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The Best Bamboo Plants for Missouri

By Sharon Sweeny ; Updated September 21, 2017
Hardy bamboo grows as far north as USDA hardiness zone 4.
bamboo image by cyndi Claessens from Fotolia.com

Growing in the tropics, subtropics and temperate climates worldwide, over 1,200 species of bamboo are known to exist, according to the Missouri State University. Varieties grow from 1 foot to over 100 feet tall. Bamboo hardy in Missouri is primarily of the clumping or clump-forming type. It slowly grows a clump of bamboo culms in contrast to the running type of bamboo, which spreads by underground runners and is generally less hardy.

River Bamboo

Hardy through USDA zone 5, river bamboo (Arundinaria gigantea 'Rivercane') is native to North America. It grows up to 20 feet high and is cold hardy to minus 10 degrees Fahrenheit. River bamboo produces culms that are about 1 inch in diameter and will grow equally well in sun or shade.

Rubro Bamboo

Rapidly growing to a height of 55 feet at maturity, rubro bamboo (Phyllostachys rubromarginata 'Rubro') will survive down to minus 5 degrees F and can be counted on to survive winter in virtually all of Missouri. It prefers full sun or partial shade and is tolerant of all soil types and growing conditions. Rubro bamboo is excellent grown as a living screen.

Nuda Bamboo

The most cold hardy variety of its species, nuda bamboo (Phyllostachys nuda) is a darker green with a smaller leaf structure than its relatives. Hardy to minus 20 degrees F, nuda bamboo can successfully overwinter through USDA zone 4. It will grow anywhere in Missouri, including microclimates in exposed locations. Nuda grows to a height of about 34 feet and its culms are 1 3/4 inches in diameter. Like all hardy bamboo varieties, it prefers full sun to partial shade and well-drained soil.


About the Author


Sharon Sweeny has a college degree in general studies and worked as an administrative and legal assistant for 20 years before becoming a professional writer in 2008. She specializes in writing about home improvement, self-sufficient lifestyles and gardening.