Bamboo, Phyllostachys nigra

Phyllostachys nigra

Black bamboo

  • Botanical name: Phyllostachys nigra
  • Common name: Black bamboo
  • Family: Poaceae
  • Plant Type: Shrub, Evergreen
Foliage colour:


Phyllostachys are attractive, tall, evergreen bamboos that make a strong architectural statement in the garden.


P. nigra is a large, elegant evergreen bamboo with arching, green stems that become shiny purple-black with age. It looks great in contemporary-style, jungle, or Japanese-style gardens and looks best planted as a single specimen.


For best results grow Phyllostachys aureosulcata f. aureocaulis in moist but well-drained soil. Although it’s one of the less invasive types of bamboo, precautions may be taken to restrict spread, such as planting in a large container or limiting the roots with a non-perishable barrier.

Show off the colourful stems

Remove some of the lower leaves of Phyllostachys nigra – this will show off the colourful stems.

How to grow Phyllostachys nigra

  • Plant size

    4m height

    4m spread

  • Aspect

    South facing, west facing

  • Position in border


  • Sun exposure: Full sun, partial shade
  • Hardiness: Hardy
  • Soil type: Well drained / light / sandy / clay / heavy / moist / chalky / alkaline

Plant calendar

A table displaying which months are best to sow, plant and harvest.
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec

Do not Plant in January

Do not Plant in February

Do not Plant in March

Do Plant in April

Do Plant in May

Do not Plant in June

Do not Plant in July

Do not Plant in August

Do Plant in September

Do Plant in October

Do not Plant in November

Do not Plant in December


Do not Prune in January

Do not Prune in February

Do not Prune in March

Do Prune in April

Do Prune in May

Do not Prune in June

Do not Prune in July

Do not Prune in August

Do not Prune in September

Do not Prune in October

Do not Prune in November

Do not Prune in December

Phyllostachys nigra and wildlife

Phyllostachys nigra has no particular known value to wildlife in the UK.

Is Phyllostachys nigra poisonous?

Phyllostachys nigra has no toxic effects reported.

No reported toxicity to:

No reported toxicity to Birds

No reported toxicity to Cats

No reported toxicity to Dogs

No reported toxicity to Horses

No reported toxicity to Livestock

No reported toxicity to People

Plants that go well with Phyllostachys nigra


Fatsia japonica

Japanese aralia

Show off the colourful stems

Remove some of the lower leaves of Phyllostachys nigra – this will show off the colourful stems.