Phyllostachys bambusoides Qualities: A large, tall bamboo from the sub-family Bambusoideae. It grows to over 10m in height, ideal for a walkthrough, large garden, or woodland forest. This running bamboo is also called Giant Timber Bamboo (other names include Medake and Japanese Timber Bamboo).
The Giant Timber bamboo and Edulis Moso Bamboo are the two common bamboo plants from the gigantic sub-family Bambusoideae. P. bambusoides can grow in the temperate European climate, including the warmer parts of the UK.
Specimens of these two large bamboo plants can be seen at the beautiful Kew Gardens London or the Trebeh Gardens Cornwall.
Giant Timber Bamboo (Bambusoideae)
- Identification: Phyllostachys bambusoides, Madake, Giant Timber bamboo, Japanese Timber Bamboo
- Site: Full sun to part shade
- Soil: Prefers fertile and well-drained, moist soil
- Uses: Walkthrough, woodland forest, large garden.
- Temperature hardiness: – 10 to – 15 degrees Celsius.
- Height: 15 – 20m, tall upright bamboo.
- Spread: 5 – 7m, running bamboo.
- Foliage: Evergreen Bamboo spectacular slender long leaves.
- Culm colour: Thick woody stems, green to golden yellow when matures.
Grow Giant Phyllostachys Bambusoides
The Giant Japanese Timber Bamboo belongs to the bamboo sub-family Bambusoideae, known widely as the Phyllostachys Bambusoides or Japanese Timber Bamboo or Medake.
This impressive bamboo is one of the largest bamboo plants that adapts to the temperate region. It thrives in full sun to part shade where the soil is moist but well-drained. Ideal plant for large botanical gardens, walkthroughs and woodland forests.
The Giant Japanese Timber Bamboo loves mild temperatures and high ceilings if grown indoors. Alternatively, if you do not have a high ceiling, keep it in pots and containers and place it on the patio or terrace where there is enough sunlight.
Perhaps it is important to note that this bamboo also thrives in contained spaces and will be reasonably taller than other Phyllostachys varieties. Therefore, take its spread and height into consideration, before choosing a site for planting.
Where to Buy Bamboo Plants in the UK
Here are the reputable UK Home and Garden shops where you can get your bamboo plants from. To buy bamboo, click on the link/s where you’ll be directed straight to the Bamboo page.
Bamboo Plants, Tools & Roots Barrier
Black Bamboo Plants UK
Bamboo-based Natural Products
Hand Tools & Roots Barrier
To help you choose the right bamboo, we provide a complete Guide to Selecting Bamboo Plants. The neat sequence of 6 questions leads you to the right plant! Read and Download the guide.
Protect your bamboo plants
The Timber Bamboo is hardy to – 20 degrees Celsius, but unlike its large cousin the Moso Bamboo mentioned earlier here, this bamboo does not like the cold. This giant bamboo is susceptible to frost and frozen soil. Prolonged temperatures below 0 degrees Celsius can completely damage this giant.
To save your bamboo from any irreparable damage, add a thick layer of organic mulch or move it to a sheltered site where the cold and frost will not affect it.
Act quickly if you see the browning of leaves or culms. If they are growing in pots, cut the long culms and put the plants in a sheltered site. That way, the plant will survive and put out new growth in Spring.
Propagate Timber Bamboo
There are three ways to propagate bamboo plants – from the seeds, or by culm and rhizome cuttings, or by separation of the main culm-base.
Some people have successfully used the conventional ‘Layering’ as the fourth way to propagate large bamboos. However, propagating bamboos from the cuttings and by separation is, by far, the two popular ways to get successful plants in the UK.
If you are propagating bamboo plants either from the rhizome or culm cuttings or planting a recent purchase, protect the new growths by adding Slug and Snail Killer. Slugs can wipe off the fresh leaves in one visit if left unprotected.
Slugs and Snails Killer
Feeds and Fertilisers
Heavy Duty Pots and Planters
Phyllostachys bambusoides (Giant Japanese Timber Bamboo)
The Phyllostachys bambusoides (Giant Japanese Timber Bamboo) can be hard to find in the UK. The best places to see these impressive evergreen bamboo plants are at the botanical gardens, either at Kew Gardens or Trebeh Gardens.
(If you know any other places we can see these fantastic bamboo plants in the UK, please let us know in the comment)
Check at your local Garden Centres or Nursery ask for the Phyllostachys bambusoides. Or mention the names Medake, Giant Timber Bamboo, Japanese Timber Bamboo as they are commonly referred to.