Whether you have an Oriental, beautifully tropical, or contemporary garden- there’s one set of plants that’ll perfectly work with every kind of garden —bamboo.
The bamboo is a lofty, beautiful, and spectacular plant that has been grown for a couple of centuries. This plant serves as a privacy screen or hedge, but it also perfectly fits the category of a feature plant.
Unfortunately, bamboo’s often misunderstood by newbie gardeners, who often shudder at the prospect of growing them at home. However, this shouldn’t be the case because these plants, especially the clumping variants, are extremely easy to grow and care for.
While running species of this plant may get invasive when it is not contained correctly, you can still manage it quite well if you follow the proper guidelines.
In this article, we will clear all your doubts about bamboo trees by listing the 13 most popular variants of Bamboo for your home and garden.
13 Different Types of Bamboo
Bamboo has over 1000 different species divided into 115 genera. Joined woody stems are standard across this group of tall grasses, widely cast as one of the world’s fastest-growing and most versatile plants.
Here we have featured 13 of the most popular and well-known, as well as illustrating the bamboo plant’s diversity across size and growth patterns.
1. Buddha Bamboo
Native to the Chinese regions, the Buddha Bamboo (Bambusa ventricosa) variant is widely popular for its lumpy nodes that are strikingly similar to Buddha’s bulging belly.
Unlike the common bamboo trees you’d see outside, this bamboo type primarily serves the function of an ornamental plant and is stored in small containers. It thrives best in soil that is consistently moist and fertile.
Over time, the culm of the plant bulges and takes an exaggerated proportion. This is when you should keep it without excess fertilizer in completely dry soil.
Since this is a tropical plant, it will grow naturally well in cool and temperate climates. If, however, you live in cooler zones, we would recommend you keep the plant indoors.
One advantage of the Buddha Bamboo is primarily non-native. In other words, it won’t spread by seed or vegetative growth and dominate over the native species. Plus, it can also serve as an excellent privacy screen.
The Buddha Bamboo can grow to a whopping 55 feet in height and thrives best in USDA hardiness zones 9 to 12.
2. Umbrella Bamboo
If you’re looking for a cute, non-invasive bamboo for your home, the Umbrella Bamboo (Fargesia murielae) might be your perfect option. It’s a completely non-native, elegant, and solid bamboo that does well in almost all temperatures.
Featuring greenish-yellow canes, these bamboos are best known for their long and slender leaves. Their foliage appears dainty with greyish-green undertones, and unlike many bamboos, it doesn’t need to be snapped or stalked.
Umbrella bamboos multiply and grow in clumps, most of which spread around 4 to 5 feet in terms of width. They prefer partial shade, as direct sunlight might impact the texture of the leaves.
This bamboo assumes a height of up to 15 feet, and they are both versatile and easy to grow.
In addition, once you get this bamboo for your garden, you will realize how easy it is to maintain the plant. But that not all — umbrella bamboos are adaptable, and they also turn out to be exceptionally hardy.
The defining quality of these bamboos is their greenish-yellow canes that assume slender and slightly narrow leaves. The foliage appears dainty, with vibrant green hues on the top and grey-grey undertones at the bottom.
As the canes grow, they take a gentle arc from their foliage’s weight. However, they do not require to be snapped, nor do they require any additional staking.
It thrives best in partial shade, as direct sunlight is likely to affect the quality of the leaves. The plant thrives best in USDA hardiness zones 5 to 9 and requires consistently moist soil throughout growth.
3. Guadua Bamboo
Belonging to the Neotropical genus, the Guadua is a thorny bamboo primarily found in Uruguay. Some bamboo species may also be found in Trinidad and parts of Northern Mexico.
They are concentrated species across the Amazon basin. The Guadua Bamboo primarily grows in regions with low altitudes, which are often fewer than 1,500m. They may grow in more than 2,500m high altitudes in rare instances.
As with many forest-grown bamboos, It plays a vital role in the diet of Atlantic and Amazon rats.
This bamboo is also considered necessary in America since it is one of the primary raw materials for constructing houses in the Coastal regions and Ecuadorian river-banks.
Plus, the plantation performs exceptionally well as a building material, and that’s simply because it has multiple watershed protection attributes. And in some instances, people also use it for its mechanical properties.
Unfortunately, with over-exploitation in place, the natural numbers of these bamboos have been significantly depleted. Since Guadua plays a significant role in depleting carbon-di-oxide from the air and serves the primary role of raw material, it is advantageous to use it more sustainably.
While Guadua Bamboo isn’t one of the common choices for your home garden, you might as well grow them if you have enough space.
Ideally, you should choose a sympodial bamboo rhizome for your home garden as they tend to grow in smaller clumps. In most cases, the initial seedlings of the Guadua bamboo mature after 5 years, and their height tends to stabilize after 9 years.
So, if you can spare the time and space, you might as well want to consider growing this plant at home.
