Simply Trees

Black Bamboo

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Twice a monthFull sunDeer resistant
  • Distinctive Black Culms: Mature stems develop a rich, black coloration that contrasts beautifully with the lush green foliage, providing year-round visual interest.
  • Rapid Growth and Clumping Habit: Offers quick coverage as a screen or hedge with a non-invasive, clumping growth habit, making it easier to manage than some other bamboo species.
  • Cold Hardy and Versatile: Adaptable to a range of climates and conditions, from full sun to partial shade, and demonstrates significant cold tolerance, making it suitable for a variety of garden settings.

More Details

Black Bamboo, scientifically known as Phyllostachys nigra, is a strikingly beautiful bamboo species renowned for its unique culms that transition from green to a deep, glossy black over two to three years. This fast-growing, clumping bamboo adds an element of sophistication and mystery to gardens, landscapes, or container plantings. Ideal for creating natural screens, hedges, or as a singular architectural element, Black Bamboo is not only prized for its aesthetic appeal but also for its versatility and ease of care. Despite its tropical appearance, it is surprisingly hardy and can be an excellent choice for gardeners looking to introduce a bold, exotic touch to their outdoor space.

Growth rate: Fast growth rate; can reach heights of 20-35 feet and a variable width depending on planting conditions and space.

Please note: Images on our website depict plants and trees at full maturity to showcase their expected grown characteristics. These images are illustrative examples only and do not represent the size of plants or trees upon delivery.

Pruning: Thin out older canes and remove any weak or damaged ones in late winter to early spring to encourage new growth and maintain plant health.

Fertilization: Apply a balanced fertilizer in early spring to promote healthy growth. Bamboo benefits from fertilization but does not require high levels of feeding.

Winter Protection: Generally hardy in its specified zones, but in the cooler parts of its range, a layer of mulch can help protect the roots during the coldest months.

Plant in spring or early autumn. Choose a location that receives full sun to partial shade with well-draining soil. Dig a hole twice as wide and the same depth as the root ball. Place the bamboo in the hole, backfill with soil, and water thoroughly. Consider installing a root barrier at the time of planting to control spread. Space plants according to the desired final width of the screen or hedge, typically 3-5 feet apart. Mulching helps retain soil moisture and suppress weeds.

Water regularly to keep the soil moist but not waterlogged, especially during dry periods and in the first few years after planting to establish a strong root system. Once established, Black Bamboo is relatively drought-tolerant. Performs best in full sun, where it will produce the most vigorous growth and achieve the darkest culm coloration, but it is also quite adaptable to partial shade conditions.

We process and ship your order as quickly as possible, typically within 1-3 business days. You will receive a shipping confirmation with tracking information once your item(s) ship.

We have perfected packaging and shipping plants & trees! That is why we DO NOT use any third-party fulfillment like most other online retailers. Your trees go straight from our farm to your door, safely packaged by our team of seasoned professionals. Our process ensures your plants leave our facility and arrive to your door in the best condition possible!

In cases of extreme cold or hot weather, we may temporarily delay shipping to ensure the well-being of your plants. Our primary focus is on delivering healthy and thriving plants to you. Rest assured, we'll make every effort to notify you of any delays promptly.

Please allow additional ship times during inclement weather and sale periods. We do not process or ship orders on the weekend or U.S. Holidays. Simply Trees is not responsible for delays due to carriers, local disruptions, or weather.

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At Simply Trees, we're committed to your satisfaction. If your plants arrive considerably damaged or sustained damage beyond the point of recovery, please contact us within five days at with clear photos for assistance. Our 30-day guarantee covers issues after planting, subject to our terms and conditions. We can't cover plants in the wrong climate or with inadequate care, but we're here to help in other situations. For a detailed understanding of our 30-day guarantee and how we ensure a fair process, click here to learn more.


Zones 7-10

Black Bamboo thrives in USDA Zones 7-10, showcasing its adaptability to both temperate and warmer climates. It prefers well-drained soil but is quite versatile, able to grow in a range of soil types and pH levels. This bamboo's ability to withstand colder temperatures makes it a unique choice for adding tropical flair to gardens beyond the typical bamboo-growing regions. While it enjoys sunlight, Black Bamboo can also flourish in partial shade, offering flexibility in garden placement.

