What Bamboo Plant to Grow in Cold Climates?



Are you a planter interested in learning what bamboo plant to grow in cold climates? Bamboo is recognized as one of the plants with the quickest growth rate and the greatest adaptability. However, suppose you are thinking of growing a subtropical variation of Bamboo. In that case, you need to make sure that you select a species that can withstand freezing temperatures and that you make sure that you reside in a climate zone that will allow your plants to survive and develop.

Finding your climate zone is one of the best ways to ensure you are in the proper place to grow the bamboo type you have chosen. Let’s look at a range of these examples below because many people searching for expanding information will value this information.

The Cold Hardy Bamboo

Almost any temperature zone can benefit from the tropical splendor of cold-tolerant Bamboo. Only the hardiest varieties of Bamboo, certain of which can withstand lows of -10°F, are included in our list. Our plants are not delicate glasshouse specimens or newly-planted Bamboo. We only offer hardy bamboo plants that are stabilized and ready to flourish in your landscape. In general, Bamboo grows quickly and is evergreen. Pachymorph and Leptomorph are two of their ilk.

Leptomorph bamboos spread quickly and have monopodial flowing rhizomes. They must be controlled since, if not, they are known to grow wildly and deliberately. The term “pachymorph” describes Bamboo with sympodial clumping roots. A pachymorphic or clumping bamboo variation that can withstand freezing temperatures is the genus Fargesia.

Native Fargesia bamboo species can be found in the understory of pine trees and streams in the highlands of China. There were just a few species of Fargesia available up until recently. F. nitida & F. murieliae both blossomed before passing away five years later.

Best Bamboo Plant For Cold Climate

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Several bamboo species may thrive in cooler regions, although Bamboo is often associated with tropical environments. These bamboo species can survive in colder climates because they have been modified to endure subfreezing temperatures. The following bamboo species are thought to thrive in colder climates.

Giant Timber

Another popular type is Giant Timber Bamboo, prized for its ability to withstand freezing temperatures and serve as a privacy screen. Giant Timber Bamboo may grow as tall as 55 feet and withstand temperatures as low as 22 degrees Fahrenheit. This bamboo type is well known as the well-known Timber bamboo, which has been utilized around Disney World. It has a lovely deep shade of green and straight culms with rather short branches.


Because it can survive in temperatures as low as 20 degrees Fahrenheit, Seabreeze bamboo, also known as Bambusa Malingensis, is frequently chosen for landscaping projects. The privacy-screening and cold-resistant properties of Seabreeze Bamboo are its best-known features. Due to its numerous lateral branches & tall screening height, Seabreeze Bamboo has become one of the most common bamboo kinds for privacy screening and thrives in full sun to moderate shade.

Tropical Blue

Tropical Blue Bamboo (Bambusa Chungi) is an excellent showpiece and screening bamboo. The Tropical Blue Bamboo, which can grow up to 30 feet tall and withstand temperatures as low as 21 degrees Fahrenheit, is well known for its wax-coated culms, which have an attractive shade of blue. New shoots have a powdery white appearance. Undoubtedly among the most well-liked and attractive bamboos we have is this one.


Combined with its winter hardiness, which allows it to thrive in temperatures as low as 15 degrees Fahrenheit, Graceful Bamboo is a lovely addition to various landscapes. Graceful Bamboo is ideal for gardens, yards, and smaller spaces because of its tiny, tight appearance. Additionally, it can quickly build an over twenty-five-foot screen in a matter of years.

Yellow Groove

This particular kind of Bamboo is renowned for its exceptional ability to withstand low temperatures. This species can endure temperatures as low as -10°F (-23°C), rendering it appropriate for cultivation within the USDA hardiness zones ranging from 5 to 10. This particular bamboo species exhibits a clumping growth habit and has the potential to attain a vertical stature ranging from approximately twenty to thirty feet.

Fountain Bamboo

The Bamboo mentioned above exhibits a clumping growth habit and demonstrates high adaptability to colder climatic conditions. This particular organism can endure temperatures as low as -20°F (-29°C) & is deemed appropriate for regions classified under zones 5 to 9. Fountain bamboo generally attains a vertical stature ranging from 8 to 12 feet.

Kuma Bamboo

Kuma bamboo exhibits ground-covering characteristics and demonstrates resilience in cold climates. This particular species is well-suited for regions classified as zones 6 to 9, exhibiting the ability to withstand temperatures as low as -10°F (-23°C). The Bamboo in question is a low-lying variety that exhibits a wide distribution.

Temple Bamboo

The present species under consideration is a kind of Bamboo that can withstand low temperatures. This particular plant species is well-suited for regions classified within zones 6 to 10, exhibiting a notable tolerance towards temperatures as low as -10°F (-23°C). The temple bamboo species exhibits significant vertical growth, frequently attaining impressive heights ranging from thirty to forty feet.

