Tip of the Week – Focus on Bamboo


Bambusa oldhamii

Bambusa oldhamii

Bamboos are some of the fastest growing plants in the world…one recorded at 3cm per hour!! They are of immense economic importancein Asia for centuries not only as an ornamental but as a source of food (Bamboo shoots) and as a construction material. Bamboos grow on rhizomes so if you cut it down it will reshoot.


There are many species of Bamboo from the coldest mountains to tropical warmth and humidity. They are all members of the Grass Family Poacaea and occur naturally in every continent on earth (including Australia) with the exception of Europe.


Flowering is very infrequent eg could be on a 30-120 year cycle!! When they do flower seeds are plentiful and often fertile but will not necessarily produce true to form so there will be new cultivars.


Culms are the upright stems and  together with the luxuriant foliage provide the beauty, majesty and peace  these plants can exude. The culms can be green, silver, gold or black and can have green and or white markings as well. The culms are divided into segments with a horizontal barrier holding each segment together. In wet places like New Guinea Rainforest each culm segment holds water & you can usually get a good drink from the culms!!


The foliage also varies in length and width and is always shades of green. Usually with luxuriant appeal.


Bamboos can grow up to 30m with a culm diameter to 20cm.The smallest are only a few cm tall. Most Bamboos in cultivation are from 4.5m Dwarf) to 12m.

Clumping or Running

Nearly all Bamboos on the market are clumping. The clumps can keep expanding if you let it but are easy to control by kicking off the new shoots which come from the underground rhizome. Running Bamboo is difficult to control unless contained.


Most tropical Bamboos will not tolerate temperatures around freezing point (0oC) while the temperate Bamboos will take temperatures down to -30oC!!

Care & Soils

Very resilient to soil types but like all plants need nutrients to grow so give a good all round fertiliser balanced in NPK. Will grow better with good moisture but take dry conditions.


Not easily propagated but if you cut off a couple of culms and place in a 140-200mm pot with potting mix you might be lucky enough to get a 30% strike rate. Might also strike laying in running water.

Sending Bamboo

When we send Bamboo we cut it back ..it is basically the root stock you are buying. It will quickly reshoot.


Start Shopping Button cart