Bamboos are spectacular plants, with bold upright canes that sway in the breeze and fluttering evergreen foliage. They add height, colour, texture, movement and drama, available in a range of sizes, to suit all garden styles. There are two main types – clump-formers (which usually stay in a tight clump) and runners (which have a tendency to spread).


The attractive canes come in every shade of green, as well as blue, black or golden yellow. Larger types can easily reach 5m (16ft) tall or more, while some dwarf bamboos don't get much beyond 30cm (1ft). The fluttering evergreen foliage dances in the breeze.


Most bamboos thrive in sun and fertile, moist soil that drains readily. Bamboos that are classed as ‘runners’ love to spread, while the clump-formers are usually happy to stay in a tight group.


Bamboos won't thrive in constantly waterlogged or very dry soil. When grown in containers they can suffer in cold, exposed sites during winter, and must not be left to dry out.

Did you know?

As new canes are produced every year, older ones can be harvested to provide home-grown supports for climbing plants.

Growing guide

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