Last Updated on September 14, 2022
As a keen gardener, you are probably always on the hunt for the newest and best plants to spruce things up a little. Perhaps you have stumbled across the idea of getting a bamboo plant and you are unsure as to which one would best suit your garden?
Well fear no more, because in this article, we are providing you with 15 different types of bamboo plant that you can buy for your garden, and we will be discussing what makes them such good options.
Table of Contents
- Don’t be afraid!
- The List
Don’t be afraid!
A lot of people are afraid of growing bamboo trees in their garden because some of them can be quite invasive if not contained.
The best way to get rid of that fear is to start by understanding that there are two types of bamboo trees. The clumping type does not grow invasively and once you plant them, and these are a rather wonderful addition to the garden. So if you are really afraid, then look for the clumping style of bamboo plant/tree, for these grow at a slower pace and require less work than the ‘running’ style of plant.
The Different Styles of Bamboo
You have seen us mention ‘clumping’ and ‘running’ bamboo already, so it is only fair for us to take a moment and describe what both terms actually mean, otherwise reading the rest of the article might give you a little trouble.
Running Bamboo Plants
Running bamboo is quick to grow and requires a lot of work and attention. There are some species of running bamboo that can grow a metre per day! It propagates by sending out underground runners, called rhizomes, which send up new shoots elsewhere.
These rhizomes can travel more than 100 feet (30 m.) before sprouting, meaning your new bamboo patch may suddenly become your neighbor’s new bamboo patch as well. This is the last thing any gardener needs, and if you can avoid it, then do. Try not to plant running bamboo unless you know how to maintain it, and are ready to look after it daily.
Clumping Bamboo Plants
The perfect choice of plant if you are looking for a bamboo plant that is easy enough to maintain and won’t invade other plants or other neighbours gardens!
Dragon Head Bamboo
This is the classic style of bamboo that you will see pandas enjoy regularly. The canes are shiny green in color and the leaves are blue-green, narrow and glossy. The canes do arch slightly because of the weight of the leaves because each of them is about four inches in length. Make sure that it is planted such that it stays away from the afternoon sun to avoid the intensity. The soil must be fertile, well draining and must maintain moisture. This is also an excellent way to create a privacy screen. This bamboo will grow at a moderate rate, so just keep an eye on its progress.
Spiny bamboo is one of the most common types of bamboo in the world. This evergreen, clumping bamboo type is native to Indonesia and Malaysia, but can grow under any tropical or close-to tropical conditions.
Thorny bamboo is traditionally used as a building material, but it can also be applied to many other industrial uses. The local industry practically relies on a regular harvest for its economy: tools, fabric and more can be created from this very strong type of bamboo. Seeing as over 1 billion people are said to live in bamboo houses across the globe, it is safe to say that the spiny bamboo is very important.
Although more industrial in its uses, spiny bamboo would still make a great addition to any garden.
With chunk and sturdy stems that keep it standing, this type of bamboo truly lives up to its name as it can grow to be over 100 feet tall, so you probably wont be planting these in your back garden, but they are still incredible to look at!
hedge bamboo is known as being the most popular and best hedge bamboo plant, and it will grow happiest in USDA growing zones 7 and 8.
Though this is a clumping variety, they still achieve a pretty impressive size. These narrow clumps of deep green, pencil thin culms can reach heights of 35 feet! It is a great style of bamboo to have in your garden.
Native to Northern India, but capable of growing in any climates that are warm/similar, the female bamboo is evergreen, and can grow quite fast. They can be found in gardens, but also have industrial uses and can grow to be 80 feet tall.
Japanese Arrow Bamboo
As you would probably guess from the name, the Japanese Arrow Bamboo thrives best in the Japanese soil. The name of these bamboos was probably coined by the Japanese Samurai who used the stiff canes of this bamboo for making arrows. The Japanese Arrow Bamboo is native to parts of Korea and a couple of Japanese regions, however it can be found in parts of the US as well, particularly in hardiness zones 6-10.
