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How to Grow Bamboo in Shade

By Alexis Lawrence ; Updated September 21, 2017

Bamboo is a fast-growing evergreen plant that thrives in full sun, but can also be grown in shade when necessary. When attempting to grow bamboo in shaded areas, the type of bamboo and the growth pattern of the bamboo are two of the most important factors in determining the plant’s success.

Choose a species of bamboo that performs more effectively in the shade than in the sun, such as Fargesia. Stay away from plants that need more sun to thrive, such as Semiarundinaria and Phyllostachys.

Keep bamboo trimmed small. Smaller bamboo requires less light than large bamboo. Cut bamboo into shrubs that stand less than 6 feet tall. Bamboo below 6 feet in height actually thrives more effectively out of the direct sunlight, than in it.

Allow bamboo some access to light when possible. As bamboo grows in shade, it will grow outward in the direction of any available light, gathering as much as it needs to continue to thrive. The closer it is to this light, the more effectively it will be able to reach it.

Plant only ground cover and shrub bamboo in deep shade, such as where man-made structures create a perpetually shaded area that never receives any sunlight at all. If bamboo attempts to grow taller than 6 feet, trim it back to below 6 feet and it will do fairly well under the conditions.

Try timber bamboo in partially shaded areas where trees and bushes cause shade during some parts of the day, but where some light gets through during other times of day. Use shrubs and ground cover bamboo liberally in these parts, as they will thrive in the partial shade.

Provide bamboo with sufficient air circulation. Elevate pots to allow air to flow beneath them to provide extra circulation when possible. Keep the ground well-drained and try not to over-water. If necessary, add material to the soil to help it drain more effectively, such as sand or potting soil.

Don’t let bamboo dry out. Though bamboo does not do well with over-watering, it does need to get enough water to thrive. Keep soil lightly moist throughout the day.

 

Things You Will Need

  • Sand or potting soil

About the Author

 

Alexis Lawrence is a freelance writer, filmmaker and photographer with extensive experience in digital video, book publishing and graphic design. An avid traveler, Lawrence has visited at least 10 cities on each inhabitable continent. She has attended several universities and holds a Bachelor of Science in English.