Growing and Caring for Black Bamboo

Growing and Caring for Black Bamboo

Growing and Caring for Black Bamboo.

Your garden or landscaping project would benefit from the spectacular appearance and exotic nature of black bamboo. Despite its height and tree-like solidity, bamboo is classified as grass since it is a member of the Poaceae family of plants. Panda bears rely on bamboo as their primary source of nutrition.

The culms, or stalks, of the Phyllostachys nigra plant, more often known as black bamboo, are known for their dark, almost black hue.

Because it is a running bamboo, which means that it develops and spreads swiftly by subterranean rhizomes, this species is known as a “running bamboo.” If this is not regulated, black bamboo may become quite invasive in its environment.

On the other hand, not everything about its quick expansion is positive. The use of black bamboo to construct strong walls, natural privacy fences, and noise barriers is ideal for this material. During the first or second year of the plant’s development, the culms of black bamboo are green in color.

During the second or third year, the culms change to their recognizable black color. This stunning contrast between the dark hue of the culms and the brilliant green, elongated, lance-shaped leaves that they support is provided by the plant’s leaves.

This particular kind of bamboo may reach a height of up to 30 feet, and its individual culms can become as thick as two inches.

It is one of the bamboo species that is more resistant to disease and can withstand colder weather than the majority of other forms of bamboo. If you bring it inside for the winter, even gardeners in the north may enjoy the benefits of this tropical plant.

Care of the Black Bamboo

The ideal growing conditions for black bamboo are full sun and rich, wet soil that drains quickly and is rich in nutrients. Because bamboo has a very shallow root system, it is susceptible to being uprooted or damaged by strong winds. It is best to cultivate black bamboo in an area that is protected from circumstances characterized by strong winds.

Because of its fast growth, black bamboo has the potential to swiftly take over your landscape if it is grown in settings that are conducive to its development. Root barriers or root trimming are two methods that may be used to restrict a plant and prevent this from happening.

Root barriers are made out of sheets of polypropylene or fiberglass that are buried up to 36 inches deep. Their purpose is to prevent roots and rhizomes from spreading beyond the area that has been designated for them. Growing bamboo in pots is a terrific alternative since it naturally regulates the plant’s growth, making it a good choice if you do not have a vast space in which to enable this beautiful plant to flourish.

Because this particular type of bamboo is a gregarious blooming bamboo, it follows that all black bamboo plants, wherever they may be found in the globe, will blossom at around the same time.

This occurrence only takes place once every 40 to 60 years, and the affected generation of bamboo quickly perishes following it. It is possible to start a new stand of bamboo growth from the seeds, which may be gathered and planted.


When it comes to the intensity and quality of the light, black bamboo is not excessively particular. It does not matter what kind of light exposure it gets, from full sun to partial shade it can thrive.

A nutrient-dense soil is ideal for the growth of black bamboo. The best sorts of soil for optimal development are those that are moist, loamy, and well-drained. Although it grows best in soil composed of sand, clay, and silt, black bamboo may thrive in a wide variety of environments as long as the soil is porous and has good drainage.

You may want to try applying a layer of mulch around your bamboo plant so as to assist in maintaining a healthy balance of moisture and drainage in your soil.

Temperature as well as Relative Humidity

Black bamboo, which is widely regarded as one of the most resilient types of bamboo, can be successfully cultivated in zones 7 to 10. This particular kind of bamboo can survive at temperatures as low as 32 degrees Fahrenheit, despite the fact that it is a tropical plant. Because of this, northern gardeners will find that black bamboo is an excellent option.

Black bamboo that is grown in pots may be moved conveniently inside during the winter months, which is convenient for those who live in regions that have severe winters. Black bamboo may thrive in a wide range of environments, including those involving dampness. If the plant is brought indoors, however, it will benefit from an occasional misting and have stronger growth and vitality as a result.


