Types of Clumping Bamboo

Clumping Bamboo

If you’re looking for a fast-growing plant that can act as a tall screen or barrier, then you may have considered clumping bamboo. This type of bamboo has its name due to its tendency to clump together, rather than spreading out (like the running varieties). 

Want to learn more about clumping bamboo plants and the different types available? Read on! 

What is clumping bamboo?

As mentioned, clumping bamboo is bamboo that clumps together. Clumping bamboo is non-invasive, and features a bunch of poles “clumping” together to form the one round plant. This non-invasive bamboo plant can be used for privacy, or as an eye-catching feature plant for your garden.

Types of clumping bamboo

There are several different types of clumping bamboo to choose from. To narrow down your choice, think about how high and wide you wish your bamboo to grow when it’s fully matured. Some of the varieties of clumping bamboo are as follows: 

Slender weavers bamboo

One popular variety of clumping bamboo is slender weavers. This plant has slender, light green or yellow poles with rich green foliage growing high off the ground. Its tight clumping means it can work great as a screen for privacy. This variety tends to be pretty tall at its mature height, growing up to around 6 or 7 metres high, so keep this in mind when picking a planting location. Slender weavers can be grown in either full sun or partial shade and are tolerant of frost. Established slender weavers are drought-tolerant, and the plant needs free-draining soil to be at its best.

Chinese dwarf bamboo

Those looking for a denser clumping bamboo variety might be interested in Chinese dwarf bamboo. This bushy clumping bamboo makes for a great privacy screen or barrier and can grow as tall as 8 metres if left untrimmed! Chinese dwarf bamboo likes full sun or partial shade, and are both drought and frost tolerant. Much like Slender weavers, they need well-drained soil. These plants can also be grown in a pot for an easily-movable feature!

Ghost bamboo

This elegant variety of clumping bamboo has poles that are pale green and covered in white powder. As they mature, these culms turn light green or yellow, making a stunning variety of colours coming from established plants. These plants can grow up to a whopping 12 metres if left untrimmed but can be kept at a more appropriate height with regular trimming (if desired). Once established, ghost bamboo is tolerant of both frost and drought. These plants tend to have tall, exposed poles, with foliage beginning to grow high above the ground. 

Timor black bamboo

Are you looking for an extra-unique, eye-catching variety of bamboo to be the centrepiece of your garden design? Take a look at the Timor black variety. This plant has black, shiny culms that contrast its bright green leaves. These poles start out green and mature into their black colour over time. The Timor black’s stunning look makes it ideal as a feature plant for a garden. This variety is also tolerant to a little bit of frost. It typically reaches heights of 10 to 12 metres tall and is tolerant to drought once it becomes established. Just keep in mind that Timor black does not like to be grown in pots, and should be grown directly in a garden.

China gold bamboo

China gold has pretty golden yellow poles with green leaves. This variety of clumping bamboo tends to top out a bit shorter than many other varieties, only growing to around 6 to 8 metres at their highest. This plant can reach full height in as little as three years, allowing you to create fast screening for an area. They need to be watered well when they are newly planted but settle into being drought tolerant once they have become established. These plants are low maintenance, and their bushy tops can make them look gorgeous either as a standalone feature or in a screening row.

Tips for growing clumping bamboo

While each variety of clumping bamboo can have different individual needs, there are some general tips that you can apply to planting and caring for your clumping bamboo, no matter the type. 

Don’t leave the plant hanging around too long

Once you have picked up your new bamboo from your local nursery or had it delivered from an online store, try not to wait too long to plant it! Ideally, you should plant the bamboo in its desired location straight away. If this isn’t possible, place the plant in a spot with a little bit of shade and water them well. One way to ensure your bamboo can be planted quickly is to prepare the area you wish to plant them in ahead of time.

Plant in well-drained soil

Bamboo likes to be in soil that drains well. Be sure to avoid growing bamboo in a spot that gets bogged down by rainwater or struggles to drain. Bamboo plants are okay with water, as long as they’re in a spot that lets the water drain away. 

Leave the leaves alone

Resist the urge to rake up any leaves that shed and fall to the base of the plant. This can help protect the roots of the plant. When these leaves decompose, they also add nutrients back into the soil for the bamboo to absorb.

Learn about the needs of your specific variety

Once you have chosen the clumping bamboo variety you wish to plant, do a little bit of research about the features and needs of the plant. Each type of bamboo can differ regarding its requirements for healthy growth, and finding out the relevant information can help you to meet your plant’s needs!


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