Bamboo leaves being blown gently by the wind in a green nature forest

Bamboo Windbreaks – Best Bamboo Species for Windy Areas

Several plants can serve as windbreaks but bamboo is an exceptional choice. Bamboo windbreaks provide protection from strong winds in homes and fields.

However, not all species of bamboo can survive windy areas. Only a few species like Stone Bamboo, Chusquea gigantea, and Chinese Timber Bamboo are suited for highly windy areas.

These bamboos will make excellent windbreaks. To find your perfect choice, we’ve researched all bamboo species that grow well in windy areas.

Which bamboo species can serve as windbreaks?

The uniqueness of some bamboo species makes them suitable for windbreaks to reduce the wind’s force directed towards them. Not all species of bamboo have the requirements to serve as windbreaks. Certain features make them perfect for the job:

  1. Depth of the bamboo species’ roots. How deep the grove’s root system is will determine how well it can withstand wind.
  2. Flexibility is another factor that makes bamboo suitable for windbreaks. These bamboos are so flexible that they will bend when the wind is too strong and straighten back afterward.
  3. Lastly, the stability of bamboo plants, especially when they are matured. Their resilience offers a variety of functions to other plants around them.

Best bamboo species for windy areas

There are thousands of bamboo species, but most of these species are not suitable for bamboo windbreaks. Here are the few that are suitable.

Close up of phyllostachys angusta species
Phyllostachys angusta (Photo source: Bambooweb)

Phyllostachys angusta (Stone Bamboo)

  • Average height: 20-25 ft (5 m)
  • Diameter: 1.5 in (3.8 cm)
  • Hardness: -5°F (-20°C)
  • USDA zones: 7-10
  • Type: Running

Its name was derived from its features. It has rigid culms which are mostly used in China for furniture. This feature is what makes this suitable for bamboo windbreaks.

This species is not so common, but they are one of the best selections for windbreaks. Although stone bamboo is the shortest of the Phyllostachys genius, it can stand straight in snow.

Its unique culm sheaths are extremely beautiful. If you are searching for species for bamboo windbreaks, this may be a good one for you.

Phyllostachys bambusoides (White Crookstem)

Maximum height: 50 ft (15 m)
Maximum diameter: 5 in (12 cm)
Hardness: -3°F (-17°C)
USDA zones: 7-10
Type: Running

Just like its name implies, the White Crookstem is slightly bent or crooked at the lower part of the culms. This bamboo species is very tough despite this.

This bamboo is quite invasive. They aggressively spread around on the land.
So you might want to get a root barrier.

Learn more about root barriers here!

If you are searching for the bamboo species for windbreaks, this is a perfect choice for you. In addition to its toughness and strength, it is a very attractive bamboo plant. The leaves and sheaths are impressive with green and reddish colors.

Thick stems of Phyllostachys bambusoides
Phyllostachys bambusoides (Photo source: Bambooweb)

Phyllostachys bambusoides (Giant Japanese Timber Bamboo)

  • Maximum height: 70 ft (20 m)
  • Maximum diameter: 3.9 in (10 cm)
  • Hardness: 5°F (-15°C)
  • USDA zones: 7-10
  • Type: Running

This species of bamboo is one of the strongest out there, and it thrives in windy areas. It is mostly imported from China and used for construction in Japan.

Giant Japanese Timber Bamboo is planted as ornaments in some areas because of its attractiveness. It has twisted internodes at the lower section of it and is made of long fibers, making it suitable for basket weaving.

Colorful Phyllostachys decora shoots and young culms
Phyllostachys decora

Phyllostachys decora (Beautiful Bamboo)

  • Maximum height: 25-30 ft (7.6-9 m)
  • Diameter: 2.5 in (6 cm)
  • Hardiness: -10°F (-23°C)
  • USDA zones: 6-10
  • Type: Running

Phyllostachys decora is indeed a beautiful bamboo. It has straight and upright culms with black scarred internodes.

You’ll find the newer shoots fascinating and unique. They come in multicolored sheets that make them simply irresistible.

Not only is this bamboo beautiful, but it is also a very tolerant, flexible, and rigid plant. These features make it suitable for windbreaks. It can also survive low temperatures as well as drought.

If you are looking out for a rigid bamboo species that’ll bring beauty to your landscape and serve as a windbreak, Phyllostachys decora is a great choice for you.

Learn more about Phyllostachys decora here! ​

New leaf growth on Phyllostachys dulcis
Phyllostachys dulcis (Photo source: Bambooweb)

Phyllostachys dulcis (Sweet Shoot Bamboo)

  • Maximum height: 40 ft (12 m)
  • Diameter: 3 in (7.6 cm)
  • Hardiness: 5°F (-15°C)
  • USDA zones: 6-10
  • Type: Running

Sweet Shoot Bamboo is a quick-growing bamboo with very thick canes. Its evergreen drooping leaves and the white ring around the nodes make it very attractive. Another amazing feature of this bamboo is its sweet, tasty shoots.

