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I'm considering growing clumping bamboo for clothing; what type should I plant in order to make cloth.

It hasn't been colder than -10°F in a few years (Minneapolis, Minnesota).

What types should I look into growing?

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Phyllostachys edulis, common name Moso bamboo, is the variety used to make various fabrics. Unfortunately, its only hardy down to Zone 6, grows best in zone 7-9, needing a temperature above 5 °F as a minimum, so you can't grow it where you are. Turning bamboo into fabric likely isn't something you could do yourself anyway, but there's more information on that here https://www.contrado.co.uk/blog/bamboo-jersey-the-holy-grail-of-fabric-or-pandoras-box/. Having researched, I can't find any bamboo that will tolerate temperatures in Zone 4a, though there are some varieties of Phyllostachys which will manage in Zone 5.

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  • is there any other types that will work from my area? – black thumb Feb 6 '17 at 15:49
  • If you read my last sentence, the answer to that is there but see here /bamboogarden.com/cold%20hardy%20bamboo.html – Bamboo Feb 6 '17 at 16:19
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    Fargesia species are supposedly the most cold-hardy and are clumping-type. Trying to make fabric from them is probably more suited to some other SE site, like chemistry? You may have annual dieback (tops die, roots may survive, growth rate is much less than in climates where the tops do not die over the winter) or they may not survive the winter, period. My Phyllostachys (probably aureosulcata, but not known for sure) dies off every winter - but that's a running-type (more of slow walk here in zone 4/5.) You'd do better growing climate-suited and easier to make fiber from, such as flax. – Ecnerwal Feb 6 '17 at 16:19

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