Price is often a consideration when selecting a type of bamboo to plant in your yard. However, the price of the young bamboo plants may only be part of the cost. There are two types of bamboo: Clumping and running. Clumping bamboo grows slowly from the central clump of the grass. Running bamboo sends out rhizome runners to establish new plants. Running bamboo can easily become invasive, so if you're planting running bamboo, you will need to install a bamboo barrier. This can increase the cost and complexity of the planting. Bamboo plants are often sold in one-gallon nursery pots that are cheaper than the larger five-gallon pots.
$10 to $20 Per Gallon
The least expensive varieties of bamboo retail between $10 and $20 per gallon pot. Varieties include the Shiroshima (Hibanobambusa tranquillans Shiroshima ), which has variegated leaves with white, yellow, red and green stripes. This bamboo is cold-hardy down to -5° Fahrenheit and does well in full sun. Shiroshima is a running bamboo that will need a bamboo barrier. Dwarf fernleaf (Pleioblastus distichus) is a running bamboo that grows to a maximum of 2 feet tall. This bamboo is also hardy down to -5° F, and needs a bamboo barrier to keep it from becoming invasive. Rufa bamboo (Fargesia Rufa) is a clumping bamboo that doesn't need a barrier and is cold-hardy down to -15° F. It grows to about 10 feet tall when mature, and doesn't do well in high heat and humidity.
$20 to $30 Per Gallon
Bamboo in the $20 to $30 per gallon container price range includes the giant Japanese Timber bamboo (Phyllostachys bambusoides). This bamboo averages 50 feet tall, but can sometimes reach 70 feet. The canes on this bamboo can reach between 4 and 6 inches in diameter. Cold-hardy down to 5° F, this bamboo is not suited to cold climates. This bamboo reproduces with runners and will need a bamboo barrier. Midori Green Alphonse (Bambusa multiplex) is a clumping bamboo that grows to 15 feet tall. The culms of this unusual bamboo are lime green with darker stripes. It is cold-hardy down to around 15° F, making it more suitable for warmer climates.
$30 t $40 Per Gallon
At the high end of the inexpensive bamboos, plants in this price range can include some interesting and exotic bamboos. Nana bamboo (Nandina domestica "Pygmaea") is a 3- to 4-foot tall bamboo that is cold tolerant down to 0° F. Nana grows in billowy clusters that look like green clouds. It is a running bamboo that will need a barrier. The Huangwenzhu (Phyllostachys vivax "Huangwenzhu Inversa"), or yellow groove wax bamboo, is a running bamboo that also requires a barrier. This bamboo grows to between 45 and 70 feet tall, and has a culm diameter of 3 to 5 inches. It is cold hardy down to -10° F. Huangwenzhu has green culms with yellow vertical grooves.