6 Types of Bamboo That Thrive In Utah

Bamboo branch in bamboo forest, beautiful green nature background
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Written by Heather Hall

Updated: June 16, 2023

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Bamboo is a fast-growing, woody grass native to many parts of the world. It can be used for various purposes in landscaping, including as a decorative feature or privacy screen. There are two main types of bamboo: clumping and running. Clumping bamboo has stems that grow outward from the center without spreading too far away. Running bamboo spreads quickly by sending out underground rhizomes, which form new shoots at some distance from the parent plant. Bamboo typically grows tall with slender stalks and long green leaves, making it attractive when planted outdoors. Its quick growth rate also makes it ideal for creating shade or providing a windbreak in gardens and on patios.

Can You Grow Bamboo in Utah?

bamboo forest

Bamboo can thrive in Utah’s diverse climates with proper planting and care.

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Utah has a wide variety of climates and temperatures depending on the region. It is located in USDA Hardiness Zones 3b through 8b, which range from -30 degrees Fahrenheit to 100 degrees Fahrenheit. This makes Utah suitable for growing many different types of plants, including bamboo! Bamboo grows best when it receives plenty of sunlight throughout the day and adequate water during its growing season. The climate can be quite dry in some areas of Utah, so gardeners should take extra care to ensure that their bamboo is getting enough moisture by using mulch or irrigation systems. In addition, colder temperatures might require special winter protection for certain species, such as wrapping them with burlap or straw mats. Bamboo can thrive in Utah’s diverse climates with proper planting and care!

Types of Bamboo That Thrive in Utah

Many types of bamboo are cold-hardy down to Zone 5. If you are in an area of Utah below Zone 5, be prepared to provide extra winter protection for your bamboo plants or cultivate them in containers and take them indoors for the winter. Some varieties of bamboo will die back to the ground in zones 3 or 4 and grow back the following spring. Because of this factor, they will usually stay under 12 feet tall, rather than the towering 30 or 40 feet that they would reach in warmer climates. Sometimes bamboo dying back is a good thing. This lets the sunlight through in the winter! When hot summer temperatures are back in Utah, the bamboo will be tall enough to provide much-needed shade.

1. Snow Bamboo

Animals with Opposable Thumbs-giant panda

Bamboo typically grows tall with slender stalks and long green leaves, and pandas love it!

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Snow Bamboo, or Phyllostachys nuda, is a bamboo species native to southwestern China and northern Vietnam. It is prized for its ornamental value due to its bright green color and attractive culms that are covered in white powdery wax or “snow.” It grows rapidly in optimal climates and can reach heights of up to 30 feet in the right conditions. Snow Bamboo is hardy enough to survive temperatures as low as -10°F, lower if given proper winter protection such as mulch. The plant also prefers full sun exposure with some afternoon shade during the hot summer months and plenty of moisture throughout the growing season.

2. Yellow Groove Bamboo

Phyllostachys aureosulcata f. spectabilis (Showy Yellow Groove Bamboo) in Rural Devon, England, UK

Yellow Groove bamboo likes full sun and plenty of water during its growing season (spring through fall).

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Phyllostachys Aureosulcata is one of the most popular bamboos in Utah. It grows rapidly and can reach heights of up to 30 feet when mature, although it’s typically shorter in cold climates like Utah. The culms are light olive green with distinct yellow grooves running along their length. Its leaves are a bright green color and grow densely around the culm stalks giving this species its lush look. This species does not spread aggressively, which makes it an ideal choice for gardeners who want to create a more organized-looking garden without sacrificing height or privacy. Regarding care, Yellow Groove bamboo likes full sun and plenty of water during its growing season (spring through fall). In winter, however, you should ensure your plant is well mulched to protect against frost damage. Yellow Groove Bamboo will thrive in any climate with proper care and maintenance!

3. Bisset Bamboo

Phyllostachys Bissetii, commonly known as Bisset Bamboo, is a species of bamboo native to China. It grows in clusters with stems that can reach heights up to 25 feet. This type of bamboo has beautiful green culms with yellow stripes and distinctive white nodes, which makes it quite unique compared to other types of bamboo. The leaves are long and narrow, similar to most bamboo, but this species tends to have more elongated blades than other varieties. Its thick root system allows it to survive the harsh Utah winter while still providing nutrients for nearby plants during the summer months. With its hardy nature and vibrant colors, Phyllostachys Bissetii is one of Utah’s best landscaping options.

4. Water Bamboo

Phyllostachys heteroclada ‘Purpurata‘ is a species of bamboo native to China and Japan, but it can be found in other parts of the world, including Utah. It grows best in humid climates with ample water, making it well-suited for use as an ornamental plant or landscaping feature in areas with adequate irrigation. This species typically grows up to 30 feet tall and features culms with purple stripes along their length. The leaves are lanceolate and deep green in color with a shiny upper surface and a pale yellowish-green underside. This species also has distinctive short hairs on its nodes, which help distinguish it from other varieties of bamboo. In addition to being aesthetically pleasing, Phyllostachys heteroclada ‘Purpurata‘ is highly drought tolerant once established, making it ideal for planting in arid regions like Utah, where water conservation is important. If you are below zone 6, the foliage will likely die back in the winter, but the roots are hardy to zone 4.

5. Blue Fountain Bamboo

Fargesia nitida, Himalaya

This species prefers partial shade or full sun exposure and needs regular watering during dry periods.

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Fargesia nitida, better known as Blue Fountain Bamboo, is a species of bamboo native to the mountains of central China. Its popularity has grown in recent years due to its striking foliage and hardiness. The culms are slender and arch gracefully, with a deep blue-green color that turns brownish-purple as it matures. It grows slowly but steadily at an average rate of 1 foot per year, reaching heights up to 15 feet over time. This species prefers partial shade or full sun exposure and needs regular watering during dry periods. Once established, it tolerates drought reasonably well and requires little additional care beyond occasional pruning to keep it looking tidy and healthy. A great choice for gardeners in Utah who want a beautiful specimen plant!

6. Umbrella Bamboo

Fargesia murielae, commonly known as Umbrella Bamboo, is a species of bamboo native to the mountains of western China. It has been introduced to other parts of the world, including Utah in the United States. This species can be identified by its dark green culms that reach up to 15 feet tall when mature and remain upright even after becoming woody. Its leaves are light green with jagged edges, and it produces small white flowers during late spring or early summer. Fargesia murielae prefers moist soils and partial shade but can tolerate full sun if given enough water in hot climates. Though not particularly cold hardy, it tolerates temperatures down to -10°F when established, making it suitable for use in Utah’s warmer zones. One interesting thing about this species is that new shoots emerge directly from old culms instead of from underground rhizomes, as many other bamboos do.

Summary of 6 Types of Bamboo That Thrive in Utah

Bamboo NameScientific NameBamboo HeightUSDA Hardiness
Snow BambooPhyllostachys nuda30 feet tallZones 5b-9
Yellow Groove BambooPhyllostachys Aureosulcata30 feet tallZones 4-10
Bisset BambooPhyllostachys Bissetii25 feet tallZones 4-8
Water BambooPhyllostachys heteroclada ‘Purpurata’30 feet tallZones 6-10
Blue Fountain BambooFargesia nitida15 feet tallZones 5-9
Umbrella BambooFargesia murielae15 feet tallZones 5-9


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About the Author

Heather Hall is a writer at A-Z Animals, where her primary focus is on plants and animals. Heather has been writing and editing since 2012 and holds a Bachelor of Science in Horticulture. As a resident of the Pacific Northwest, Heather enjoys hiking, gardening, and trail running through the mountains with her dogs.

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