Sun exposure:
Full sun, partial shade
South facing, west facing
Position in border:


Chalky / Alkaline / Clay / Heavy / Moist / Well Drained / Light / Sandy

Black bamboo (Phyllostachys nigra) is a large, elegant evergreen bamboo with arching, green stems that become shiny and purple-black with age. A popular and versatile variety, black bamboo looks great in contemporary-style city or courtyard gardens, jungle or Japanese-style gardens and even in large pots. It adds an exotic feel to almost every design and can be planted as a screen to hide an unsightly wall or garden building, or even as an understory for other plants such as banana plants or palm trees. Black bamboo makes an excellent foil for lush greens and plants with colourful blooms, and works well when planted as a single specimen. To make the most of its beauty, why not remove some of the lower leaves to show off the colourful stems?

Black bamboo thrives in moist but well-drained soil. Be warned, it's extremely fast-growing so needs a lot of space to to spread. Although it's clump-forming and therefore one of the less invasive types of bamboo, you may want to take precautions to restrict its spread, such as planting in a large container or limiting its roots with a non-perishable barrier.

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Advice on buying black bamboo

  • Although not one of the invasive varieties, black bamboo is fast growing and will quickly fill its allocated space, so make sure you have enough room for it to grow in to
  • You may find black bamboo at your local garden centre but you'll find more choice online
  • Always check plants for signs of disease or damage before buying

Where to buy black bamboo

Plant calendar


Phyllostachys and wildlife

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

Is Phyllostachys poisonous?

Phyllostachys has no toxic effects reported.

No reported toxicity to:
Is not known to attract Birds
Is not known to attract Cats
Is not known to attract Dogs
Is not known to attract Horses
Is not known to attract Livestock
Is not known to attract People
Plants that go well with Phyllostachys nigra