Red bamboo stems

Red Bamboo Plant

This bamboo got its name from the red color of new culms. The red bamboo plant, also known as Red Dragon, needs enough sunlight in order to get red culms. Later they become a mellow yellow color.

Quick Facts

  • Common Names: Red Dragon
  • Real Name: Fargesia Jiuzhaigou (pronounced: ju-zie-go)
  • Type: Clumping
  • Max. Height: 9-12 ft (2.7-3.7 m)
  • Average diameter: 1 inch (2.5 cm)
  • Hardiness: -20°F (-30°C)
  • USDA Zones: 5-9
  • Light requirements: Prefers mostly sunny environments, but not intense sunlight
  • Best use: Privacy screen, ornamental
USDA Zones 5-9 highlighted on a map
USDA Zones 5-9


What is the red bamboo plant?

This plant is a very popular clumping bamboo that is sought after for its bold-colored stalks and light feathery leaves that look divine in any garden.

This bamboo species is highly ornamental with new culms starting out a bright red color. They will grow mostly upright because Red Dragon has very tiny leaves, which don’t weigh much. Therefore, the thin culms will not fall over too easily. The leaves start out with the red tone but turn into a light green.

Unfortunately, stalks do change to a yellow color as the plant ages.

Lore states that Fargesia Jiuzhaigou originated from China and was collected in Jiuzhaigou Park by a German pharmacist in 1986.

Where to use Red Dragon Bamboo

This is one species of bamboo that does well in containers. Many people who grow red dragon in a container experience the brightest and most vibrant stalks.

It’s also extremely cold hardy, so it’s a good option for people who are looking for a bamboo species that will grow outside in the winter.

Besides its decorative uses, it is probably mostly known for its use as a screen, privacy fencing, or hedge.

Fargesia Jiuzhaigou is a clumping plant so you don’t have to worry about using control barriers. One thing you should note is that clumping bamboo plants don’t fill in screens or hedges quickly. So, if you want to use Fargesia Jiuzhaigou you should be prepared to wait a couple years for them to properly fill in or you should be willing to buy more plants.

Buying the extra plants with clumping varieties can get costly, but it is one of the most preferable ways to make a good screen without putting in a barrier.

Red Bamboo Plant Care

Plant it somewhere where it gets enough sun, preferably morning sun, not the midday sun. The leaves will curl up in the heat of the sun or under extreme weather, but this is normal for a Fargesia bamboo. They will uncurl when they get shade or when the weather gets better.

Water regularly and increase watering frequency during summer.

Red bamboo plants are easy to grow and to take care of. If this is your first experience with bamboo, you want to check out our general plant care tips!


  • Where do we buy rare bmboo species for the PHILS. Red and violet bamboo

    • Hi, I assume you mean the Philippines. I am sorry, but I am focusing on the US on my website. So, I cannot give you an answer to your question.

  • Hi
    Is it ok to plant in a large container and ‘not’ drill holes for drainage as I know Bamboos are extremely water hungry.

    • Thanks for your question, Chris. I would always drill holes because bamboo doesn’t like to grow in swampy conditions (except for some species, red dragon isn’t one of them). It will just lead to an unhealthy, maybe even dying, plant if it’s in a waterlogged container all the time.


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Woman (Natalie) and man (James) in front of bamboo

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

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