10 Bamboo Species For Full Sun

In the natural world, bamboo grows in different climates. Certain species require more sunlight than others. This means while some varieties thrive in direct sun, others flourish in partial shade.

Are you looking for bamboo varieties that can thrive in sunny areas? Bamboo varieties that like direct sun include Seabreeze Bamboo, Bambusa oldhamii, Fargesia murielae, and Sasa hayatae. These aren’t the only ones but the most common species that you can purchase.

To help you best choose the bamboo that best suits your needs, we’ve compiled this article. If you want the full scoop of sun-loving bamboo, along with its unique qualities, keep reading!

Can all bamboo grow in full sun?

Not all bamboo is adapted for sunny areas. Natural habitat is one factor that determines where species can grow. Some bamboo varieties grow in the forest understory, so they don’t receive many hours of sunlight. So you wouldn’t want to plant them in a super sunny spot in your yard.

Tall stems of Phyllostachys angusta with the text: 10 Bamboo Species for full sun

The age of the plant is another factor that determines how much direct sun can be tolerated. Younger bamboo may not withstand intense heat for a very long time. As they get older, they may adapt to sunny areas, depending on the species.

Considering there are over 1,000 species of bamboo, it’s normal to have plants that may have preferences for different growing conditions. Whether you want to create a beautiful privacy screen or establish pathways outside, the following species are great options.

Bambusa malingensis plants growing along a fence
Bambusa malingensis

1. Bambusa malingensis (Seabreeze Bamboo)

  • Type: Clumping
  • Height: 30-35 ft (9-11 m)
  • Stem diameter: 2.5 in (6 cm)
  • USDA zones: 8-11 
  • Hardiness: 15°F (-9°C)
  • Soil: Moist, well draining
  • Watering: Regular, be careful to not overwater

Seabreeze Bamboo, a clumping species that originated in China, is an outstanding variety with attractive qualities.

This species is ideal for creating shade in sunny areas. It’s also a cold-hardy plant that is drought-tolerant and wind-resistant.

This fast-growing, gorgeous bamboo does best in direct sun, but it can also thrive in shade. Its ability to form a quick hedge and tolerate salt air makes it useful in coastal areas.

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

2. Bambusa oldhamii (Giant Timber Bamboo)

  • Type: Clumping
  • Height: 40-65 ft (12-20 m)
  • Stem diameter: 4 in (10 cm)
  • USDA zones: 8-11
  • Hardiness: 20°F (-6°C)
  • Soil: Moist, well-draining, sandy, loamy, clay
  • Watering: Regular

Bambusa oldhamii is a tall, non-invasive species of bamboo with fresh green foliage and culms. This bamboo enjoys full sun and is perfect for creating shade.

If you are seeking a bamboo option that will look amazing and that is easy to care for, this is the species for you. Bambusa oldhamii is enormous and does not need much maintenance at all.

The culms are straight and upright, with short branches. It’s commonly used for privacy screens and windbreaks on large properties.

Fargesia murielae planted in a sunny spot in the garden
Fargesia murielae (Umbrella Bamboo)

3. Fargesia murielae (Umbrella Bamboo)

  • Type: Clumping
  • Height: 10-14 ft (3-4 m)
  • Stem diameter: 0.5 in(1.25 cm)
  • USDA zones: 5-9
  • Hardiness: -20°F (-29°C)
  • Soil: Moisture-retentive, clay, loamy
  • Watering: High

Fargesia murielae is a non-invasive, clumping species that do great in cold climates. Its ability to withstand temperatures as low as -20°F makes Umbrella Bamboo known as the cold-hardiest of all bamboo.

While it can thrive in direct sun, it does best in shade. It’s drought-tolerant, wind-resistant, and a solid choice for creating hedges. Umbrella Bamboo adds beauty to any garden.

This excellent variety forms a dense clump of striking, reddish-brown culms and has an outstanding appearance that you’ll cherish.

Young Sasa hayatae plants planted in-ground in full sun
Sasa hayatae (Photo source: BambooWeb)

4. Sasa hayatae (Broadleaf Bamboo)

  • Type: Running
  • Height: 1.5-3 ft (0.5-1 m)
  • Stem diameter: 0.5 inches (1 cm)
  • USDA zones: 5-10
  • Hardiness: 10°F (-23°C)
  • Soil: Average, well-draining, sandy, loamy, clay
  • Watering: Regular

Sasa hyatae is a dwarf, broadleaf bamboo. Its dark green leaves have margins, are glossy on the upper surface, and have fine hairs on the underside.

In the winter months, its leaves emerge with white/cream margins. Sasa hayatae is also a running bamboo. That means its roots are rhizomes, enabling this plant to spread and making it quite invasive.

Sasa hayatae is quite hardy and is wonderful as a ground cover plant. It’s also stunningly gorgeous as an evergreen low hedge.

Broadleaf Bamboo loves moist, fertile, well-draining soils and requires just a little maintenance to blossom. You’ll want to use a root barrier to restrict its spread.

