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Growth Rates for Different Bamboo Plants

Bamboo is the fastest growing plant in the world, making it an environmentally friendly construction alternative to hardwood trees. Each species grows at its own rate, and growth rate is dependent on the climate and growing conditions. Choosing the right species depends on how fast you’d like the bamboo to grow, as well as what you’re using it for. Compare the growth rates of different bamboo plants below.

Bambusa vulgaris

Also known as the Greater Buddha’s Belly, Bambusa vulgaris grows to an average height of 5 to 8 meters. Its verdant long narrow leaves grow from a large diameter trunk that has spectacular bulging on the first 2 or 3 meters.

Bambusa multiplex

This species of bamboo is typically smaller, growing to an average height of 3 to 4 meters. Its outward arching form is beautiful after a rain as the extra weight of the water creates a beautiful cascade.

Bambusa multiplex var "Riviereorum"

Also known as the Chinese Goddess, Bambusa multiplex var "Riviereorum" grows to an average of 2 to 4 meters. Known as a dwarf variety of bamboo, this plant features tiny fernlike leaves and golden culms if exposed to full sunlight. This species is fairly ornamental and does great in a planter or when used as a bonsai specimen. Its perfect for gardens, as you can easily hedge the plant into any desired shape.

Dendrocalamus brandisii

The tallest bamboo in the world reaches lengths up to 30 meters. Also known as the Sweet Dragon, this bamboo plant stands at about the same height as the mythical creatures. A vigorous giant, this plant will produce thick-walled strong green culms covered in velvety pale hairs that look slightly milky. The lower nodes feature strong aerial root growth. The shoots are delicious, dark bronze and covered in purple-bladed hair. Extensively used for paper and house building, this species is becoming harder to find in Asia. Though it will tower over your yard, you’ll likely be the only one in the neighborhood to own a forest.

Poganatherum panaceum

Commonly known as the mini cascade, this species only grows to an average height of a half-meter. Featuring small, pale green leaves, this bamboo makes an ideal indoor plant or a small bushy garden plant. It grows in a small clump with a width comparable to its height.

Schizostachyum jaculans

Growing an average height of 5 to 7 meters, this bamboo grows in an almost vertical column and has large light green leaves that are slightly rough. It makes a very attractive species for a garden. This bamboo has traditionally been used in making flutes as well as blowpipes for hunting for thousands of years.

Drepanostachyum falcatum

Commonly known as the Himalayan Weeping Bamboo, this species is ideal for lower temperature conditions as it is extremely cold tolerant. It grows to an average of 2 to 3 meters. Preferable to shade and cooler climates, this species won’t tolerate a lot of sun. It’s a stunning garden specimen and won’t grow to an overly towering height.

Nastus elatus

An extremely fast growing species, this elegant bamboo grows to an average height of 12 meters. Known as being one of the tastiest bamboos in the world, its shoots can be eaten raw. This plants doesn’t tolerate wet feet well, so don’t plant it where water accumulates.


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