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What Bamboo Plants Grow Well In Melbourne?

Bamboo plants are widely used for landscaping, screening, and hedges all around Melbourne. So it’s almost impossible not to fall in love with these beautiful, impressive plants. While it may seem so easy to purchase and grow just about any species of bamboo, not all will give you the results you want or thrive in Melbourne’s unique climate.

If you do not carefully select a suitable species for your climate, you will likely end up with weak, diseased bamboo or even worse: an empty garden. Melbourne has a uniquely warm and temperate climate that best suits certain species including Giant Timber Bamboo, Slender Weavers Bamboo, and Himalayan Weeping Bamboo.

These (and a few others) are warm-climate species that can be used for both landscaping and screening. In this article, you’ll find out which bamboo species have been proven to thrive in Melbourne. If you intend to grow elegant, healthy bamboo plants in your garden, read below to discover the best bamboo species for you!

Best bamboo species for Melbourne

Melbourne’s climate does not suit all bamboo species equally. In fact, even species that do well in Queensland and New South Wales don’t always thrive in Melbourne or other parts of Victoria. Due to Melbourne’s warm climate and high rainfall, some of these species end up suffering from pests and diseases.

To help you out, we’ve created a list of the best bamboo species for Melbourne’s unique climate. These species can be grown in pots, planters, or simply used as hedges. We hope you’ll find the perfect one for you!

Lower part of the green stems of bambusa oldhamii
Bambusa oldhamii (Photo source: Flicker)

Bambusa oldhamii (Giant Timber Bamboo)

  • Type: Clumping
  • Height: 12-20m (40-65 ft)
  • Stem diameter: 10cm (4 in)
  • Hardiness: -6 °C (20 °F)
  • Soil: Moist, well-draining, sandy, loamy, clay
  • Watering: Regularly

This is an incredibly tall, non-invasive bamboo species with upright culms. It grows best in full sun and forms dense clumps suitable for windbreaks. If you are looking for an amazing bamboo that creates a stunning privacy screen or windbreak in Melbourne, this giant bamboo is an ideal choice.

Giant Timber Bamboo can also be used as a stand-alone piece. Its tall stems from relatively short branches so it is sure to make a beautiful clump. This bamboo is easy to grow, doesn’t require much maintenance, and is quick-growing and hardy.

Giant Timber Bamboo can get up to 20 meters tall in tropical regions but tends to remain a little shorter in other regions, including Melbourne. It’s a very large grower that spreads up to 3m, so make sure to plant it in a suitable location, and contain it if necessary.

Slender tall culms of the Bambusa textilis variety with green foliage
Bambusa textilis weavers bamboo (Photo source: Wikicommons)

Bambusa textilis var. gracilis (Slender Weavers Bamboo)

  • Type: Clumping
  • Height: 6-9 m (20-30 ft)
  • Stem diameter: 3 cm (1.2 in)
  • Hardiness: -12 °C (10 °F)
  • Soil: Moist, well-draining
  • Watering: Regularly

If you are looking to achieve a quick and impressive privacy screen, this is the bamboo for you! It is a quick-growing species with smooth, attractive culms and lush green leaves. Slender Weavers Bamboo is hardy, elegant, and slender.

Weavers Bamboo is one of the most popular non-invasive clumping bamboo varieties in Melbourne, Australia since it is low-maintenance. This impressive bamboo has a very tight clump and usually gets up to 4-6 meters tall in Melbourne. As with most bamboos, it requires enough space to grow and will not obtain its full height if planted in a small area.

Closer view of new culms
Dendrocalamus minor (Photo source: Bambooweb)

Dendrocalamus minor var. amoenus (White Ghost Bamboo)

  • Type: Clumping
  • Height: 8-10 m (26-32 ft)
  • Stem diameter: 5 cm (2 in)
  • Hardiness: -5°C (23 °F)
  • Soil: Moist, well-draining
  • Watering: Regularly

You can add a pop of color and texture to your garden with this beautiful bamboo! White Ghost Bamboo has large, glossy leaves that give a very tropical look and feel. It is one of the most popular non-invasive clumping bamboo varieties in Melbourne.

White Ghost Bamboo is drought-tolerant and can withstand cold and frost in low wind conditions. Its lime-green culms have dark-green stripes and are covered in white powder from which it earned its name. This remarkable bamboo has an upright growth habit and is widely grown as an informal hedge or specimen plant.

