Bamboo Plants
zone 9 bamboo
(Image credit: szefei)

Growing bamboo plants in zone 9 provides a tropical feel with rapid growth. These speedy growers may be running or clumping, with runners being the invasive type without management. Clumping bamboo is more suited to warm climates but running types can also thrive in zone 9. There are many bamboo varieties for zone 9. Just be certain you have room for some of the larger types and a barrier strategy if you opt for a running species.

Growing Bamboo Plants in Zone 9

The biggest true grass is the bamboo. This monster of a plant is a tropical to temperate genera, with the biggest concentration found in the Asia Pacific region. However, there are not only warm weather bamboo, but some species found in cold mountain regions. Zone 9 bamboo will rarely experience freezing conditions, but it may suffer if it is grown in an arid area. If you do choose to plant bamboo in zone 9, extra irrigation may be necessary to fuel this grasses' phenomenal growth. Bamboo thrives in warm regions. This plant can grow up to 3 inches (8 cm.) per day or more dependent upon species. Most species of running bamboo are thought of a nuisance, but you can plant them in stout containers or dig around the plant and install a barrier under the soil. These varieties are in the Phyllostachys, Sasa, Shibataea, Pseudosasa, and Pleiboblastus groups. If you choose to use a running variety without a barrier, make sure you have plenty of room for a grove. Clumping plants are easier to manage. They do not spread by rhizomes and stay in a tidy habit. There are species of both bamboo varieties for zone 9.

Running Species of Zone 9 Bamboo

If you are feeling really adventurous, then the running varieties are for you. They do make a spectacular display and are more cold hardy overall than the clumping varieties. Black bamboo is an especially stunning plant. It is more purple than black but very striking and has feathery green leaves. A cousin in the Phyllostachys family is 'Spectabilis.' The new culms are red while mature culms are bright yellow with green joints. Chinese walking stick is a monster of a plant with large joints. Plants in the Sasa and Pleiboblastus groups are smaller and easier to manage with some forms variegated.

Clumping Bamboo for Zone 9

The easiest warm weather bamboo are the clumping varieties. Most of these are in the family Fargesia. Blue fountain is a species with especially appealing culms. These are dark gray and purple with airy plumes of green leaves. A smaller clumper is Golden Goddess with bright yellow mature canes. Silverstripe Hedge has variegated foliage, while Royal bamboo is evergreen and has blue young canes. An interesting ornamental species is Painted bamboo with golden canes that bear "drips" of green. Other great choices for zone 9 include:

  • Green Screen
  • Green Panda
  • Asian Wonder
  • Tiny Fern
  • Weaver's Bamboo
  • Emerald Bamboo
  • Rufa
Bonnie L. Grant

Bonnie Grant is a professional landscaper with a Certification in Urban Gardening. She has been gardening and writing for 15 years. A former professional chef, she has a passion for edible landscaping.