Sumo Gardener

How Fast Does Bamboo Grow? | Types Of Bamboos To Grow

Have you ever wondered how fast does bamboo grow? Bamboo is an incredible fast-growing grass with a thick hollow stem. Often grown in gardens as a feature plant, screening plant, as part of an urban garden, or just to add some ambience, bamboo can be an excellent option for gardeners.

It’s hardy, hassle-free and incredibly quickly established. However, because of its vigorous growth rate, you need to keep an eye on it, as certain types love to spread.

Here’s everything you need to know about the different kinds of bamboo, how fast can bamboo grow and which is the fastest you can find. 

How Fast Does Bamboo Grow? Types Of Bamboos To Grow


What is Bamboo?

how fast does bamboo grow

Bamboo has long been a popular gardening option. Evergreen and quickly grown, bamboo is a fantastic option for a variety of gardens and growers alike. Although considered grass, bamboo has a thick hardwood with a hollow centre and produces slender green leaves. 

The exciting thing is that bamboo shoots don’t experience secondary growth; once a shoot has grown to capacity, it stops, and a new shoot will begin to grow on top.

This is why bamboo can grow as tall as it does. Plus, in the right conditions, bamboo shoots can live for over a decade. 

How Fast Does Bamboo Grow in A Day? 

A large benefit of bamboo is that new shoots only take approximately 60 days to become established. This is far less than many other common house or garden plants. 

While there are many different types of bamboo, certain species can grow as much as 35 inches per day, provided the right conditions. It is important to note that the different types of bamboo will have different growing speeds. 

Oftentimes, ‘clumped’ bamboo types will grow slower and be less invasive as opposed to ‘runners’. Whether your bamboo is ‘clumped’ or a ‘runner’ will depend on the root system. 

Different Types Of Bamboos


Clumping bamboo is sympodial and has far shorter rhizomes. Runners have far longer rhizomes which tend to spread more frequently, resulting in more shoots across your garden. 

More so, age can greatly impact how quickly your bamboo can grow in a day or even a month. Older bamboo does begin to slow in growth, with some bamboo taking anywhere between 4 to 15 years to reach maturity.

The Different Types of Bamboo

Bamboo is not only grouped by its ‘clumped’ or ‘runner’ root system. Usually, bamboo is categorized by where it is grown and what it is grown for. Each type has its own growth rate and needs for growing conditions. 

Different Types of Bamboo

Temperate Bamboo

Temperate bamboo is what is often grown in most gardens and homes. It’s more adaptable to varying temperatures and doesn’t require as much sun as many of its counterparts. 

It is a fast grower. However, it will need the right soil and sun condition for optimum growth. This type of bamboo does take about 3 years to reach its peak growth speed.

Temperate bamboo is known to be a runner, so be sure to keep an eye on new shoots. 

Tropical Bamboo

Tropical bamboo is mostly clumped. However, you do get some runner varieties. This cultivar prefers a lot of humidity and is a species mostly found around tropical regions.

In the right conditions, this species can thrive, growing thick, tall and beautiful. However, this species isn’t suitable for colder regions as colder temperatures can affect its ability to grow. 

Timber Bamboo

Grown for its wood, timber is the fastest growing bamboo species there is. At its tallest, it can reach over 60 feet in height. However, this species requires a lot of care and attention, especially when it comes to watering. 

It needs lots of water to keep up with its growing pace. This is often why it’s not an option for gardens or homes and usually only grown on a larger scale. 

Smaller Bamboo Species

There are many different types of bamboo, and even some smaller, dwarf species. These species are usually great for container growing or for indoors.

However, they do enjoy quite a bit of sun. The most common cultivars include the pleioblastus pygmaeus or veitchii. 

How to Start Growing Bamboo

How to Start Growing Bamboo

Unfortunately, bamboo isn’t easily grown from seeds, as the seeds have an incredibly short period of viability. Luckily, however, propagation from the division is quick, easy and almost always successful. 