Although Dulcis has quite a short height, it is one of the best bamboos for creating a small-scale bamboo grove. This species of bamboo can make large canes even in tight spaces.

These thick, large canes make Sweet Shoot Bamboo great for windbreaks. It’s a fast-growing bamboo though, so you want to get a root barrier to control the spread.

Phyllostachys elegans on left, Semiarundinaria fastuosa on right
Phyllostachys elegans (Photo source: Bambooweb)

Phyllostachys elegans (Elegant Bamboo)

  • Maximum height: 30 ft (9 m)
  • Maximum diameter: 2.5 in (5.7 cm)
  • Hardness: -3°F (-19°C)
  • USDA zones: 6-9
  • Type: Running

Elegant bamboo is mostly found in the tropical and subtropical parts of China. This species thrives well in various soils and sites, though they mostly prefer damp humus-rich soil.

Elegant Bamboo species have straight, woody culms with internodes that have thin walls. They have elongated rhizomes, which makes them invasive. They are an excellent option for windbreaks but ensure you find a system of controlling them.

Light green to yellow stems of the Chusquea gigantea bamboo species
Chusquea gigantea

Chusquea gigantea (Chusquea breviglumis)

  • Maximum height: 25 ft (15 m)
  • Maximum diameter: 1.5 in (5 cm)
  • Hardness: 0°F (-18°C)
  • USDA zones: 7-9
  • Type: Clumping

If you love big bamboo plants, Chusquea gigantea is an amazing choice for you. It is seen as the hardest and the largest of all the Chusquea geniuses.

Chusquea gigantea originates from the Andes in South America. It is a cold-hardy bamboo suitable for cold and windy areas.

This bamboo has a vigorous growth habit. Its sheaths tend to be short and tight against the culms, and they split open as the culm grows.

One distinct feature of this bamboo species is its branching system. New branches emerge on a single branch and continue like that to have multiple branches.

This bamboo is ideal for windbreaks but ensures you have enough space to spare. It grows massively!

Learn more about Chusquea gigantea here! ​

Recovery after flowering on Phyllostachys glauca bamboo
Phyllostachys glauca (Photo source: Bambooweb)

Phyllostachys glauca (Yunzhu)

  • Maximum height: 50 ft+ (15.2 m)
  • Maximum diameter: 2 in (5 cm)
  • Hardness: 0°F (-17°C)
  • USDA zones: 7-9
  • Type: Running

Yunzhu is planted in China but still grows in Northern California. It is used for a variety of functions like fencing, furniture, and so on. The spreading is aggressive, and like Chusquea gigantea, it also has a branching system.

Yunzhu has a high tolerance for drought and wet soil as well as highly windy areas. It grows in hilly and plain lands. The culms grow to become pale and yellow-green.

Yunzhu develops dark spots as it ages. These spots are unique and will add color to any garden. You may want to consider this species for your windbreaks, it is unique and strong.

Stems and a fresh shoot of the Phyllostachys viridis species
Phyllostachys viridis (Photo source: Bambooweb)

Phyllostachys viridis (Robert Young)

  • Maximum height: 40 ft (12.2 m)
  • Maximum diameter: 3 in (7.6 cm)
  • Hardness: 0°F (-17°C)
  • USDA zones: 7-10
  • Type: Running

Robert Young is a very popular bamboo species with an outstanding appearance. It spreads vigorously and rapidly. It loves the direct sun and lots of water for healthy growth.

This bamboo has unique culms that are buttery yellow with random dark green stripes. Robert Young Bamboo looks very nice in large planters and it’ll make beautiful windbreaks.

It tends to grow mildly in cold areas. It can withstand tough winds with no damage. It is a highly decorative species of bamboo you don’t want to miss.

Wide yellow culms with green stripes of the Phyllostachys vivax bamboo
Phyllostachys vivax

Phyllostachys vivax (Chinese Timber Bamboo)

  • Maximum height: 70 ft (20 m)
  • Maximum diameter: 5 in (13 cm)
  • Hardness: -5°F (-20°C)
  • USDA zones: 6-10
  • Type: Running

Chinese Timber Bamboo is one of the hardest bamboo species. It’s a very reliable bamboo choice for cold climates that is large with straight culms. Chinese Timber Bamboo often takes up to ten years before growing fully into maturity.

You may want to choose Chinese Timber Bamboo for your windbreaks because of its reliability, and hardness. It’s even better if you want an atmosphere of privacy.

