Choosing a Bamboo Variety for Your Garden

Bamboo can be an incredibly versatile and useful crop and ornamental plant for almost any garden. But it may be difficult to know where to start when choosing a bamboo. Here are a few pointers to help you choose the bamboo variety that is right for you.

Chimonobambusa marmoreaBamboo for a Shady Spot

Chimonobambusa varieties will thrive in a shady spot in your garden. If you have a garden that is somewhat lacking in direct sun or a problematic corner that you are not quite sure what to do with then Chimonobambusa may be the answer. Remember, however, that Chimonobambusa is a 'running bamboo', meaning that it will spread through long underground rhisomes and can spread too much if left unchecked.

Phyllostachys aureaBamboo for Direct Sun

In warm, sunny spots that blaze with the direct summer sunlight, those plants that do better in shade can really suffer. Phyllostachys bamboos will do well in direct sun and can brave a spot that is in the sun throughout the day. Phyllostachys may be clump forming in poor or dry soils but can become a 'running' invasive type in favourable, warm or moist conditions.

PseudosasaBamboo for Exposed Locations

Bamboo plants can often suffer in extremely exposed and windy conditions, not least because they are so tall and can be so easily damaged or buffeted by blowy conditions. Bashania, Pseudosasa or Sasaella are your best options, though you may also have to consider erecting a temporary wind break while the plants are becoming established. This can be removed once the plants are sturdy enough to take care of themselves.

Pseudosasa japonicaBamboo For Every Eventuality

There is a bamboo for almost every garden and every eventuality. Amongst the most unfussy of bamboos are Pseudosasa and Indocalamus, which should thrive just about anywhere. Again, these two are 'running bamboos', though as with all the others, should not become invasive as long as it is treated as a crop and harvested for canes on a regular basis.

For more on which type of bamboo to choose, check out the article on bamboos for edible shoots.