Golden Bamboo stems with green leaves

Phyllostachys Aurea ‘Golden Bamboo’

Phyllostachys aurea, also known as Golden bamboo, is specifically produced for screening because it presents visual and noise barriers.

Quick Facts

  • Common name: Golden Bamboo, Yellow Bamboo, Fishpole bamboo
  • Botanical name: Phyllostachys Aurea
  • Type: Running Bamboo
  • Average height: 27-35ft
  • Average diameter: 1.5-2 inches
  • Hardiness: 0 °F (-18 °C)
  • USDA zones: 7a-10
  • UK Hardiness Zones: H6-H2
  • Light requirements: Sun to Shade
  • Best use: Visual and noise barrier, privacy screening
USDA Zones 7-10 highlighted in green on a map
USDA Zones 7-10

Why is it called Golden Bamboo?

The canes are generally green but they will become yellow if grown in full or partial sunlight. With the help of the sunlight, it will develop into a golden-orange color. The leaves and branches tend to start from the ground so some like to prune the lower branches to reveal the fascinating tortoiseshell portion of the canes.

Is Golden Bamboo invasive?

Golden Bamboo can quickly grow and colonize a large field if not contained properly.

The scope of this bamboo has appeared beyond the Southeastern United States – from Louisiana to Arkansas, Maryland to Florida, and even Oregon. Florida’s Exotic Pest Plant Council has placed Phyllostachys aurea as a Category II invasive bamboo. They form thick monocultures that prevent other local plants from developing in the same field.

This bamboo species propagates through rhizomes, which scatter away from their main plant. New shoots emerge from the sides of the rhizomes on alternating nodes. This species is hard to remove from an area because it reproduces and regenerates quickly even when damaged.

Golden Bamboo can quickly overwhelm an area that has been disturbed by fire because rhizomes are safe underground. This bamboo only flowers every 7 to 12 years, although you will rarely see seed generation.

Uses and benefits

Golden Bamboo is usually grown for its edible shoots. Only the soft inner portion of the shoots is edible. This fresh part is used in manufacturing canned bamboo sprouts. It is one of the most common edible bamboo species in the Southern part of the United States. This bamboo is an ingredient in several gourmet dishes such as the famous bamboo Chinese salad.

Golden Bamboo is also loaded with vitamin C and E, potassium, and alkaloids. They are recognized to be high in protein and fiber. The sprouts include certain B complex vitamins and minerals like manganese, phosphorus, copper, and zinc. They have a lower sugar level than common fruits, which makes it a great alternative for diet purposes.

Its leaves, stems, and roots have a medicinal purpose in many parts of Asia. They are considered antiseptic and antiulcer. It can also alleviate illnesses such as acne, ulcers, arthritis, and more.

Phyllostachys Aurea has thick stems and can substitute wood for multiple purposes. They are used to build furniture, fences,  scaffolding, floors, and even musical instruments.

In addition, Golden Bamboo is grown for ornamental purposes because it can maintain its attractive display even in unfavorable situations like drought or typhoons for a long time. This makes it perfect for privacy fencing.

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Golden bamboo is a beautiful plant for privacy screening. However, you should watch out: It is very invasive! Using a container or barriers can help with this disadvantage, though. Learn more here! #bamboo #gardendesign #screening #fencing #containergarden

Can you grow Golden Bamboo indoors?

You can plant Golden Bamboo plants in containers but they will not exceed 6 feet in height. This bamboo is also suitable for growing in tubs or planter boxes, terraces, porches or as indoor designs to build an exotic ambiance.

The pot or planter has to be rather wider than deeper because of it’s “running” characteristics. Put some gravel or rocks at the base to make the foundation heavy. This way stronger wind won’t sweep away.

Phyllostachys Aurea can still achieve relatively tall heights in tight spaces. The planter itself is the barrier which means that it won’t take over your whole garden.

The containers have to be at least 12 inches in diameter. Load it with sufficient moisture holding fertilizer based on leaf, peat, and charcoal. Keep it well watered. Remember that bamboo is a sturdy and flexible plant. It is more prone to die from lack of water than too much watering. Sprinkle some water on its leaves when grown inside. Fertilize them every month with a liquid fertilizer.

If your bamboo remains root bound for a very long time, there will be a lack of nutrients for their roots to spread out. The leaves may not grow as green or compact. Their fresh shoots may not appear as frequently and the new culms will not become as dense or high. You have to either divide or re-pot the plants.

Taking care of container grown bamboos in winter

Container planted Golden Bamboo doesn’t always have the privilege of a natural water supply, especially indoors during winter. Make sure that you water it sufficiently. Its roots don’t have the insulation of the natural ground. The root system is highly vulnerable to freezing.  You should either wrap the container with an insulating material or move it indoors. Mulching will also avoid freezing the root ball.

Is it deer resistant?

Oh, deer! If you live in a deer inhabited region, deer resistance is likewise necessary. And one of the special features of the Golden Bamboo is that it is deer resistant. Deer may sometimes eat bamboo whenever they are hungry but not all the time. Generally, they hate Golden Bamboo. So, our dear deers rarely damage it.

Some problems with Phyllostachys Aurea

Golden Bamboo is originally restricted to urban cities and farming sites. Many states see them as a threat to their local environment structure and purpose because the increase and range of planted clones are widespread.

In 2009, the Florida Exotic Pest Plant Council placed them in a Category II type of invasive plant. In 2008, the Golden Bamboo was classified as a critical threat in some areas of South Carolina. The spread of Golden Bamboo has also resulted in damage to natural vegetation in Hawaii and Texas. The Texas Invasive Plant Pest Council (TIPPC) states that Golden Bamboo clones have devastating growing abilities.

They are also believed to attract cockroaches in cities.

It is costing American taxpayers billions of dollars to fight this spread. But it is not just Americans that are struggling with Phyllostachys Aurea. They are grown globally for decorations in some tropical areas, and countries like Australia.

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

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