Growing Plants

Can Bamboo Grow In Ohio? Tips For Growing This Plant

Bamboo is widely known as a strong and resilient tree, yet it can endure the harsh weather conditions in Ohio, United States.

This article will unravel this mystery by answering the question: Can bamboo grow in Ohio?

Besides, I present more information about six popular types of bamboo, coupled with general instructions about planting and caring for this plant. Keep scrolling down for further details!

About The Bamboo Tree

can bamboo grow in ohio

A bamboo tree is a diverse group of tropical evergreen flowering plants that comprise the Bambusoideae subfamily.

Among different species in the group, bamboo is the largest member, with a length of over 45 meters and a thickness of 36 centimeters.

Interestingly, bamboo develops very slowly during its first stage of life. During this period, it only grows a few feet in height within a year.

After this phase, bamboo can be 30 centimeters taller per day, which is regarded as one of the fastest-growing creatures on the Earth.

Its roots are strong and move deeply downwards the soil to absorb water and nutrients. The stems are known as culms, which are typically hollow and form in branching clusters.

Their heights range from 10 centimeters to 40 meters.

You must wait more than 12 years for its flowers to produce seed, and this process only occurs once in its lifetime.

These seeds could be used as grains, important ingredients for many recipes. Its leaves are also useful fodders for livestock, and stems are used in house-building.

Can Bamboo Grow In Ohio?

The answer is yes. You can grow bamboo in Ohio, yet you must choose the varieties resistant to cold temperatures and threats of frost.

The reason is that most bamboo trees favor warm subtropical and tropical climates.

Lucky for you, there are still some species that are perfectly suitable for Zone 6 and even Zone 5.

According to the USDA Hardiness map, Ohio falls in Zone 6, where the temperature is quite harsh with a very cold winter.

But you must be careful when planting these varieties of tall bamboo because their growing methods and caring guidelines may differ from other tropical bamboo.

So what are they? Let’s check out the following section!

What Are The Common Types Of Bamboo Trees That Grow In Ohio?

growing bamboo in ohio

Here is a list of popular bamboo trees that thrive well in Ohio that are worth your consideration.

Rivercane (Arundinaria Gigantea)

Rivercane bamboo or many scientists call it Arundinaria Gigantea Macon, is a species native to North America.

It loves moist habitats, like streambanks, rivers, and other bodies of water, which provide sufficient water for it to sustain.

Rivercane species could reach a height of 20 feet with foliage of between 8 and 14 inches.

Given its culms or stems, they show light green hues in the seedling phase but turn yellowish in tints during maturity.

As mentioned earlier, Rivercane flowers only produce once in their life, followed by black berries attracting many birds and nesting animals.

Yellow Groove Bamboo (Phyllostachys Aureosulcata)

The showy groove bamboo is one of Ohio’s most popular ornamental species. Its height exceeds the Rivercane bamboo type, growing up to 35 meters under ideal conditions.

However, its care requires more maintenance. You must choose a sunny spot to plant it; the soil should be loamy and moist with well-draining properties.

However, as a cold-resistant plant, it hates the full sunlight, so you can sometimes move it to the shade to protect the yellow groove species from the sun.

Bisset (Phyllostachys Bissetii)

The groves of bamboo are famous in Japan, and the Bisset bamboo is native to this country but has been moved to Ohio for cultivation purposes.

It is very tough to endure the cold of Zone 4 in the USDA Hardiness map. So, Some mild currents of strong winds and frosts in the winter will not hinder its development.

You don’t have to take care of them too much. The only requirement you must meet when planting the Bisset bamboo is choosing moist and well-drained soil and providing enough hours of sunlight.

Although it’s able to develop in other soils, like clay or loam types, wet soil is still an ideal condition for its growth. Six hours of sunlight is the minimum exposure duration for the tree to thrive.

Dragon Head Bamboo

The Dragon Head bamboo is a semi-evergreen tree, which means that it always remains green all year.

However, it still turns yellow or brown in very cold winters, and this color-changing mechanism helps protect from low temperatures.

This cold-hardy bamboo prefers full sun and soil with a pH level from 6 to 7.5. Besides, it can spread numerous underground rhizomes.

With this density of growth, it is really a perfect choice for windbreaks, along with privacy screens.