Frequently Asked Questions

Black Bamboo is known for its tall and elegant stature, making it a popular choice for creating privacy screens, windbreaks, and ornamental features in the landscape. When mature, Black Bamboo can reach impressive heights, adding a dramatic vertical element to garden spaces.

On average, mature Black Bamboo culms (stems) can range in height from 20 to 40 feet, with some exceptional specimens reaching even greater heights under optimal growing conditions. The culms are typically slender and upright, adorned with dense foliage that forms a lush canopy at the top.

In addition to its height, Black Bamboo can also spread laterally through underground rhizomes, although the extent of lateral spread may vary depending on factors such as soil conditions, climate, and containment measures. Proper containment, such as using physical barriers to restrict rhizome spread, can help control the plant's overall size and prevent it from becoming invasive in the landscape.

When planning for Black Bamboo in the garden, it's essential to consider its mature size and ensure that adequate space is available to accommodate its vertical growth and potential lateral spread. Providing proper spacing between plants and implementing containment measures can help maintain the plant's size and prevent it from encroaching on other garden elements.

Black Bamboo is renowned for its vigorous growth rate, making it a popular choice for creating privacy screens, windbreaks, and ornamental features in the landscape. Under optimal growing conditions, Black Bamboo can exhibit impressive growth rates, with individual culms (stems) capable of reaching their full height within a single growing season.

On average, Black Bamboo can grow anywhere from 2 to 4 feet in height per year, although growth rates may vary depending on factors such as climate, soil quality, sunlight exposure, and moisture levels. During the growing season, which typically spans spring through fall, Black Bamboo can produce new culms rapidly, adding to its height and density.

It's essential to provide Black Bamboo with adequate space to accommodate its rapid growth, as well as to implement measures to contain its spread if desired. Regular maintenance, such as thinning out older culms and pruning to remove any dead or damaged growth, can help maintain the plant's health and appearance while managing its growth.

Additionally, providing Black Bamboo with optimal growing conditions, including well-drained soil, ample sunlight, and regular irrigation, can promote robust growth and ensure the plant's overall vitality. With proper care and maintenance, Black Bamboo can thrive and provide a striking focal point in the landscape with its tall, slender culms and lush foliage.

Black Bamboo is a running bamboo species. This means that it spreads by sending out underground rhizomes, which can potentially lead to the bamboo spreading beyond its intended area if not properly contained.

However, it's important to note that within the Phyllostachys genus, there are both running and clumping bamboo species. Phyllostachys nigra falls into the category of running bamboo, characterized by its tendency to send out rhizomes and potentially spread over time.

To control the spread of Black Bamboo and prevent it from becoming invasive, gardeners often use physical barriers, such as rhizome barriers made of durable materials like plastic or metal. These barriers are installed vertically into the ground around the perimeter of the planting area, preventing the bamboo's rhizomes from spreading beyond the designated boundary.

By implementing proper containment measures, gardeners can enjoy the ornamental beauty of Black Bamboo in their landscape without concerns about it spreading uncontrollably.

The best place to plant Black Bamboo depends on several factors, including its growth requirements, intended use, and the specific conditions of your landscape. Here are some considerations to help you choose the ideal planting location:

Sunlight: Black Bamboo thrives in full to partial sunlight. Choose a location that receives at least 4 to 6 hours of direct sunlight per day for optimal growth and vigor. Avoid planting in areas with dense shade, as this can result in sparse foliage and slower growth.

Soil: Black Bamboo prefers well-draining, fertile soil with a slightly acidic to neutral pH. Avoid planting in heavy clay soils that retain water, as this can lead to root rot and other moisture-related issues. Amending the soil with organic matter, such as compost or aged manure, can improve drainage and fertility.

Moisture: While Black Bamboo prefers consistently moist soil, it does not tolerate waterlogged conditions. Plant in an area with good drainage to prevent water from pooling around the roots. Avoid planting in low-lying or poorly drained areas of your landscape.

Space: Consider the mature size of Black Bamboo when selecting a planting location. Choose a site with ample space to accommodate the bamboo's height and spread without overcrowding or encroaching on nearby structures or plants. Keep in mind that Black Bamboo can spread gradually over time through underground rhizomes.

Climate: Black Bamboo is cold hardy in USDA hardiness zones 7 to 11. If you live in a colder climate, consider planting Black Bamboo in a sheltered location or providing winter protection, such as mulching or wrapping with burlap, to help the plant withstand freezing temperatures.

