Bamboo that thrive in zone 9

Many bamboo varieties thrive in our hot dry Mediterranean climate of zone 9 (Sunset magazines definition of zone 9) as found in the thermal belts of California’s Central Valley.

Two heat tolerant bamboo varieties that quickly come to mind are Phyllostachys Vivax and the giant timber bamboo Oldhamii. Bambusa Oldhamii (aka Oldham’s bamboo) is the most common and widely grown bamboo in the United States, and has been introduced into cultivation all around the world. Phyllostachys Vivax thrives in heat, as evidenced by the gynormous and breathtaking stands found in local gardens. Our 5-year old Vivax grove has reached 50′, and is as spectacular as anything we have ever planted. In the Fresno Clovis area (both Clovis and Fresno are in zone 9) Vivax and Oldhamii can be paired to create an impossibly fast growing, impenetrably dense, purely magical, garden backdrop. If ever there was a “foundation plant” or “statement planting” that elicits oohs-and-ahhhs upon viewing, it’s Vivax and Oldhamii.

Vivax in zone 9

Phylostachys vivax has a place in the Mediterranean landscape, as a crazy fast growing screening plant, as a towering backdrop planting, or simply to enjoy Vivax’s relaxing beauty. In zone 9 climates, Vivax can be potted and used to screen out close neighbors. A running bamboo whose latin name literally translates to “vigorous,” Vivax thrives in heat.

Oldhamii is Magical

Oldhamii bamboo grows phenomenally well in zone 9, creating thick luscious deep green foliage in our hot dry summers. A clumping bamboo, Oldhamii can grow up to 4′ in a day, yes a day. Though we have never seen that type of growth here in the Central Valley foothills, we have “watched” Oldhamii grow faster than anything we have ever planted. Our Vivax is a close second ).

Yellow loves Heat

Yellow groove bamboo absolutely thrives in hot dry conditions, a tough and hardy, GORGEOUS, screening plant that makes a statement of pure beauty. Here in zone 9 we planted the Spectabilis variety (yellow culm, green sulcus) and enjoy many “lombard street” worthy crooked culms. Yellow groove creates an excellent hedge/screen with exceptionally fast growth.


Golden Bamboo

Golden bamboo (Phyllostachys aurea) thrives in hot climates, and is a zone 9 screening “miracle worker.” Golden bamboo is a runner, a perfect choice for relatively low dense screens. In Australia its known as “Fairyland bamboo.” AKA fishpole bamboo, monk’s belly bamboo.

Random UFO

This (as yet positively identified) clumping bamboo is a fountain of beautiful green sorcery. It loves heat and grows into a tall spectacular arching shape we admirably nicknamed “4th of July finale” bamboo. Grows like a weed in zone 9 starting in June, and just keeps sending forth new culms. Once Id’d it will join Vivax and Oldhamii as a “Chanticleer” bamboo.

American Bamboos

There are many bamboos native to the America’s. Arundinaria, commonly known as “cane,” is the only bamboo native to North America. Arundinaria is native to the south-central and southeastern United States from Maryland south to Florida and west to the southern Ohio Valley and Texas.