Thin yellow culms of the Golden Vivax sun-loving bamboo
Golden Vivax

5. Phyllostachys vivax aureocaulis (Golden Vivax Bamboo)

  • Type: Running
  • Height: 40-70 ft (12-21 m)
  • Stem diameter: 3-5 in (7-13 cm) 
  • USDA zones: 6-10
  • Hardiness: -5°F (-20°C)
  • Soil: Loamy
  • Watering: Regular

Phyllostachys vivax aureocaulis is among the most ornamental bamboos in the tall to giant growing category. It’s very hardy and perfect for extreme climates. This is a quick-growing timber bamboo. Golden Vivax has beautiful large culms that are quite attractive and can be used for aesthetic purposes. Its shoots, which emerge in mid-to-late May, are edible.

This bamboo can attain a large diameter and size in a small area, but it can be contained.

Phyllostachys Nuda - Bamboo stems with black ring and white powdery ring below
Phyllostachys nuda

6. Phyllostachys nuda

  • Type: Running
  • Height: 34 ft (10.3 m)
  • Stem diameter: 1-2 in (2.5-5 cm)
  • USDA zones: 5-10
  • Hardiness: −10°F (-23°C)
  • Soil: Moist, well-draining, lots of organic material
  • Watering: Regular

Phyllostachys nuda is among the cold hardiest and finest bamboo. This species is typically found in the provinces of Taiwan and China. It has strong dark green canes and small beautiful leaves. The new shoots are edible and extremely tasty.

It’s a perfect choice for harsh climates where you need to create shade. This bamboo is recommended for extreme environments. Phyllostachys nuda can survive even in temperatures that dip down to -10°F (-23.3°C) as long as it’s well established and well mulched.

Node of the Chimonobambusa quadrangularis bamboo species that loves full sun
Chimonobambusa quadrangularis (Photo source: BambooWeb)

7. Chimonobambusa quadrangularis (Square Stem Bamboo)

  • Type: Running
  • Height: 10-25 ft (3-8 m)
  • Stem diameter: 1.5 in (4 cm)
  • USDA zones: 8-9
  • Hardiness: 15°F (-10°C)
  • Soil: Moist, well-draining
  • Watering: Regular

This bamboo is popular for its unique qualities. Its culms have flat sides, forming a rounded square! These culms have large nodes and grow in an upright form. Its beautiful dark green foliage, arranged in tiers, creates an umbrella-like shape.

The cane walls are thick and strong. This is one of the best bamboos for crafts and furniture construction. Plants establish quickly and spread great distances. This species is best kept in large containers if you don’t want to install a bamboo barrier around an in-ground plant.

This bamboo species grows best in full sun where its leaves turn yellow. It requires frequent watering as it’s very sensitive to dry conditions.

Tall stems of Phyllostachys angusta
Phyllostachys angusta

8. Phyllostachys angusta (Stone Bamboo)

  • Type: Running
  • Height: 20-25 ft (3-8 m)
  • Stem diameter: 1.5 in (4 cm)
  • USDA zones: 6-10
  • Hardiness: -5°F (-20°C)
  • Soil: Moist, well-draining
  • Watering: Low

Just as its name implies, Stone Bamboo is a solid, rare species, with exceptionally strong culms and thick walls. The culms are used in China to make fine furniture and crafts.

The edible shoots emerge a cream color with black spots that fall away to reveal the perfectly straight olive green culms. Stone Bamboo is one of the shortest of the Phyllostachys genus. It has a moderate to fast growth rate.

Phyllostachys angusta has dark green culms that are tightly spaced together. It is extremely hardy in colder climates and is one of the first species of the Phyllostachys genus to shoot in the spring.

Young Indocalamus hamadae plant planted in full sun
Indocalamus hamadae (Photo source: BambooWeb)

9. Indocalamus hamadae

  • Type: Running
  • Height: 5-15 ft (1.5-4.5 m)
  • Stem diameter: 4 in (10 cm)
  • USDA zones: 6-9
  • Hardiness: -5°F (-20°C)
  • Soil: Well-draining
  • Watering: Average

Indocalamus hamadae is one of the largest-leafed bamboos that come from Japan. It’s said to grow up to 15 feet tall, with leaves up to two feet long. This species can add a dramatic tropical statement to any space. They can even adapt to grow indoors!

The culms of this bamboo are thick and the leaves are slightly shorter. It’s a perfect tropical border or a woodland planting.

Internodes of the Phyllostachys nigra are yellow with a black vertical stripe
Phyllostachys nigra (Photo source: BambooWeb)

10. Phyllostachys nigra ‘megurochiku’ (Black Stripe Bamboo)

  • Type: Running
  • Height: 30-45 ft (11-14 m)
  • Stem diameter: 3.0-3.5 in (7.5-9 cm)
  • USDA zones: 7-10
  • Hardiness: 0°F (-20 C°)
  • Soil: Moist, well-draining, loamy
  • Watering: Average

Megurochiku is an exceptionally strong bamboo that remains upright for most of its life. It has olive-green culms with black stripes running through the sulcus. This hardy, drought-resistant, bamboo species is native to Japan.

Its slow growth rate tends to produce erect canes that can reach 30 feet or more if the right conditions are provided. This bamboo is perfect for creating shade because of its extensive dark green foliage and its many culms that offer great privacy.

Which of these bamboos appeal most to you? Have you chosen a sun-loving bamboo species? Tell us your pick!

Woman (Natalie) and man (James) in front of bamboo
About the Author: Natalie Schneider

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