How Tall Does Bamboo Grow?

Bamboo is one of the tallest and fastest-growing plants in the world with a growth rate of up to 1 metre a day, eventually reaching heights of over 30 feet. Running bamboo varieties are usually the tallest varieties of bamboo while clumping bamboos are usually shorter. Because of the growth speed and height that bamboo plants can attain, they are often used for bamboo privacy screens and hedging. Bamboo is often evergreen so always has energy!

Phyllostachys Bissetii - Green Bamboo

Phyllostachys Bissetii – Green Bamboo

Regardless of whether a bamboo plant is a runner or a clumper, there are different heights for different species and varieties of bamboo. Sometimes, they are classified as dwarf or shrub bamboo, medium-sized bamboo, or tall and narrow bamboo.

Varieties of Bamboo Plants and Their Heights

Dwarf Bamboo varieties

Bambusa multiplex “Tiny fern”: They remain small and compact throughout their lives and do not exceed heights of 2 or 3 feet.

Pseudosasa owatarii: Perhaps one of the smallest varieties of bamboo. It is a cold-hardy variety and never grows past 1 foot.

Sasa pygmaea: A vigorously spreading dwarf species, great as a border plant or ground cover. It never grows more than 1 foot throughout its lifespan.

Medium-sized Bamboo Varieties

Fargesia Murielae Rufa: It is an elegant, dense-growing bamboo that is often used for hedging. It grows to a height of 8 feet and spread about 4.9 feet.

Fargesia Murielae: It is commonly known as umbrella bamboo and originates from China. It grows densely spreading to about 8 feet and growing upright to about 13 feet. This makes it ideal as a hedging bamboo. 

Tall bamboo varieties include

Phyllostachys Humilis (Scottish Bamboo), Narihira Bamboo, Phyllostachys Aureosulcata, etc.

Dendrocalamus giganteus (Giant Bamboo)  can grow up to 30m tall with 1ft thick culms!

How Fast Does Bamboo Grow?

According to the Guinness Book of Records, bamboo is the fastest growing plant on earth. In fact, some species, such as the Chinese Moso Bamboo, have recorded up to 1-metre growth per day. Other clump-forming bamboo species and cultivars can grow up to 60 – 90 centimetres annually, and running varieties up to 1.5 metres a year.

Does bamboo grow faster at night or during the day?

It depends on the nature of the bamboo. Most running bamboo depend on sunlight and therefore will grow faster during the day. However, clump-forming bamboo species are more likely to grow faster at night rather than during the day.

Why does bamboo grow so fast?

  1. The natural habitat of bamboo is the lower levels of dense forest where light is easily shaded out by larger, fuller, vigorous trees. However, bamboo needs lots of sunlight to thrive and that creates a strong evolutionary pressure to reach for whatever little sunlight the plant detects as quickly as possible. 
  2. There is a lot of competition for soil nutrients and water in the lower levels of dense forests where bamboos grow naturally, hence they have evolved over millions of years to absorb as many nutrients in as little time as possible hence they grow faster than other plants in surrounding regions and eventually become invasive.
  3. Bamboo is an herbaceous plant that conserves energy, unlike woody plants that use a lot of energy developing growth rings that will thicken the stem. It channels energy into its single stem structure that grows straight up.

Further Reading:

We have further information on the following types of bamboo: Fargesia Asian Wonder, Fargesia murielae ‘Luca’, Fountain Bamboo Fargesia rufa, Phyllostachys aurea aureocaulis, Phyllostachys Bissetii, Pleioblastus Distichus and Pseudosasa japonica Arrow Bamboo.


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Last Modified: September 6, 2022