Dwarf Bamboo

Dwarf bamboo species make excellent garden ground cover, container, or accent plants.

Dwarf Bamboo

Ground covering plants and shrubs can help to shade the ground and retain moisture, be used for landscaping focal points, for control of erosion, as under planting for tall varieties, and to cover steep ground where maintenance is harder.

When you are considering bamboo as a ground cover plant, keep it in mind that although it is usual to use plants that are less than 2ft in height, species of up to 10 feet can also be used to provide shading.

Tiny Dwarf Bamboo Ground Cover Plants on a Rock Garden
Tiny Dwarf Bamboo on a Rock Garden

Although with dwarf bamboo species, trying to control spread isn’t as much hard work as the larger bamboos, don’t forget to think about how you are going to control the spread of your ground covering bamboo plant and/or contain them in the desired area if necessary.

The bamboos listed below are a selection of dwarf bamboo that make ideal ornamental, ground cover, and container plants.

Some larger bamboo can also be used for hedging and privacy screens in your garden. If you require, or prefer, higher growing bamboo please refer to my pages on privacy screening and bamboo hedging for lists of the taller species.

Dwarf Species

Dwarf Bamboo and Black Grass

Dwarf Bamboo Culms and Leaves

Ground Cover Dwarf Bamboo Culm and Ornamental Grass
Ground Cover or Rock Garden Tiny Bamboo

Pleioblastus distichus 'Dwarf Fernleaf' - Excellent container or ground cover with very aggressive spreading - also makes a good hedging - tiny leaves that are sometimes only 1" long by 1/4" wide - Maximum height: 2' - Maximum diameter: 1/8"

Pleioblastus distichus 'Mini' - Excellent ornamental ground cover with very aggressive and rapid spreading properties - can be mowed - Maximum height: 1' - Maximum diameter: 0 1/8"

Pleioblastus fortunei Dwarf Whitestripe - Excellent container or ground cover with aggressive spreading - also makes a good hedging - green, cream and white variegated leaves make it a popular ornamental bamboo - Maximum height: 4' - Maximum diameter: 1/4"

Pleioblastus pygmaeus - Aggressive spreading but a beautiful little plant - Maximum height: 2' - Maximum diameter: 1/8"

Pleioblastus viridistriatus Dwarf Greenstripe - Attractive dwarf bamboo that makes an excellent ground cover and container plant with aggressive spreading - also makes good hedging - golden yellow leaves with green stripes in spring approximately 7" by 1 1/2" - can be mowed in winter - Maximum height: 3' - Maximum diameter: 1/4"

Pleioblastus viridistriatus chrysophyllus - Attractive excellent ground cover and container plant with aggressive spreading that also makes good hedging - golden yellow leaves with faint green stripes approximately 7" by 1 1/2" - can be mowed in winter - Maximum height: 3' - Maximum diameter: 1/4"

Sasa nipponica 'Ward' - Attractive excellent ground cover and container plant with aggressive spreading that also makes good hedging - green leaves that develop cream and tan coloured edges in autumn - Maximum height: 2' - Maximum diameter: 1/8"

Sasaella ramosa - Excellent ground cover plant that makes good hedging being a good runner with aggressive spreading - suitable to grow in containers - generally approximately 3' tall - Maximum height: 6' - Maximum diameter: 1/4"

Shibataea chinensis - Good ground cover plant with moderate spreading - also makes good hedging - Maximum height: 2' - Maximum diameter: 1/8"

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