plant. In other words, it isn't misbehaving here.

    Cameron

    ReplyDelete
  10. Looks a great plant! Can it be kept permanently in pots?

    I've just been doing one of my favourite propagation methods - shaking seedheads all over the flowerbeds!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Hi Rob, what a delightful curtain by the pool! Movement and sound, just perfect. What luck with your accidental propagation too. :-)
    Frances

    ReplyDelete
  12. In Atlanta one of the people in my neighborhood has grown this for many years. It seems to increase slightly each year, but doesn't seem to be invasive. It looks like a great screening plant, that I might just try!

    ReplyDelete
  13. It looks great by the pool, almost like a tall beach grass. I don't think I've ever seen it before.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Nice plant Rob - and the newly potted babies look good and healthy. They make a great screen for the pool too. *sigh*!

    ReplyDelete
  15. Rob, we have Arundo donax in our PNW garden and keep it controlled as it grows with an axe... shallow root systems as we give it little or no water; the variegated Arundo donax is our favorite and we do water it... a slow grower.

    ReplyDelete
  16. They clearly make a substantial screen but a bit of a thug for a garden as small as mine.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Hi Rob,

    Afraid I've been caught up in the madness and nominated you for a meme on my blog.

    If you don't want the honor you have only yourself to blame - after all, I couldn't comment on commenters without commenting on you.

    ReplyDelete
  18. "need to find a home for them" - that's the story of my gardening life! It's so hard to throw anything away if it's growing. Well, I'll throw ugly stuff away, but big pretty stuff that you can't fit in your garden is agony to throw away. Sounds like you have more room to work with, though.

    ReplyDelete
  19. It needs to be greener--just kidding. It would be too invasive here even though I'm zone 7. My yard has a natural spring where I would need to plant it---it would love that.

    So cool to hear these are by your cottages! Not many folks can say that.

    ReplyDelete
  20. These look like monsters Rob but friendly ones :)

    ReplyDelete
  21. As Susie mentioned earlier in the comments, this plant is a major pest in California. It was introduced in the 1800s and we now spend millions of dollars trying to get it out of waterways and other areas. It reduces natural habitat to a monoculture of arundo and chokes our flood control channels posing a serious flood threat. Check before using this native eastern Asia. It has naturalized in other warm areas.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Hi Barbara

    Thanks for the info.

    We don't have that problem over here.

    ReplyDelete
  23. "cut it down after winter frost" See that is the problem, we don't have the winter frost, so it just grows and grows. And ours IS the variegated one. I dread the plain green, we'd never find the house again. But, we choose this plot, because there are weavers nesting in the Spanish reeds.

    ReplyDelete