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Chinese Dwarf Bamboo Plants You Should Know

Chinese dwarf bamboo plants are great undercover plants. Most of them prefer shade to part-shaded sites. They are ideal small bamboos for gardens and pots because they do not take up much space. They are less demanding and low maintenance.

The Chinese Dwarf Bamboo Plants come in different sizes, shapes and colours. They make up less than 10 per cent of the bamboos that we feature on

So, what are the Chinese bamboo plants? This article covers beautiful dwarf bamboos, their growth requirements, uses and care tips. It is a fine collection of small bamboos that thrive in the UK.

5 Dwarf Bamboo Plants to Grow Undercovers

Generally, the dwarf bamboo plants are ideal ground covers. They will thrive in part shade to shaded sites. Most of these plants are hardy and grow in cooler climates.

If you want to add colour and greenery to your driveway or patio, these 5 bamboos are ideal candidates. They are also best planted in pot plants for apartments, porches, verandas and other outdoor areas that are in close proximity to the main buildings.

Here are 5 small bamboos to grow as undercover plants. These plants are chosen based on their shade tolerance.

  1. Luca Dwarf Umbrella Bamboo: This clump-forming bamboo was the 2018 RHS Chelsea Plant of the Year contender. Luda is ideal for ground cover and pots because of its dense (umbrella) evergreen foliage low down on the ground. Small Bamboo Luca Fargesia Umbrella Bamboo UK
  2. Bambusa textilis ‘RG Dwarf’ (Weaver’s Bamboo Dwarf): Do not be fooled by the name, this clumping bamboo can grow to 5 metres in height. Compared to the other Dwarf Bamboos the Weaver’s Bamboo is tall. Slender Weaver's Bamboo
  3. Bimbo Dwarf Bamboo: Stunning clump-forming ornamental Dwarf Bamboo. Bimbo has thin green compacted leaves and short culms that form an ‘umbrella’ effect low on the ground. Ideal plant for short hedge, screen, small gardens and confined spaces. A fantastic evergreen pot or container plant. Fargesia Lava Small Garden bamboo garden bamboo plants GBP UK
  4. Fargesia nitida Jiuzhaigou Bamboo: The stems/culms of this spectacular clump-forming dwarf bamboo emerge green, turn deep red and mature to yellowish-orange. In fact, the change in colours is a response to the amount of light the stems receive.  fountain bamboo red dragon fargesia nitida
  5. Winter Joy: The Fargesia murielae ‘Winter Joy’ is a hybrid bamboo, cross between ‘Simba’ and ‘Dwarf Fountain’ Umbrella Bamboos. It has a distinct dark green culm (stem) with red overlays. Winter joy is hardy, evergreen and non-invasive. Best for growing in the garden, or in pots and containers. Fargesia nitida winter joy

Are Chinese Dwarf Bamboo Plants invasive?

You can find them as both running and clumping bamboos. The great thing about these bamboos is that they are small and undemanding.

The running varieties will spread. Always use root barriers to stop them from invading other spaces. Alternatively, grow them in pot planters.

The clumping varieties are non-invasive. You do not have to worry about spreading. However, the clumping bamboo bases will expand over time. If this happens, it will require pruning and thinning.

What are Chinese Dwarf Bamboos?

Most dwarf bamboo plants are small bamboos no more than a metre tall. They are great plants to grow near built areas. More so, this group of bamboos is best for pots, patios and driveways.

Most dwarf bamboo plants prefer shade to part shade and are great undercover growth. You do not have to worry about the space or where to grow these bamboos. They are small and easy to manage.

But, one Chinese dwarf bamboo can grow to 5 metres. Yet it is referred to as Weaver’s Dwarf Bamboo. Do not be fooled by its name. In fact, it is a large clumping bamboo of the Bambusa Textilis Gracilis cultivars. We covered it in detail here – Chinese bamboos.

How to Grow Dwarf Bamboo Plants?

The three ways to grow bamboo plants are seed propagation, culm cuttings and rhizome separation. A lesser-known method is called air-layering, which is similar to budding the bamboo branches until they establish roots.

The small bamboo plants grow well by rhizome separation which is more effective than the other methods.

This article (Split Potted Bamboo Plants) explains how to separate the bamboo plants if you buy them in pots. It gives you a good idea about what to do and how to preserve the rhizomes before planting. In addition, you will need these Hand Tools, take a look.

Where to buy Dwarf ‘Clumping’ Bamboo Plants?

Check out the UK retailers where you can get the Chinese Dwarf Bamboo plants. They come in different size pots. The bigger pots can give you up to 4 plants if you separate them properly.

Bamboo Plants and Supplies

UK Suppliers

Non-invasive Bamboo Collections

Fargesia Bamboo Plants

Black, Green & Yellow Bamboo Plants

Gardening Essentials

Best Hand Tools for Digging Bamboo

Phyllostachys Bamboo Plants

Caring for Small Bamboo Plants

The Chinese Dwarf Bamboo Plants will definitely require attention, especially, if they are planted from rhizomes separation.

The plant is under stress after cutting, so provide the care it needs to grow during the early stage. Add water and mulch where or when necessary.

Monitor its growth for the first couple of months or until new shoots and leaves emerge. The emerging shoots are a sign that the roots hairs and rhizomes are healthy under the soil. You should be happy when this happens.

How to care for bamboo plants

When is the best time to plant bamboo?

Bamboos are tough and hardy. The small bamboos can withstand temperatures up to minus 25 degrees Celsius. In the UK, they do not have natural pests apart from slugs. Slugs do like the new bamboo leaves and shoots, so protect your new plants by adding slug pallets.

The best time to grow bamboo plants is at the beginning of Spring when new growths are prominent.
Check out the link, if you want more details of other small bamboo plants and Variegated Bamboos plants that thrive in cooler climates.

variegated bamboo UK


The Chinese dwarf bamboo plants are great outdoor and indoor plants. They are less demanding.
You can find them as running and clumping bamboos. They come in different colours.

Hope this article gives you some ideas about the dwarf bamboo cultivars that you can grow in the UK.

Is your favourite bamboo on this list? Leave a comment and let us know.

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