Learn which plants thrive in your Hardiness Zone with our new interactive map!

How to Plant Golden Bamboo

By Kelly Shetsky ; Updated September 21, 2017

Golden bamboo (Phyllostachys aurea) is a perennial that can grow up to 40 feet tall. The leaves are skinny and green, and there is flower growth infrequently. Sometimes it takes decades for them to bloom. The canes are hollow with solid joints. They are green in color until exposed to sunlight, when they turn yellow. The bamboo is fast-growing and easily spreads. Plant golden bamboo in the spring, when the danger of frost has passed.

Choose a planting area that is in the full sun. If you live in a climate that is among the hottest, choose a site with some shade to offer protection.

Make sure the soil is moist, but drains well. Test it by digging a hole and pouring water inside. If it doesn't drain out, fill the hole with 2 inches of sand at the base.

Create a raised bed with rich, fairly loose topsoil such as what you'd use for a garden bed. Topsoil with compost and aged manure in it is the best because of the high nitrogen content.

Mix the topsoil with the top 12 inches of local soil with a tiller or garden hoe. This will encourage good drainage and a strong root system.

Mix enough soil together to raise the planting bed 6 to 12 inches above the surrounding ground. Make an abrupt tapered edge to define the area where the golden bamboo will grow.

Dig a hole slightly larger than the golden bamboo's root ball. The size depends on the plant size. Place the bamboo in the hole, making sure the root mass is an inch or 2 below the soil surface. Cover it with soil and pack it down. Water until moist.

Give golden bamboo room to spread. Plant them so there is 3 to 5 feet of space in between. The bamboo will grow shorter if they are too close together.


Things You Will Need

  • Shovel
  • Sand
  • Topsoil
  • Tiller or garden hoe
  • Bamboo plant
  • Water


  • In the summer and autumn, remove rhizomes that are trying to spread beyond the border of the gardening bed.
  • Don't worry about the type of topsoil you use because golden bamboo will adapt. Sawdust, compost, grass trimmings, bark mulch and manure are all effective.

About the Author


Based in New York State, Kelly Shetsky started writing in 1999. She is a broadcast journalist-turned Director of Marketing and Public Relations and has experience researching, writing, producing and reporting. She writes for several websites, specializing in gardening, medical, health and fitness, entertainment and travel. Shetsky has a Bachelor of Arts in communications from Marist College.