Learn more about Phyllostachys vivax here! ​

Close up of Hibanobambusa tranquillans plant leaves
Hibanobambusa tranquillans (Photo source: Bambooweb)

Hibanobambusa tranquillans (Shiroshima)

  • Maximum height: 12 ft (3.6 m)
  • Maximum diameter: 3.4 in (1.9 cm)
  • Hardness: -4°F (-20°C)
  • USDA zones: 6-10
  • Type: Running

Hibanobambusa is known for its large leaves and its small stature. This bamboo can grow in full sun as well as shade. This is why it is loved by gardeners. It is one of the few bamboo species that can thrive indoors.

Shiroma has a very bright and robust color which makes it unique. It has long hairs on the leaf sheaths and thick canes. It spreads aggressively and also has a lovely branching system making it fit for windbreaks.

Phyllostachys Viridis - Yellow stems with random green stripes
Phyllostachys viridis (Houzeau)

Phyllostachys viridis (Houzeau)

  • Maximum height: 35 ft (9 m)
  • Maximum diameter: 3 in (7.6 cm)
  • Hardness: 0°F (-17°C)
  • USDA zones: 7-10
  • Type: Running

Houzeau was named after a Belgian Horticulturist who dedicated his entire life cultivating bamboo plants. It has good branching which makes it the right choice for bamboo windbreaks.

Houzeau’s cane has a deep green cane, and the sulcus groove is yellow. It thrives well in clay soil. It’s a vigorous runner and grows to full size under full sun.

It can be used for decorative purposes, and horticulture settings. Also, if you desire privacy, Houzeau is a species you should look into.

Learn more about Phyllostachys viridis here! ​

Close up hair on branch tips
Bambusa chungii (Photo source: Bambooweb)

Bambusa chungii (Blue Bamboo)

  • Average height: 26-33 ft (8-10 m)
  • Average diameter: 2 in (6 cm)
  • Hardiness: 21°F (-6°C)
  • USDA zones: 9-11
  • Type: Clumping

Chungii is a stunning non-invasive bamboo variety. It grows very fast and it can withstand cold windy weather. Shoots and culms that are newly emerging are white with a bluish hue. It also has dark foliage with an upright structure. This makes it extremely beautiful.

Green Seabreeze Bamboo plants in a row for privacy screening
Bambusa malingensis

Bambusa malingensis (Seabreeze Bamboo)

  • Average height: 30-35 ft (9-10.6 m)
  • Average diameter: 2-2.5 in (5-6.4 cm)
  • Hardiness: 20-25°F (-6-3°C)
  • USDA zones: 9A-11
  • Type: Clumping

Seabreeze Bamboo is an amazing bamboo plant with rare features. Its leaves are very thick and can tolerate high winds. Not only is this bamboo tolerant of the winds, but it is also tolerant to drought and salty breeze.

Learn more about Seabreeze Bamboo here! ​

Nature picture rare moso bamboo plant
Phyllostachys edulis moso

Phyllostachys edulis moso (Anderson Clone)

  • Maximum height: 90 ft (27 m)
  • Maximum diameter: 7 in (18 cm)
  • Hardness: 0°F (-18°C)
  • USDA zones: 7-10
  • Type: Running

Anderson Clone is also called Phyllostachys pubescens or Phyllostachys edulis. It is considered the largest of the hardy bamboo species and one of China’s most stunning ones. It has large culms with small leaves which makes the largeness more prominent. This largeness and its exceptional strength make it an amazing choice for a windbreak.

Moso as popularly called thrives best under the full sun and spread moderately compared to some species which spread aggressively around with beautiful feathery foliage.

In Chinese, Moso means ‘Mao zhu’, which is interpreted as ‘hairy bamboo’. This velvety type of hair helps to protect the new culms from insect predators.

Moso doesn’t thrive well under cool climates and can be dug up in winter. It is a common bamboo species exported from China.

Learn more about Moso Bamboo here!​

Other things to consider when picking your bamboo for windbreaks

Finally, in selecting your preferred bamboo species for windbreaks, there are some factors you should consider like temperature (hardiness), height, diameter, location, soil type of your site, and other factors.

Some Bamboo species thrive under full sun, under shades, are drought and clay soil tolerant, and will grow into their full size when these conditions are met.

Bamboo leaves blowing in the wind with the text: What Bamboo Grows well in windy areas?

Not all species of bamboo can tolerate wind or serve as bamboo windbreaks. Some specific species are excellent windbreakers due to their flexibility, groove depth, and shoots’ thickness. They also provide a shield for other crops around them.

Aside from the windbreak function, some of these species have edible shoots, can be used for ornamental functions, and are cultivated in garden settings. Most of them have beautiful large flowers and attractive or stunning looks.

Considering these bamboo species, which of them would you prefer? Let us know in the comment section below!

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We are James and Natalie – newly-weds & nature lovers!

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