In order to foster new bamboo plants, you will need to: 

  • Remove an existing bamboo plant from the soil.
  • Divide the plant by cutting the cone, creating smaller pieces that have rhizomes/roots. 
  • Plant your new plants into a rich organic matter to root.

It can take as much as a few months for your bamboo plant to become established and start new growth, so just be patient.

It’s important to note that the original shoot from the division will cease to grow. However, you should notice plenty of new shoots growing from the rhizomes after a few months. 

The Benefits of Growing Bamboo

Bamboo is a fantastic option for a variety of gardens and growers alike

Bamboo offers a wide range of benefits for gardens and homes. Not only is bamboo a great screening plant, but it has a wide range of health benefits for your soil and the environment alike. 

Bamboo is adaptable and can grow in poorer soil conditions. As such, it’s a great tool to repair damaged soil and replenish poorer soil. More so, bamboo is a fantastic way to counter toxicity in the air, taking in 4 times more CO2 than many other plants. 

It’s also believed that bamboo holds medicinal and nutritional properties, being able to improve appetite and digestion, cure cardiovascular disease and have antibacterial and antiviral capabilities. 

Another important benefit of bamboo is that when maintained, it isn’t a fire risk and, as such, is safe for growth in areas that are prone to dry conditions and wildfires. 

Controlling Bamboo

A common qualm is that bamboo does tend to spread, and incredibly quickly at that. As mentioned, should you have a clumped bamboo variety, you shouldn’t have too much of an issue as new shoots tend to grow around the same plant. 

However, runner varieties, which are most often grown, will begin to spread shoots, potentially popping up where you don’t really want them. 

Here’s how you can try and keep your bamboo controlled to avoid any issue: 

  • Container Growing. Keeping your bamboo in pots will entirely eliminate the spreading issue as the root systems will be bound to the size of the pot. 
  • Raised Beds. Again, raised beds are a great option as the roots won’t have anywhere to venture out to. 
  • Bamboo Blockers. You can consider putting a layer of cement, wood or steel in the ground around your bamboo plant, which will curb the spread of roots. 
  • Rhizome Pruning. Also, a successful method, you can use a sharp spade to dig into the soil and sever the rhizomes from the main plant.

Final Tips to Make Your Bamboo Grow Faster

how fast can bamboo grow

If growth speed is what you’re looking for, there are a few tips and tricks that can help boost your bamboo, including: 

  • Start with Established Plants. When choosing a plant to divide, choose a happy, healthy growing bamboo plant. The more rhizomes you have, the more growth you will have too. 
  • Supply Solid Soil Conditions. While bamboo isn’t extremely picky, it does prefer sandy loam soil with rich organic content. Adequate soil drainage is also a must. Water-logged soil will affect the growth speed. 
  • Let Your Bamboo Have Fun in the Sun. Bamboo does grow better and faster provided with enough direct sunlight. At least 4 hours of sunlight a day is ideal. 
  • Feel Free to Fertilize. Using a slow-release fertilizer is a great way to accelerate plant growth. Feed only once every few months to avoid issues while boosting growth.

Now You Know How Fast Does Bamboo Grow

In order to get the fastest growing bamboo, you’ll need to choose the right type of bamboo, supply the right conditions and keep a watchful eye on your plants. When planting, always be sure to give your bamboo enough space to grow. 

If you’re purchasing your bamboo shoots from a garden centre or nursery, be sure to read the label or do some research on that specific variety to make sure you’re giving it the right care and conditions. 

Plus, if you have any issues with your bamboo, you can follow our comprehensive troubleshooting guide. Now that you know how fast does bamboo grow, its time to add this beautiful evergreen to your garden. 

About the Author Ann Katelyn

I'm Ann Katelyn, Creator and Chief Author of Sumo Gardener. Since I was a child I've always been fascinated with plants and gardens, and as an adult this has developed into my most loved hobby. I have dedicated most of my life to gardening and started Sumo Gardener as a way to express my knowledge about gardening with the hope of helping other people's gardens thrive.

follow me on:

Leave a Comment: