Fresh red margin bamboo shoot

Phyllostachys Rubromarginata ‘Red Margin Bamboo’

You will love the red patterns on its new shoots. It is what makes it the best decorative fencing.

Quick Facts:

  • Common name: Red Margin Bamboo or Reddish Bamboo
  • Botanical name: Phyllostachys Rubromarginata
  • Type: Running
  • Average height: 40-60 feet
  • Average diameter: 2 inches
  • Hardiness: -5 °F (-21 °C)
  • USDA zones: 5-10
  • UK Hardiness Zones: H7-H2
  • Light requirements: Full sun to shade
  • Best use: Privacy fencing, arts & crafts, edible shoots, timber, windbreak, fences
USDA Zones 5-10

Phyllostachys Rubromarginata is native to Central China, Burma and India. Are you excited to grow bamboo in your garden? Then Red Margin Bamboo is perfect for you. It can produce more canes per year than any other species. The rhizomes expand fast, far and away. Before you know it, its grove has doubled in a couple of months. So, you also have to be careful and take additional steps if you don’t want it to grow widely.

What are the characteristics of Red Margin Bamboo?

Its name came from the Latin words “Rubro” which means red and “Marginata” which means margins. This grass plant has a strong and neat vertical culm. The culms will gradually mature to alternating tones of green and yellow as it ages.

The smaller canes have branches close to the ground making this a fabulous privacy screen. Its emerald-green leaves can create amazing scenery for a privacy screen or decorative ideas. The wood is solid but easy to cut. That is why it is best for crop division. This is perfect if you have more space to grow.

Culms of Phyllostachys Rubromarginata ‘Red Margin Bamboo’ with the text Discover the Characteristics of Phyllostachys Rubromarginata ‘Red Margin Bamboo’

Winter will not stop this beautiful bamboo. It will stand healthy and upright even if it is in the Northern latitude. Red Margin bamboo has an astonishing threshold for freezing conditions and dry winds. It may not grow as tall, but it will get over 30ft.

Just like most timber bamboos, Phyllostachys Rubromarginata will grow best with full sun. The abundant sunlight will make them grow taller with thicker canes and richer attractive leaves. It can tolerate shadier places but the growth rate and characteristics will be affected.

This bamboo is perfect for any growing conditions. It will do great in deep shaded or even wet sites. It can also tolerate alkaline soils and sea salt. Therefore, it is great for coastal areas as well.

The fast and aggressive spread of this bamboo can be managed by establishing a 3ft rhizome barrier encircled around the plant. You can also try mowing or cutting off wandering fresh culms when they reach 6 inches high. It grows massively and creates hundreds of canes closely together. But don’t worry, you can simply plant it in a container as well in order to stop the spread.

What are other benefits of Red Margin Bamboo?

The fresh shoots are safe to eat. One of the best tasty shoots is from red margin bamboo. Try it pickled. Make appetizing salad recipes, stir-fries, and dumplings, or Vietnamese chicken soup with bamboo.

The highly sought after canes are best for use in arts and crafts. Most baskets are made from red margin bamboo. This is by far the best species suited for papermaking as well.

The bamboo canes can be used for crafts when dried. All of the green parts should disappear and the culms are will turn brown. Wrap bamboo canes to prevent cracks when drying it.

Its hardwood makes it an excellent timber bamboo. It is perfect for construction and wood pulp. And a lot more!

Are you planning to grow this bamboo species soon? Let us know or ask further questions!

Photo credit: Stephen (Flickr)

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


  • We are wanting to plant bamboo at the back of our property to block out the sights and sounds of the car wash that was built there. We planted some green bamboo about four years ago and it is so slow growing. Some are finally about 10 feet, but some still as small as 2 feet. So we want something super fast growing. Is the Red Margin Bamboo our best choice? Thanks for your time.

    • Hi Cynthia!

      Thank you for leaving a comment on my blog!
      Species selection is critical when it comes to planting bamboo. It’s important to choose a species that is well-suited to your climate zone and check the best growing conditions of the bamboo plant. If you want more options, you can check our blog about the varieties of bamboo that are good for privacy screens here.


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