You could decide to fertilize black bamboo so that it receives an extra boost of nutrients in order to encourage healthy development. If you want the greatest results, use a fertilizer that has a high nitrogen content; normally, grasses do best when fertilized with this kind of fertilizer. It is best to apply fertilizer twice throughout the growing season: once in the late spring and again in the summer.


The most important thing for the success of your black bamboo is to maintain a regular watering routine. Make it a goal to maintain wet soil that is never completely saturated.

If you are growing bamboo in a container, you will need to water it more regularly than other plants. It is possible that you may need to water these plants as often as once every other day, depending on the relative humidity and temperature in your region.


Bamboo shoots are a popular ingredient in Asian cooking and may provide a unique flavor to a variety of dishes, including vegetable stir-fries. Wait until the tiny sprouts are a few inches tall before harvesting them so you can get the most out of them. If you want the greatest taste, harvest them when they are little more than six inches tall.

Cut the shoot with a sharp knife at the same level as the ground. Be cautious to harvest plants in a way that is responsible and sustainable, and avoid cutting off all of the plant’s new growth when you do so.

After you have cut the shoots in half lengthwise and removed the tough outer sheath, you are ready to begin preparing your harvest. After that, slice them to the required thickness and cook them in boiling or frying water.

Bamboo is well-known for being a plant that matures at a rapid rate, which contributes to its popularity as a natural barrier to seclusion. However, you should make it a habit to sometimes cut the plant to the height that you want it to be in order to keep the bamboo’s height under control.

The spring is the best time to prune bamboo in order to keep its growth under control. The plant’s nodes provide a clear indication of where to make the cuts in order to reduce the overall height of each stalk. Cut each stalk to a point slightly above one of the nodes.

In addition, you may control the development of black bamboo plants that are planted in the ground by pruning new shoots that emerge from the rhizomes down to the ground level. It is important to keep in mind that doing this will slow the development of the plant;

nevertheless, after it has been planted directly in the ground, it is an aggressive spreader, and it is possible that you will not be able to restrict its growth just by trimming back the new growth.

Propagating Black Bamboo

The most effective method for propagating bamboo is to divide existing plants. The latter part of winter or the beginning of spring is the best time to split bamboo plants.

Water the bamboo thoroughly the day before you want to split it.

In order to prepare the culm for division, cut off the top two-thirds of it.
Dig up the area that you want to divide using a spade that has a pointed tip. In order to cut through the thick roots, you may need to use a saw.
From this point on, you have the option of maintaining the clump in its whole or dividing it up into smaller parts of three or four culms apiece.

Each part should be planted in a hole that is two times as broad as the root ball.
Compost or other types of fertilizer should be put in before the space is filled in.
To a sufficient degree:

Putting Black Bamboo in Pots and Repotting It

Because it grows so quickly in containers, black bamboo is an excellent option for those who have yards of a more manageable size or who wish to keep it indoors. When selecting a container, it is best to go for one that is low, broad, and weighted toward the base.

Putting pebbles in the container’s bottom may be an effective way to do this. Due to the fact that bamboo may grow to such great heights, a lighter and taller container has a greater risk of toppling over.

It is possible that the black bamboo will exceed its pot more quickly than other kinds of bamboo due to the fact that it is a running bamboo and a fast growth. When your bamboo has outgrown its current container, you will need to repot it.

Bamboo that is grown in containers will need more water than bamboo that is grown in the ground, thus it is important to monitor the amount of moisture in the soil. Put your container in a spot that gets enough of sunlight and is protected from the wind, and then sit back and take in the plant’s gorgeous appearance and lush leaves.


In order to reproduce, black bamboo sends out “runners,” as opposed to creating clumps as many other types of grass do. As a direct consequence of this, its expansion is characterized as being both rapid and aggressive. This plant’s subterranean rhizomes make it quite likely that it may appear in locations throughout your garden and yard that you did not want. In order to eradicate it, each and every portion of the rhizome must be removed, which may be quite a difficult task if it is allowed to continue growing uncontrolled.

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