Phyllostachys parvifolia is a tall bamboo that can grow to over 8m in temperate or subtropical conditions. This running bamboo has tall upright culms with thin-walled internodes.
Its shoot has a purplish tint over brown sheaths giving it a rather calm slender appearance. The shoots can grow 5m to 6m before putting out branches.
This running bamboo is invasive but can be contained in pots and containers or within wall barriers, an ideal option for tall screens and garden hedges.
- Name: Phyllostachys parvifolia.
- Foliage: Evergreen
- Culm: Upright, woody thin-walled.
- Height: 8 – 12m, tall bamboo.
- Spread: Running bamboo, invasive.
- Site: Part shade to full sun, temperate/subtropical bamboo
- Soil: Well-drained moist or damp soil.
- Hardiness: – 10 to –5 degrees Celsius.
- Use: Woodland forest, walkway, large garden hedge, tall privacy screen.
How to grow bamboo Phyllostachys parvifolia?
Cultivate in contained spaces: Phyllostachys parvifolia is a tall running bamboo, it likes to grow away from the parent plant. Always create a root/rhizomes barrier when growing this bamboo.
This running bamboo will not grow to its full height in contained spaces. Nevertheless, the new shoots in the second and third years will be taller than the first shoots. So, do not be surprised if Phyllostachys parvifolia is taller than an average bamboo.
Ideally, use large heavy-duty pots and containers for growing this running bamboo.
Note that the running habit of this particular bamboo will demand moist and nutrient-rich soil, so water regularly; and add fertiliser and mulch once every year.
This running bamboo will definitely require repotting after 4 or 5 years or when it outgrows the pot.
Cultivate in the garden: Phyllostachys parvifolia is a perfect bamboo for large ornamental gardens, woodland forests, walkways and tall privacy screens.
Its tall purply shoots, thick upright stems and arching foliage are perfect for creating a temperate or subtropical garden. This variety of bamboo also makes a great garden centrepiece, the options are endless.
How to propagate running bamboo Phyllostachys parvifolia?
In the UK, many growers use Rhizome Cuttings to propagate the running bamboo successfully. You can also use Culm Cuttings or Bamboo Seeds to propagate Phyllostachys parvifolia.
Seeds are often hard to find because bamboos can flower once every 10 – 20 years. This bamboo, in particular, relies on wind pollination, unless it is hand-pollinated it can be really hard to get the seeds.
If you are lucky to have a rare bamboo seed, take extra care to grow them. Check out this step-by-step guide on How to Grow Bamboo from Seeds.
Slugs and Snails Killer
Feeds and Fertilisers
Heavy Duty Pots and Planters
Running bamboo care outdoor
Bamboos, like other plants, will require attention to grow well. The 6 bamboo care and maintenance tips below put in perspective what you can do to ensure that your running bamboo, Phyllostachys parvifolia, remains healthy.
- Thinning bamboo plants once or twice a year to promote new growths and keep the plant under control. Selectively trim the old culms and new shoots that you do not want within the bamboo grove.
- Pruning bamboo is intensive work compared to thinning bamboo. Dig and remove the parts of the bamboo that have outgrown the allocated space. This is an ideal time to take the bamboo divisions for replanting; and getting bamboo sticks for use in the garden.
- Pests and diseases: Bamboos are tolerant to pests and diseases in the UK, however, slugs adore the new shoots and leaves. If you are planting a new Phyllostachys parvifolia or expecting fresh growth in Spring, add Slug and Snail Pellets to protect them.
- Fertiliser: Bamboos do not need fertilisers regularly, but the old plants will benefit from the added nutrients. Add fertiliser to plants that are older than 5 years at least once a year. The NPK fertilisers or any that is high in nitrogen are ideal options.
- Mulching is a highly recommended care and maintenance job. It will keep the soil moist and protect the bamboo from frost and frozen soils. The bamboo leaves are fantastic mulch since they contain silicon which is naturally high in nitrogen. In addition, tree barks or other organic mulch rich in moisture are also good for bamboo plants.
- Time: The best time for mulching and fertilising is early in Spring before the new bamboo shoots come out; or late in Autumn when you expect cold Winter.
Buy Running Bamboo for screening and hedging
Phyllostachys parvifolia bamboo is an ideal privacy screen for apartments, balconies, porches or any small outdoor space. It is also an ideal garden hedge plant because you can prune the leaves and new shoots to give it a neat appearance.
Here are some great places where you can buy the running bamboos for screening and hedging.
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.
(Note that we do not sell or receive any payment at Garden Bamboo Plants, G.B.P. We’re a bamboo website focusing on providing the right information and connecting our UK visitors to the well-known and reputable online shops. Our Disclaimer)
Running bamboo types similar to Phyllostachys parvifolia
Finding tall running bamboo at the local nursery or garden centre can be hard. Therefore we provide 5 alternative bamboos that are similar to the Phyllostachys parvifolia.
The similarities are based on 5 important factors: the type (either running or clumping), height, foliage, hardiness and use. Details for each bamboo can be found through the links provided, click for more information.
- Slender Weaver’s Bamboo Bambusa Gracilis
- Giant Timber Bamboo Phyllostachys Bambusoides
- Edulis Moso Bamboo Phyllostachys pubescens
- Golden Chinese Bamboo Phyllostachys Vivax Aureocaulis
- Green Bamboo Phyllostachys bissettii
How to care for dying running bamboo?
The tall running bamboo is susceptible to frost, frozen soils and poor growing conditions. And especially, new plants will need attention to grow and establish themselves in the first and second years.
So, how can you care for the dying running bamboos? Often plants that come in pots have lots of water and tend to thrive on plant food in the nursery. It is perhaps important to check the soil if you have re-potted your bamboo.
Importantly, ensure that there is good soil, and the growing pot is not waterlogged. This could be the main reason why the leaves are turning yellow.
Another reason why your bamboo plants are dying can be attributed to the soil where the plants are growing. Check this article for the best soil for growing bamboo.
If you are satisfied that you’ve done the right thing, but your bamboo is still dying the last option is to dig the whole plant and repot it. Also work out whether you’ve planted the bamboo in the right site – shade, part shade or sun.
If you do not do anything, you could potentially lose the whole plant.
In most cases, bamboo yellowing and dying are due to poor soil, waterlogged area, unconducive weather or unsuitable site.
We wrote a practical guide to revive bamboo plants in this article: How to Revive Your Bamboo Plants.
All in all, Phyllostachys parvifolia is a fantastic tall subtropical bamboo plant. This tall running bamboo is perfect for large ornamental gardens, woodland forests, walkways and tall privacy screens. It will thrive in pots and containers where the soil is well-drained and moist.
At G.B.P, our goal is to provide the right information for selecting the right bamboo to grow in the garden and in pots and containers.
Based on our experience, we also offer bamboo growers’’ tips and guides on how to provide the right care and maintenance for bamboo plants. You can see most of our work on YouTube.