Also know scientifically as “Phyllostachys nigra”, the black bamboo is widely admired by gardeners from Japan, China, United States, and other parts of the world because of its little, bright green leaves and black shoots or culms. The black bamboo plants can reach up to 20 to 30 feet in height and 1 to 2 inches in diameter. When used in crafting furniture, this bamboo variety also becomes a favorite because of its exquisite finish and color.

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Required Growing Conditions

  • Apparently, growing black bamboo is hard on places where it is hot and windy as they are not likely to reach their full growing potential. In fact, it has been reported to thrive better in the coolest regions in United States.
  • Once you decided to plant the black bamboo in your garden, first, you need to ensure that the area is well-protected and well-shaded so that the plant will stay cool even if the weather gets warmer.
  • Ideally, black bamboos should be generously watered only during summer season.
  • Additionally, they also need a rich soil, which can be a mixture of bark mulch and compost or horse manure. This mixture provides an ideal growing space for the black bamboo, as they typically have a running root system that needs a thick layer of fertile top soil.

Color Change and Growth

During April or May, the black bamboo’s shoots emerge from the ground. However, their top layer is not really black, but rather protected with light burgundy culms covering. This layer serves as a protector for the young bamboo shoots which are most likely to reach their full height by the month of June. By this time, their branches have unfolded and the young culms covering have been shed. Under these culms, there lies a bright green shoot. However, this color changes in the middle of summer, which results to a dark brown pigment near the shoot’s base. When the spring time comes, the black bamboo has completed its color transformation – from bright green to deep black shoots.

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The black bamboo has a number of varieties and these include Bambusa lako, which is also known as clumping black bamboo. This clumping bamboo has striped and polished black shoots. Another popular variety is the Gigantochloa atroviolacea, which immediately turns into black once it appears from the ground.

Try planting one today, for you to get a hold of its distinctive beauty right in your own garden. It is a must have for any gardeners who are looking to redefine their gardens and for homeowners looking for a different theme of their furniture.