As its name suggests, this tree resembles a dragon head, symbolizing richness and power. That’s why many people grow a whole bamboo garden to enhance the landscape design.

Red Margin Bamboo (Phyllostachys Rubromarginata)

The Red Margin bamboo is put into the category of giant bamboo. It is 40 feet tall with an 8-inch width.

But when you plant in Zone 4 or 5, where the temperatures are much colder, its height is only 20 feet.

This bamboo type shows beautiful foliage with reddish-brown margins and green stripes along the culm. It also loves full sun and grows well in moist soil with well-draining properties.

Incense Bamboo (Phyllostachys Atrovaginata)

Unlike the above species, Incense bamboos are evergreen trees native to China. Its height is quite limited, only between 10 and 20 meters.

Its leaves are dark green, which likely display a distinctive red-purple hue over time.

Considered as one of the most gorgeous bamboo flowers, incense blossoms also give off mild scents when the season nearly comes.

This tree is very easy to plant. It could develop nearly everywhere, regardless of soil conditions, sunlight exposure, humidity, and temperatures.

But its drawback lies in the rapid spreading that destroys all nearby plants and overruns the landscape.

How To Plant Bamboo In Ohio?

Can you grow bamboo in Ohio? Yes, and following are comprehensive instructions on growing bamboo in Ohio that you should pay close attention to:

  • Step 1: Prepare tools for planting, like a shovel. Don’t forget protective garments, such as safety glasses and gloves, to secure your health.
  • Step 2: Choose a suitable seed that thrives well in Ohio and adapts to your needs.
  • Step 3: Dig a hole that is 2 times compared to the root ball diameters. It should also be 3 inches deep.
  • Step 4: Add enough compost to the hole before covering it with soil. Remember to pour the compost on the root ball as well so it can be a nutritional base for your bamboo seedling.
  • Step 5: Build a soil water retention ring outside the planting hole. After finishing the build-up process, water the area carefully.
  • Step 6: You can use organic mulch, like coconut mulch, to soften the soil. Good luck!


Watering is imperative to bamboo growth. You must water your plant regularly and change the frequency based on the weather and other environmental factors.

Remember not to let your plant dry out during its first year.


It is recommended to use a high-quality product and fertilize your bamboo plant with a proper amount.

Avoid over-fertilizing it at all costs because toxic components can damage your tree and even harm your health.


To offer optimal protection, you must ensure adequate mulching with a layer of 4 inches. Frequent pruning also helps reduce the threat of insects and facilitates the tree’s development.

How To Take Care Of Bamboo Ohio?

does bamboo grow in ohio

Below are concise care guidelines for two main seasons: summer and winter.

In The Summer

  • Summer is an arid season, so your bamboo may need more water than normal. So you can give it more water yet never overwater the plant.
  • Old leaves sometimes fall on the ground, and you’d better ignore them instead of raking them. They are functional at protecting bamboo roots and keeping moisture in the soil.

In The Winter

  • Mulch generously to protect them from cold temperatures.
  • Build a fence to avert or limit the impact of strong winds.
  • Suppose you notice ice on the branches; let it be instead of breaking the ice into several parts.
  • Applying the anti-desiccant spray is advisable.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does Texas Have Bamboo?

Yes. One species of bamboo called Arundinaria is native to the part of Texas. Temperatures in Texas are nearly the same as in Ohio, so bamboo could still develop here.

What Plant Looks Like Ohio Bamboo?

Many people mistake Japanese knotweed for bamboo because it has an upright and shrub-like appearance like bamboo, coupled with a similar height.

What State Grows The Most Bamboo Trees?

In the United States, Floria is the largest bamboo cultivation and processing operation. That’s why bamboos are grown more in Florida than other states.

The Bottom Line

Can bamboo grow in Ohio? Yes, some varieties of bamboo, especially the 6 popular categories of bamboo presented above, can thrive well in Ohio by tolerating harsh weather and temperatures.

If you live in this state, please choose a suitable seed and follow my guide to grow your plant.

Thank you for your genuine support, and have a nice day!

Samuel Mark

Hello I am Samuel. Samuel's Garden is a garden blog where I share my experiences in garden caring and tree growth. Hope you enjoy it!

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