Bisset Bamboo

Running Bamboo of the Phyllostachys Bissetii species is indigenous to China. It can grow up to twenty-five feet tall and form clumps as it matures. The nodes on the culms are usually spaced every 8 inches and typically around an inch thick. The Bisset bamboo has lance-shaped, 7-inch-long leaves that are dark green. It is well recognized for growing quickly, which makes it ideal for establishing a privacy screen or rapidly adding texture to your landscape.

If appropriate protection from the bitter winter weather is provided, this type of Bamboo can be grown outdoors in Alaska. Make sure to use plenty of organic materials, such as compost or manure, when planting this Bamboo in colder locations, such as Alaska. You should also extensively mulch around the plants once they have been established for many years. They will be protected from the harsh winter weather by doing this, ensuring their survival all year long!

Incense Bamboo

Incense bamboo, or Phyllostachys atrovaginata, is a species of Bamboo indigenous to Southeast Asia but may flourish in Alaska. The plant can grow up to twenty feet tall and forms tense bunches as it matures. Because of its strong stems, it is perfect for use as scaffolding or structural support for buildings. Additionally, it produces fragrant yellowish-white flowers that, when in bloom, have a pleasing incense-like aroma. Incense bamboo is a great addition to any garden and landscape design and thrives in damp soils with lots of sunlight.

Snow Bamboo

Due to its hardiness, the evergreen bamboo species known as snow bamboo (Phyllostachys nuda) has gained considerable popularity in cold climates. With culms growing to thirty feet tall and three inches in diameter, it is a bamboo that expands quickly. It has distinctively “snowy” looking medium green leaves with white streaks along the midribs & margins.

Although it likes damp environments, this species may endure moderate dryness once established. Although it grows best in full sun, snow bamboo may also be grown in partial shade. It may be required to contain this type of plant with barriers or by routinely mowing due to the strong rhizome expansion of this plant. If not, it might swiftly engulf yards and gardens! Snow bamboo is a fantastic decorative plant that enhances the attractiveness of any landscape all year long with adequate treatment and upkeep.

Water Bamboo

The environment of Alaska is ideal for the water bamboo Phyllostachys heteroclite ‘Purpurata.’ The plant features purple culms having yellow stripes and a 30-foot height. As an evergreen perennial, it prefers wet soil and full light. Summer watering & mulching are necessary for watering Bamboo to protect the roots from extreme temperatures. If not controlled, this clump-forming bamboo species can become invasive. Pruning may be required as the plant ages to maintain health and beauty.

Red Margin Bamboo

Red Margin Bamboo thrives in many climes, including Alaska. It matures into red-striped green shoots. Its 40-foot-tall arching culms make a great windbreak or privacy hedge. Red Margin Bamboo’s robust roots help reduce erosion. If the soil is moist, this Bamboo can grow in full sun. Use a high-nitrogen fertilizer like fish emulsion and manure tea twice yearly for good development. To promote growth, prune regularly.

Growing Bamboo Plants in the Cold Climate

A wide array of bamboo species is available for selection while considering the design of an oriental-themed garden within the northern regions of the United States, Canada, or Europe. Most species exhibit resilience in sub-zero Fahrenheit temperatures, provided the temperature does not exceed minus 20º or a similar threshold. Furthermore, in the event of an unusually strong cold snap, although the foliage may experience some damage, the root system is expected to remain resilient.

To enhance the cold resistance of Bamboo, it is advisable to apply an additional layer of dense mulch. In typical circumstances, Bamboo undergoes a self-mulching process as it sheds its leaves. However, in regions characterized by severe winter conditions, it becomes necessary to supplement the natural mulching process by applying a layer of bark, wood chips, or even pine needles with a minimum depth of a few inches. This practice facilitates the retention of moisture and warmth in the roots, promoting the emergence of vigorous new shoots during spring.

Tips to Grow Bamboo Plants in Cold Climates

Although Bamboo may thrive in various regions worldwide, most bamboo species are mainly native to warm climates. You must keep a few things in mind if you want to cultivate Bamboo successfully in a region where winter temperatures drop considerably lower than freezing. I’ve compiled a list of tips to enable you to cultivate Bamboo in your home with pride. It is fairly easy to execute and doesn’t take too long.

Verify Your Zone of Cold Hardiness

Before planting anything, a gardener should know the local weather conditions. The USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map was a helpful resource for determining the average yearly winter temperatures and which plants have the best chances of thriving. The cold, hardiness zones that bamboo plants can tolerate should often be disclosed when purchasing bamboo plants. If you need clarification on your zone, visit the USDA hardiness website & use the map or the search box provided to input your ZIP code.

Select the Appropriate Species

You must locate cold-hardy bamboo plants to grow Bamboo in cold locations. Some can grow in USDA cold-hardiness zone 4, while some very uncommon species can withstand winters as far north as USDA cold-hardiness zone 5.

