Small Bamboo Plants

Bamboo Groundcover Anyone?

Although most people think of bamboo being tall and vibrant it actually comes in many sizes. Small bamboo plants are typically considered anything under 8 feet tall, but on this post we’ll concentrate on cultivated plants under 5 feet tall. These are truly the smallest bamboo plants!

Many people confuse bamboo and lucky bamboo, if this is the case for you, I recommend checking out our lucky bamboo plant page to learn more about that small “bamboo” plant! If it’s not you, no worries! Just keep reading.

1. Pleioblastus akebono
Running- although slow to grow
Maximum height: 1.5 feet
Hardiness: 10 F- needs shade.
Description: This plant is known as a Japanese dwarf bamboo plant. Its leaves are small and dainty. They start off a white color and turn green as the plant matures.

2. Pleioblastus distichus
Common Name: Fernleaf Bamboo
Maximum Height: 2 feet.
Hardiness: -5 F
Description: This plant doesn’t really resemble your traditional bamboo. It has long thin leaves that look similar to the individual leaves of a fern.

3. Pleioblastus fortune
Common Name: Dwarf Whitestrip
Maximum Height: 4 feet.
Hardiness: 10 F-grow in shade
Description: This plant has variegated leaves that are green with a lovely white strip. A beautiful and highly desired groundcover plant, they grow well, but can be easily maintained by mowing in the spring.

4. Pleioblastus kongosanensis
Common Name: Aureostriatus
Maximum Height: 5 feet
Hardiness: 0 F
Description: This plant is beautiful with dark green leaves that exhibit an occasional yellow strip. This bamboo is resistant to bamboo mites because of the hairy underside of the leaves.

5. Pleioblastus pygmaeus
Common name: Pygmy Bamboo
Maximum Height: 2 Feet
Hardiness: 0 F
Description: This bamboo is among the smallest of all bamboo plants. It’s stems and leaves are beautifully delicate and generally a bright healthy green. Pygmy bamboo would make a great bonsai plant.

6. Pleioblastus viridistriatus
Common Name: Dwarf Greenstrip
Maximum Height: 5 Feet
Hardiness: 0 F
Description: As its name suggests, this bamboo has light green leaves with a darker green strip, or perhaps it’s dark green leaves with light green strips! Either way this is a beautiful small bamboo growing typically between 2-4 feet tall. This bamboo is resistant to bamboo mites and should be mowed each spring.

7. Pleioblastus viridistriatus
Common Name: Chrysophyllus
Maximum Height: 5 feet
Hardiness: 0 F
Description: Another beautiful small plant, Pleioblastus viridistriatus typically grows between 2 and 4 feet tall. The green leaves of this plant seem to glow with a healthy golden color. Similar to Dwarf Greenstrip above, this species is also resistant to the dreadful bamboo mite.

8. Pseudosasa owatarii
Maximum Height: 2 feet
Hardiness: 0 F
Description: Another very small petite plant, Pseudosasa owatarii doesn’t typically grow higher than a foot.

9. Sasa hayatae
Maximum Height: 3 feet
Hardiness: -10 F
Description: This plant is quite hardy. Its leaves are a dark green, but acquire a white edge as the plant ages into the fall.

10. Sasaella ramose
Maximum Height: 3 feet
Hardiness: 0 F
Description: This plant is one of the few groundcover bamboos that is sun tolerant. It also thrives and can be a harder groundcover to keep under control. It’s best to mow this plant in early spring for best growth.

11. Shibataea chinensis
Maximum Height: 2 feet
Hardiness: -5 F
Description: This bamboo is short, but has full green foliage. It’s also quite hardy!

Hopefully, this has given you some insight into the various options you have when searching for small bamboo.bamboo-308353_640

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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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