Landscaping Use: Determine how you plan to use Black Bamboo in your landscape. Whether as a specimen plant, privacy screen, or natural barrier, choose a location that complements its intended purpose and enhances the overall aesthetic of your garden or outdoor space.

By considering these factors and selecting a suitable planting location, you can ensure the successful establishment and growth of Black Bamboo in your landscape.

When planting Black Bamboo, spacing considerations are essential to allow the bamboo to grow and spread while maintaining an aesthetically pleasing appearance. The appropriate distance between individual plants depends on various factors, including the specific cultivar, intended purpose, and desired density of the bamboo stand.

As a general guideline, space Black Bamboo plants approximately 5 to 10 feet apart. This spacing allows enough room for the bamboo to develop its characteristic running habit without overcrowding. However, if you prefer a more dense screen or hedge-like effect, you can plant them closer together, as close as 3 to 5 feet apart.

Keep in mind that Black Bamboo is known for its spreading growth habit. To prevent overcrowding and maintain control over the bamboo's spread, consider installing a rhizome barrier around the planting area. This barrier, typically made of durable plastic or metal, prevents the bamboo's rhizomes from spreading beyond a defined boundary.

Additionally, when planting Black Bamboo as a screen or hedge, stagger the plants in a zigzag pattern rather than planting them in a straight line. This arrangement provides better coverage and creates a more natural-looking screen.

By spacing Black Bamboo plants appropriately and implementing measures to contain their growth, you can enjoy the beauty and benefits of this versatile plant while minimizing potential issues related to overcrowding and invasive spread.

Black Bamboo is generally hardy and can survive winter in USDA hardiness zones 7 through 11. However, its ability to withstand cold temperatures depends on various factors such as the severity of winter conditions, the maturity of the plant, and the specific microclimate where it's grown.

In regions where temperatures regularly drop below freezing, Black Bamboo may experience some winter damage, particularly to its foliage and less mature culms. Young or newly planted bamboo may be more susceptible to cold injury compared to established plants with well-developed root systems.

To help Black Bamboo survive winter and minimize potential damage, consider the following tips:

Mulching: Apply a thick layer of organic mulch around the base of the bamboo to insulate the roots and protect them from freezing temperatures. Mulch also helps retain soil moisture and regulates soil temperature, creating a more favorable environment for winter survival.

Wind Protection: Protect Black Bamboo from strong winds, which can exacerbate cold stress and desiccate foliage. Planting bamboo near structures or windbreaks can provide natural protection from harsh winter winds.

Watering: Ensure that Black Bamboo receives adequate moisture throughout the winter months, especially during dry periods. Watering deeply before the ground freezes helps hydrate the plant and reduces the risk of winter desiccation.

Pruning: Remove any dead or damaged foliage from the bamboo to promote airflow and reduce the risk of fungal diseases. Pruning can also help improve the overall appearance of the plant and encourage vigorous growth in the spring.

Winterizing: In colder climates or during particularly harsh winters, consider providing additional protection for Black Bamboo. This may include wrapping the plant with burlap or frost cloth or erecting temporary structures to shield it from extreme cold and snow.

By taking proactive measures to protect Black Bamboo from winter stressors, you can help ensure its survival and promote healthy growth when spring arrives.

The process of turning completely black can vary for Black Bamboo and is influenced by various factors such as age, environmental conditions, and individual culm characteristics. Typically, new culms emerge with a green coloration, which gradually transitions to shades of purple or dark green before eventually turning black.

In optimal growing conditions with ample sunlight, nutrients, and water, Black Bamboo culms may begin to darken within the first year or two after emerging. However, it can take several years, typically three to five years or longer, for the culms to fully mature and develop the characteristic deep black coloration for which the species is known.

Factors such as climate, soil quality, and cultural practices can also affect the rate of color change in Black Bamboo culms. In colder climates or regions with less sunlight, the process of turning black may take longer compared to warmer, sunnier areas where growth is more vigorous.

It's essential to provide proper care and maintenance to encourage healthy growth and optimal color development in Black Bamboo. This includes ensuring adequate sunlight, water, and nutrients, as well as regular monitoring for pests, diseases, and other stressors that may affect the plant's overall health and appearance. With patience and proper care, you can enjoy the striking black coloration of mature Black Bamboo culms in your landscape.