Blue chungii bamboo with a blue hue on the stems
Blue Chungii Bamboo ( Photo source: Flickr)

Bambusa chungii (Tropical Blue Bamboo)

  • Type: Clumping
  • Height: 6-8 m (20-25 ft)
  • Stem diameter: 3.8 cm (1.5 in)
  • Hardiness: -6 °C (21 °F)
  • Soil: Moist, but well-drained
  • Watering: Average 

Bambusa chungii or Tropical Blue Bamboo is a medium-sized evergreen bamboo with upright culms covered in whitish powder. When mature, the culms of this bamboo appear blue.

This bamboo is a fantastic option for hedges and screens, but it also grows well in containers. This blue bamboo adds color and radiance to any garden! It does particularly well in Melbourne and is extremely fast-growing.

Bambusa chungii is very easy to grow and maintain. It is also cold-hardy and grows best in fertile, moist soils.

Close up view of bambusa multiplex
Bambusa multiplex ‘Alphonse Karr’ (Photo source: Bambooweb)

Bambusa multiplex ‘Alphonse Karr’ (Hedge Bamboo)

  • Type: Clumping
  • Height: 3-9 m (10-30 ft)
  • Stem diameter: 5 cm (2 in)
  • Hardiness: -5 to -10°C (23 to 14°F)
  • Soil: Fertile, moist
  • Watering: Regular

If yellow bamboo fascinates you, you may be interested in Alphonso Karr! It is an amazing species that you can easily grow in Melbourne. Due to its extraordinary ornamental features, it is a sought-after species sure to brighten up even the dullest of gardens.

Its attractive culms are bright golden-yellow with green stripes while the young shoots emerge tinged with pink. The gorgeous, glossy green leaves also occasionally display creamy stripes.

Alphonso Karr is adored for its versatility and adaptability, it’s drought-tolerant and can withstand almost any condition including salty and windy conditions. This amazing plant can serve as windbreaks, privacy screens, hedges, and can even be used as a container plant.

Drepanostachyum falcatum Tall and graceful weeping plant with lacy leaves
Drepanostachyum falcatum (Photo source: Bambooweb)

Drepanostachyum falcatum (Himalayan Weeping Bamboo)

  • Type: Clumping
  • Height: 3-4 m (10-13 ft)
  • Stem diameter: 2cm (0.8 in)
  • Hardiness: -9°C (15 °F)
  • Soil: Fertile, moist
  • Watering: Average

Himalayan Weeping Bamboo is a graceful, small-sized ornamental bamboo. It boasts massive sprays of feathery, slender, lance-shaped leaves which elegantly droop over multiple layers of culms, giving it a dense, distinctive look. The long, thin culms are unable to hold up the full weight of the large foliage so they tend to bend over, hence the name—Himalayan Weeping Bamboo.

This bamboo is easy to grow. It’s perfect for warm to cool regions and has proven to grow gracefully in regions of Australia including Sydney and Melbourne.

Himalayan Weeping Bamboo loves moist, sheltered conditions. It’s cold-hardy and drought-tolerant once established. This bamboo would no doubt enhance your garden with its graceful look.

Bambusa multiplex (Goldstripe Bamboo)

  • Type: Clumping
  • Height: 4-6m (15-20 ft)
  • Stem diameter: 3.8 cm (1.5 in)
  • Hardiness: -12°C (10 °F)
  • Soil: Fertile, moist
  • Watering: Moderate, regular watering

If you have a smaller garden but still want to grow a unique species of bamboo, Goldstripe Bamboo is an ideal choice for you! It is a small-sized, fast-growing, and upright bamboo. It has green culms with golden stripes.

This bamboo is also drought-tolerant, cold-hardy, and can also be grown in pots or troughs. It is one of the best screening solutions, especially for narrow spaces.

And unlike most multiplex bamboos, Goldstripe is resistant to sooty mold. It is easy to grow and look after. You’ll love the stunning look of its bushy foliage and quick-growing habit!

Which of these species of bamboo appeals the most to you? Have you found the perfect species to grow in or around Melbourne? Let us know in the comments!
Woman (Natalie) and man (James) in front of bamboo
About the Author: Natalie Schneider