What bamboo grow in shade?

There are many kinds of bamboo plants. Some prefer shade whereas others part-shade and sun. To answer the question Does Bamboo Grow in Shade? 

We list 6 bamboos that can grow in shade: 3 are running bamboos whereas the other 3 are clumping. 

Follow the links to find out more about the growth requirements and special features of each bamboo in our database.

Six bamboos to grow in shaded sites

There are many bamboos that also prefer shaded sites or undercovers. They range in size and colour. 

Let’s take a look at the 6 bamboos you can grow in the shaded sites.

what bamboo grow in shade

  • 1) Phyllostachys Nuda Bamboo Features
  • 2) Fishpole Bamboo Phyllostachys aurea
  • 3) Phyllostachys Humilis Scottish Bamboo Plants
  • 4) Fargesia papyrifera Blue Dragon
  • 5) Fargesia nitida Pillar fountain bamboo
  • 6) Fargesia murielae Simba Umbrella Bamboo

Bamboo plants for shade and part-shade

The 6 bamboos will tolerate densely shaded sites. For example, under trees and wall covers or planted as pot plants for indoor areas. 

At gardenbambooplants.com, we list nearly 100 bamboos that grow well in the UK. 

This list is growing as we add more bamboo plants that thrive in the UK to it. 

Many home and garden retailers in the UK sell these 6 bamboo plants. 

We recommend checking the renowned UK retailers listed here for your bamboo plants and supplies.

Can you grow bamboo plants in shade - here are 6 bamboo plants that you can grow in shade.

What running bamboos grow in shade?

The running bamboos are an invasive variety because they have running rhizomes that spread along the ground. It is important to use a root barrier before growing them.
Warning: The running bamboo plants are invasive. 

Alternatively, grow them in pots to stop the bamboo from spreading in the garden

Always use a bamboo barrier or large heavy-duty pots to grow them.

Phyllostachys Bamboo UK GBP

Can bamboo grow in shade?

Bamboo can grow in shade. The bamboos listed above are some that you can grow in shaded areas or under covers. 

One of the peculiar things about bamboo plants is that there are many varieties. Some are running, and others are clumping. 

From the 6 bamboo plants that you can grow in shade, we put them into running and clumping to make it easy to find what you want.

What clumping bamboos grow in shade?

The clumping bamboos have rhizomes that tend to form clump clusters. That means that they do not spread, instead, the clumpers will expand around the base in time. 

There is no need to worry about spreading, but you may have to prune or thin out the culms to keep them in shape.

Here is a collection of clumping bamboo plants that you can grow in the UK, some of them have been awarded the prestigious RHS awards.

fargesia nitida pillar fountain chinese bamboo

Sunlight is important for bamboo plants

Like other plants, sunlight is important for bamboo plants. 

Many of these plants grow in the tropical and sub-tropical undercovers and are tolerant to shade. You can grow the bamboos in shaded areas in the UK

Here are some points to note when growing bamboo in shaded sites, where there is a lack of sunlight. 

Positives: Bamboos will grow in shades and tend to have the following positive features.
Negatives: Bamboos that grow in shades tend to have the following negative features.
  • Leaves turn yellow and curl.
  • Browning of culms.
  • Thin leaves and culms.
  • Produce fewer shoots as the plants mature.
  • Less hardy in winter due to thin leaves and culms.

What to do to address the ‘negatives’?

As mentioned, bamboos are tolerant plants, they can grow in shaded areas. 

Apart from the need for sunlight, other factors can exacerbate the problems of growing bamboo in the shade. 

For your plants to do well in shade, ensure that the soil is nutrient-rich and well aerated. Prune and thin the old culms. Add mulch to conserve moisture and improve soil aeration.

Where necessary, add the NPK fertilisers or any slow-release fertilisers rich in nitrogen, potassium and phosphorus. 

 We covered the best practices for growing bamboo plants in this article – Bamboo Care and Maintenance Guide.

How fast does bamboo grow in the UK?

The bamboo plants grow very quickly. But how fast do they grow? 

We measured the rate of growth of Phyllostachys aureosulcata spectabilis and found out that it grew at a rate of 1.43cm per day. 

This is how fast bamboo grows in a non-native environment. 

 To put it in perspective, new shoots that grow in Spring will reach a height of 2 metres by summer in the UK. 

Check out the video showing the growth rate of the bamboo plants.


Bamboos can grow in shades. You must choose the bamboo that tolerates shades or part-shaded sites. 

 The 6 bamboos in this article will thrive in shaded areas in the UK. 

Leave a comment and let us know about your choice of bamboo. 

Follow us on YouTube Garden Bamboo Plants to see what we are up to in the Bamboo Garden.

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