4. Japanese Arrow Bamboo
As you would probably guess from the name, the Japanese Arrow Bamboo thrives best on Japanese soil. The name of this bamboo 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 some Japanese regions like Honshu and Kyushu. In the US, you will primarily find them in zones hardiness zones 6 to 10 across Florida to Connecticut.
Being a cold species, it can withstand extremely low temperatures. The plant thrives well in complete or partial shade, and its leaves boast like palm trees. Usually, the leaves should grow to 5 to 13 inches and have a beautiful yellowish-brown hue. Unlike many other bamboo species, the Arrow bamboo can thrive in containers and withstand salty air.
5. Japanese Cane Bamboo
The unique feature of the Japanese Cane bamboo lies in the fact that it is named after Japan even after being primarily cultivated in parts of China.
This plant is known for its smooth canes, and upon maturing, it emerges with a beautiful shade of dark green.
6. Hedge Bamboo
Hedges (Phyllostachys glauca) are beautiful evergreens that are known for their strikingly beautiful canes, most of which develop from the vibrant bluish-green culms.
However, this bluish tinge is perhaps most pertinent in the younger plants because they lose this turquoise hue as they age, and the canes appear yellowish-green.
The canes of hedge bamboo are around 2 inches in overall width and tend to grow upright. They prefer a warm climate as it promotes rapid growth. If the temperature level drops, the growth will take an instant halt.
While Hedge Bamboo isn’t invasive, it can steadily spread to create a tiny bamboo orchard measuring up to 20 feet in width.
7. Dwarf Green Stripe Bamboo
Found in parts of East Asia, this plant is primarily native to Japan and China, though you can find it in European and Korean regions and parts of New Zealand.
The most striking aspect of these bamboo lies in their striped green leaves that look stunning in summer and spring. Dwarf green stripes are known to be deciduous even during the winter.
That is why they are mowed to the ground during late summer and fall to maintain their charm and appeal. Dwarf greens are generally non-fussy bamboos, and they can withstand extreme temperatures.
So, the temperature shouldn’t be a constraint if you plan to get them at home.
8. Green-Glaucous Bamboo
The Green Glaucous bamboo (Phyllostachys viridiglaucescens) grows and spreads extensively to create a grove. Thanks to the quality, they work really well as a living fence or a solid privacy screen.
The Green Glaucous is best known for its canes that emerge with a deep emerald green hue. They assume a lime green hue with time, finally maturing into yellowish-green.
The canes of these bamboos are fully striped and are white along the nodes, and their foliage is medium, elongated, and comprehensive.
9. Painted Bamboo
Painted Bamboo is an excellent option if you’re looking for ornamental bamboo.
These trees are best known for their stripes along the culms and their golden canes with unique markings. Unlike other bamboos, the canes of the Painted Bamboo feature stunning patterns across every node.
They usually assume 40 to 60 feet in height, steadily arching with their foliage’s weight. The leaves are elongated and narrow, going up to 7 inches long. Being non-invasive, these plants have an excellent root system that further aids in controlling erosion.
10. Chilean Bamboo
Belonging to the family of Poaceae grass, this is yet another evergreen bamboo found in parts of South America.
Unlike some species, this bamboo can withstand frost and is widely planted in temperate areas. That is why you will find them in bulk in parts of Argentina, Valdivia, and Chile.
In the wild, it is known to control several dynamics of the forests. For instance, it controls the growth of multiple trees so that they do not witness unnecessarily fast growth and end up perishing in the cold.
They also feature hair lanceolate, a form of a leaf that comes with a spine along the end. The flowers from the Chilean bamboo are light brownish, and the plant is known to bloom for 60 years.
11. Moso Bamboo
Moso bamboo (Phyllostachys edulis) is another elegant bamboo for your home garden. Growing up to 60 feet, these bamboos are known to be one of the hardiest and tallest bamboos across the globe.
Their culms are incredibly thick, up to 8 inches wide. The canes that usually start as soft green before assuming a yellowish-green tinge have a soft, velvety covering.
Mosos thrive best in warm and moist areas where they can aggressively thrive without being problematic.
In the wild, you will likely find Mosos in parts of China, Japan, and other East Asian regions.
12. Black Bamboos
Known as Olive green upright canes, Black Bamboo (Phyllostachys nigra) is a beautiful addition to any home garden.
These bamboos assume a marble brownish hue almost immediately until becoming entirely black over the next couple of years. Each canes pass through phases of color development until they become a multi-colored hue. The canes are around two inches wide, with a perfectly smooth and slimy surface.
Now you can explore these options and pick a bamboo plant that works well for your home garden. Since most of their plants are easy to maintain, you certainly won’t encounter any issues while growing them at home!
13. Timber Bamboo
Native to China, this plant is primarily harvested for timber, and its canes are incredibly smooth and glossy. When young, the plants have an emerald green hue. They eventually fade to yellowish-green upon aging.
The timber bamboo thrives in full sun and requires consistently moist soil. Ideal hardiness zones range from 5 to 9.