Controlling the growth of Black Bamboo requires proactive measures to prevent its spread beyond desired boundaries. Here are some strategies to help keep Black Bamboo under control:

Containment Barriers: Install physical barriers such as rhizome barriers or root barriers to restrict the spread of bamboo rhizomes underground. These barriers should be installed at least 18 to 24 inches deep around the perimeter of the planting area to prevent rhizome penetration.

Regular Maintenance: Monitor the bamboo regularly for signs of rhizome escape or above-ground spread. Trim or remove any rhizomes that emerge beyond the containment barriers promptly to prevent further expansion.

Root Pruning: Use a sharp spade or shovel to cut and remove any rhizomes that extend beyond the desired planting area. Dig a trench around the bamboo clump, severing and removing the rhizomes to prevent them from establishing new shoots.

Divide and Conquer: Periodically divide mature bamboo clumps to control their size and spread. Dig up the clump and carefully separate the rhizomes, replanting only the desired portion while discarding or composting the excess rhizomes.

Regular Maintenance: Regularly thin out and remove older or overcrowded culms to promote airflow and reduce the density of the bamboo stand. This can help prevent the bamboo from becoming overly dense and spreading uncontrollably.

Container Planting: Consider planting Black Bamboo in large containers or pots to restrict its growth and prevent rhizome spread. Choose containers with sturdy construction and ample drainage holes to accommodate the bamboo's growth requirements.

Vigilance: Stay vigilant and proactive in managing Black Bamboo growth, especially in areas where it may come into contact with neighboring properties or natural areas. Regularly inspect the bamboo and take prompt action to address any signs of spreading or encroachment.

By implementing these control measures and staying proactive in managing Black Bamboo growth, you can help prevent its spread beyond desired boundaries and enjoy its beauty without worrying about its invasive tendencies.

Yes, Black Bamboo is considered invasive in certain regions. Like other bamboo species, Black Bamboo has vigorous growth habits and can spread rapidly via underground rhizomes, forming dense clumps or groves over time. Invasive bamboo species, including Phyllostachys nigra, have the potential to outcompete native vegetation, disrupt natural ecosystems, and pose challenges for landscaping and property management.

When planting Black Bamboo or any bamboo species, it's essential to take precautions to prevent its spread beyond intended boundaries. This may involve using physical barriers like rhizome barriers or planting bamboo in containers to contain its growth. Regular monitoring and management of bamboo growth are also necessary to prevent its establishment in unintended areas and mitigate potential negative impacts on the environment.

Before planting Black Bamboo or any bamboo species, it's advisable to research local regulations and recommendations regarding bamboo cultivation and management to ensure compliance with any restrictions or guidelines aimed at preventing invasive spread. Additionally, consulting with local gardening authorities or invasive species experts can provide valuable insights and guidance on responsible bamboo cultivation practices.

If your Black Bamboo is turning grey or white, it could be an indication of various factors affecting the health and appearance of the plant:

Natural Aging: As Black Bamboo matures, the culms (stems) may undergo color changes, transitioning from dark green to grey or even white. This natural process is typically associated with older culms and is part of the plant's life cycle.

Sunlight Exposure: Excessive exposure to sunlight, particularly intense or prolonged direct sunlight, can cause the culms to bleach or fade in color, resulting in a grey or white appearance. Providing some shade or relocating the plant to a more sheltered spot can help mitigate this issue.

Stress or Environmental Factors: Environmental stressors such as drought, extreme temperatures, poor soil conditions, or insufficient nutrients can contribute to discoloration in Black Bamboo culms. Ensuring the plant receives adequate water, proper nutrients, and optimal growing conditions can help maintain its health and vibrancy.

Cultural Practices: Improper care or cultural practices, such as overfertilization, improper pruning, or damage during transplanting, can stress the plant and lead to changes in culm color. Following recommended guidelines for planting, watering, fertilizing, and maintenance can help prevent issues and promote healthy growth.

If you're unsure about the cause of the discoloration or concerned about the health of your Black Bamboo, consider consulting with a local gardening expert or horticulturist for personalized advice and recommendations tailored to your specific growing conditions and circumstances.

Our Process

We have perfected packaging and shipping plants & trees! That is why we DO NOT use any third-party fulfillment like most other online retailers. Your trees go straight from our farm to your door, safely packaged by our team of seasoned professionals. Our process ensures your plants leave our facility and arrive to your door in the best condition possible!