The name says it all. The most common style of bamboo, it is native to Southern China and Madagascar, but has become one of the most cultivated types of bamboo almost everywhere in the world. It is versatile, and can adapt to a range of different conditions making it easy to grow. It is also evergreen and is a clumping bamboo, making it the absolute erfect bamboo plant for your garden.
China Gold Bamboo
An exquisite-looking bamboo, China gold has bright lemon-yellow culms with green striations. The upright culms are heavily branched, making it a great screening bamboo. But if you want to use it as more of an ornamental feature, prune away the lower growth to reveal the wonderful golden canes. The bamboo can grow to be over 18-20 feet tall, so would make an incredible addition to any garden.
Dwarf Green Stripe Bamboo
A fan favourite, the dwarf green stripe bamboo is an excellent edging plant. What it lacks in stature it makes up for in impact – its striped yellow and green leaves making for a lush groundcover. This is just one of the low-growing forms of running bamboo of this species.
A throny type of bamboo, the Guadua is native to Uruguay but can also be found in parts of Mexico and is most common in the Amazon basin. The Guadua tends to grow best in regions with low altitudes, but they will grow in some high-altitude areas in rare instances. A beautiful and majestic style of bamboo, the would look good in any large garden. You just need to make sure that you can provide the correct conditions.
Slender bamboo is one of the most common types of bamboo in the world. While native to China, it grows happily in any gardens and pots that can keep up with a similar climate to its origins. It is durable, easy to manage, and grows at a relative pace. A great choice for any garden.
Versatile and beautiful, the umbrella bamboo is one of the few styles that can do it all. It is a clumping bamboo that is easy to care for and can grow to be 15 feet tall.As they grow, you will find the canes to arc from the weight of the foliage but you do not need to snap them. This bamboo also grows quite quickly and spreads about four to five feet wide.
It tends to form a lot of clumps and grows well in partial shade. Placing it in direct sunlight causes the leaves to shrivel. The soil must maintain solid moisture levels, so get moisture-retentive soil for your umbrella bamboo or else you run the risk of it drying up too fast.
Belonging to the family of Poaceae grass, this is yet another evergreen bamboo that is found in parts of South America. Unlike other species, Chilean bamboos can withstand frost and are widely planted in temperate areas. That is why, you will find them in bulk in parts of Argentina and Chile. The flowers from the Chilean bamboo are light brownish and the plant is known to bloom for 60 years, so will last a long while on your garden.
Golden Groove Bamboo
Not only does this bamboo plant look incredible, but it is tolerant to both cooler and warmer temperatures. Golden groove bamboo grows to be 15-25 feet in height on average and can grow up to 5 feet per year, making great for those who are looking for a super fast growing variety for hedging. It is evergreen and with its beautiful golden cane, is easily recognizable and will be sure to add a pop of colour to your garden.
A unique addition to any garden, the black bamboo assumes a marble brownish hue almost immediately until becoming fully black over the next couple of years. Each of these canes passes through phases of color development which further adds to their multi-colored hue. The canes are around two inches in width a perfectly smooth and slimy surface. They will certainly stand out among the rest of the plants in your garden, and will definitely gain some positive attention from adoring neighbours.
If your reader comes back with high levels of either chemical, you should use a filtered water source to water your bamboo plant. It is essential that you not use any tap water. However, you can use rainwater if you can collect it. Freshwater is also acceptable to use. Finally, ensure you water the soil, not the actual plant itself.
Bamboos are a woody perennial plant that belongs to the true grass family called Poaceae. The plant’s size varies from species to species, from giant timber to small annuals. Bamboo evolved 30-40 million years ago after the dinosaurs died out.
There are said to be over 1,000 species of bamboo plant in the world.
Some bamboo plants are dwarfs, growing no more than a few feet high, while others will grow 20 to 30 feet tall. Bamboo varieties are either clumping or running.
Bamboo species are mainly divided into two main types: runners and clumpers. Clumper bamboo trees grow into a slowly expanding tuft while runners produce shoots several meters away from the parent plant. The Chinese names for different bamboo trees all contain the character ‘?’. It is pronounced as ‘zhu’.