General gardening topics

Top 6 best bamboo for containers and pots

Last updated on May 5th, 2022

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If you are a fan of bamboo and looking for a way to plant in a smaller, contained fashion, you can find varieties that can be happily grown in containers. Bamboo roots as you probably know can break even the strongest pots, so we would recommend trying to plant them in a good strong pot, metal containers are perfect long term and remember to drill plenty of drainage holes if needed and crockery in the bottom.

In terms of compost, bamboo, like lots of nourishment, we this in mind get yourself a bag of potting compost and mix this with a bag of soil improver because your bamboo will appreciate it, and remember to water regularly because bamboo plants will begin to show signs of being dry very quickly. Now that we have what to plant it in sorted, let’s look at some of the best bamboos for pots starting with the Fargesia nitida.

The Best Bamboo for Containers

  1. Fargesia nitida (Chinese fountain bamboo)
  2. Phyllostachys nigra (Black bamboo)
  3. Fargesia murieliae ‘Rufa’ (Umbrella bamboo)
  4. Phyllostachys vivax Aureocaulis (Golden chinese timber bamboo)
  5. Phyllostachys flexuosa (Sinuate bamboo)
  6. Semiarundinaria fastuosa (Narihira bamboo)

1. Fargesia nitida – Chinese Fountain Bamboo

Otherwise known as the blue fountain bamboo, this type of bamboo reaches between 3-4 metres at its maximum height so needs a large heavy pot to keep it upright.

Otherwise known as the Chinese Fountain bamboo, this type of bamboo reaches between 3-4 metres at its maximum height so needs a large heavy pot to keep it upright. It differs from other varieties because it forms in an umbrella shape. It is a very hardy bamboo variety with leaves that take on an iridescence, further adding to the appeal of the plant.

It will produce a large umbrella of tall, thin canes with leaves that lean outwards and upwards. Although it can be grown in exposed sites we recommend (if in pots) growing it in sheltered locations to prevent them from getting blown over. It also grows well in full sun or partial shade. It will benefit from being fed monthly during the growing season with a balanced fertiliser.

Fargesia nitida 'Black Pearl' x 1 Clump
  • Evergreen
  • Hardy
  • Grown with care by the Amazon Plant Specialist
  • Please unpack as soon as possible after delivery
  • Plant size varies according to the time of year. We always dispatch the largest plant available on the nursery.

2. Phyllostachys nigra – Black Bamboo

This black bamboo is a stunning specimen with jet black mature stems and green leaves, as well as delightfully colourful canes that are rife with black and yellow.

This black bamboo is a stunning specimen that has jet black mature stems and green leaves, as well as delightfully colourful canes that are rife with black and yellow. The Phyllostachys is one of the most sought after varieties, being that can reach up to 4 metres in height it is another variety that needs a large heavy pot.

There is always delightful contrast of the dark and light colours, not just on the canes but on the leaves too. Although it does well in poorer soils we still recommend a mixture of potting compost and soil improver. We particularly like that it grows in tight clusters. For decorative woodworking, these canes can be dried and integrated into the home. Don’t forget that this variety needs to be planted in a sheltered position, even for those who don’t grow it in a pot.

Phyllostachys Nigra Black Bamboo - Perfect for Screening 5L Pot 60-80cm Tall
  • Black bamboo is slow growing and so much easier to manage than other speedy invasive varieties, especially when grown in a large container.
  • A stunning variety, the canes turn a rich, coffee-black colour after only a year creating a really unique and impactful exotic looking plant.
  • It will undoubtedly provide a wonderful spectacle and a great centrepiece but is ideal for use as screening or hedging, particularly around patios or BBQ areas.
  • Very hardy, it needs no maintenance or pruning, so it is perfect for busy gardeners.
  • Supplied as a mature plant approx. 80-100cm tall in a 5L pot ready for planting out.

3. Fargesia murieliae ‘Rufa’ – Umbrella Bamboo

This evergreen bamboo is a fully hardy bamboo that enjoys the partial shade. It does well in all soil types and pH levels but stick to what we have advised when growing in pots with a good mix of potting compost and soil improver.

This evergreen bamboo is fully hardy and enjoys partially shaded sites. It does well in all soil types and pH levels, however, stick to what we have advised when growing them in pots, using a good mix of potting compost and soil improver. It’s also ideal for planting in large troughs and used as a hedge or screen. If you are looking for something unique, this variety has shrimp pink canes when producing new growth that matures to yellow and narrow green leaves atop. 

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4. Phyllostachys vivax ‘Aureocaulis’ – Golden Chinese Timber Bamboo

If you are looking for an illuminating piece of sunshine in your garden, you want to grow this bamboo. With its bright golden yellow canes, lined with hints of green stripes, each cane grows up to 8 metres tall and 15cm wide. This is truly a majestic bamboo that offers culms dotted with green strips of various thicknesses and it will enjoy the sunniest part of your garden. 

You Garden - Phyllostachys aureosulcata 'Spectabilis' (Yellow Bamboo) - Tall, Evergreen Plant in 5L Pot, Ready to Plant Out in UK Gardens
  • TALL AND ATTRACTIVE - You Garden's Phyllostachys aureosulcata 'Spectabilis' is an eye-catching, evergreen plant with slender yellow stems and green leaves. It grows to an eventual height of 8m, adding vertical interest to your garden
  • INSTANT IMPACT - This bamboo plant comes already potted in a 5L container, standing at approximately 125-150cm tall, but may be taller on arrival. It provides an instant display and can be placed in your garden or on the patio for immediate impact
  • IDEAL FOR SCREENING - As the plant establishes, it forms clumps, making it perfect for screening or dividing areas in your garden. Create privacy or separate different sections of your garden with this versatile bamboo
  • MOVEMENT AND INTEREST - Planted in pots on your patio, the Yellow Bamboo will sway and rustle in the breeze, adding movement and interest to your outdoor space. Enjoy the soothing sound and visual appeal
  • LOW MAINTENANCE - This bamboo variety is totally hardy and requires little care. Just ensure it is well-watered in summer and protected from wind scorch. Divide the plant every couple of years for optimal growth

5. Phyllostachys flexuosa – Sinuate Bamboo

This spring beauty will produce canes upwards of 10cm in thickness and heights of 4 metres. The canes are smaller than other bamboo varieties and take on a yellow-reddish maroon colour before turning almost black. It produces yellow and yellow-green culms and does benefit from cutting back after flowering.

6. Semiarundinaria fastuosa – Narihira Bamboo

This green temple bamboo is also known as Narihira bamboo is one of the largest bamboos but they can be somewhat controlled when grown in pots.

This green temple bamboo is also known as Narihira bamboo and is one of the largest bamboos, although they can be somewhat controlled when grown in pots. With a height upwards of 10 metres, this can be usually kept to a more manageable 4 metres in containers. It grows well in shade or sun and brings to the table dark green canes and leaves. It will spread quickly too, resulting in short branches that form in a columnar design that looks amazing in a pot. If you grow this bamboo, be sure to prune it and thin it regularly so that it doesn’t grow out of control. 

With each of these varieties listed above, you can contain the growth with regular pruning and thinning. While there are maximum heights listed for these, it will take them upwards of 10-15 years to reach that point and they are usually very restricted when grown in pots anyway. In the meantime, you can cut them back and maintain the shape/size that you want.

Last update on 2024-04-08 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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1 Comment

  1. Lucy Harwood

    Can I grow potted bamboo indoors? Our patio doors gave east so get very warm in the morning. I am looking for a tall indoor plant to have in a pot (about 5’ tall).

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