Remember that not every species that can endure hard winters will act similarly. Some bamboo species may lose their leaves and behave as herbaceous perennials, meaning only the underground components survive the winter. In contrast, others may remain upright and continue functioning as they would in warmer regions. Ask the local bamboo farmers or vendors how their particular Bamboo behaves in your region.

Choose our Planting Location Wisely

People own Bamboo for various reasons, and it is very popular. It can serve as a decorative focal point for your yard and is also excellent for ground cover, hedging, privacy screens, and windbreaks. You must select the planting location that best suits your goals and what the bamboo needs for healthy growth, depending on how you want it to develop. Most of the time, it is preferable to select clumping Bamboo over running Bamboo if you intend to plant Bamboo close to your neighbor’s boundary to reduce the chance of it spreading too quickly in the wrong direction.

Consider the amount of sun the Bamboo you picked needs to grow. Some bamboos prefer full sun, while others prefer partial to full shade. Check to see whether there is anything to protect the Bamboo, at least during the winter, if you experience chilly, severe winds.

Prepare for Winter

In colder areas like Zone 5, summer maintenance of Bamboo is typically not a big issue because there is typically enough rain and sun for optimal development. Winter can be more challenging because of the cold, snow, wind, and frozen soil, which can all be stressful for bamboo plants. Although your Bamboo could survive the winter, it is best to avoid any winter damage to the plant to speed up its growth in the spring.

Although you could cover the Bamboo with miniature glasshouse tents if you wanted to, doing so would prevent rainfall from falling, necessitating watering. However, this is not required; if you choose to leave your Bamboo outside as is, don’t worry.

Mulch Liberally

To prevent the root zone from freezing during severely cold conditions, mulch the area around your bamboo plantings. Generally, a four to six inches layer for any mulching material is sufficient; however, in really harsh climates, go for a deeper covering. You can use mulch bought in stores or materials around your yard, such as hay, wood chips, pine needles, and grass cuttings.

During the first three years, when a plant is still established on your property and is most vulnerable, providing an extra mulching layer is crucial. Once established, most Bamboo can withstand winter without any issues because it has substantially more roots as well as rhizomes & is more naturally sheltered.

Protect From Wind

Protection from the wind is essential in regions with strong and chilly winds. You can achieve this by placing your bamboo culms on the ground and covering them with hay or straw bales. As an alternative, place Bamboo close to a wall, fence, or dense shrub that blocks the direction of the local wind.

Take Into Account Container Gardening

Growing Bamboo in containers is a fantastic option for northern farmers. Remember, the soil in pots will freeze more quickly and harder than ground soil, causing the roots to be colder & more susceptible to winter damage if you intend on growing Bamboo outdoors in containers. So why is using containers a wonderful idea?

They Can Be Moved! Relocate the plant-filled pots to a glasshouse, garage, or other building you have accessible when it gets near freezing. However, as Bamboo requires light just like any other plant, try transferring them to a place that is not entirely dark. If you are unable to move the containers inside, carefully wrap them. It can be used as long as the insulation material prevents the soil from freezing.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which Bamboo grows the quickest?

Some bamboo species can expand by more than 1 meter per day or 4 cm per hour. Nothing else grows more quickly. Phyllostachys reticulata & Phyllostachys adults Madake and Moso are two instances of Bamboo with such rapid growth.

What kind of climate is ideal for bamboo growth?

Although they prefer strong indirect light, bamboo plants can endure low light levels, albeit their growth rate would be slower. Ideal temperatures between 60 and 70 degrees are generally not an issue in homes or offices.

At what temperature can Bamboo endure the coldest?

Numerous cold-tolerant bamboo species can withstand bitter cold and snowy winters. Many species can survive in temperatures lower as -10 to -20 degrees Fahrenheit. Running Bamboo is typically seen as temperate, as opposed to tropical Bamboo, which clumps.

What variety of Bamboo is the strongest?

Guadua bamboo, regarded as the world’s strongest Bamboo, is employed in various architectural applications. It is frequently used in construction and engineered panels in South America.

Where should Bamboo be planted for best results?

Most bamboos flourish in a protected, sunny location. However, bamboos are available for almost any site. They can handle most soil types but prefer moist, fertile, and free-draining soil. Although they may survive in relatively poor soils, they cannot survive permanently in wet or dry circumstances.

Final Words

After comprehensive investigation and essential research, I have identified the bamboo species that primarily thrive in cold climates. These bamboos not only withstand the harsh conditions of colder climates but also offer distinctive beauty and useful advantages, such as erosion management, windbreaks, and privacy screens. Gardening enthusiasts in cold areas may take advantage of the beauty and charm these adaptable plants bring to their outdoor spaces by recognizing the particular requirements of each bamboo type and providing the proper maintenance.



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