Phyllostachys nigra, also known as Black Bamboo, is a large shrub native to South China. It grows to a height of 5-10 feet and is an ornamental plant that requires full sun to semi-shade and regular watering to thrive. It is best suited for growing in USDA Zones 8-10, but it can survive in temperatures as low as the mid-20s Fahrenheit for a short time.
During its growth period in the spring, Black Bamboo will produce new culms that are initially bright green and turn darker in one to three years. Its slender dark green leaves add to its overall beauty and contrast nicely with the light and dark mixture of culms.
To ensure that Black Bamboo grows to its full potential, it is important to provide it with a generous layer of rich topsoil, such as compost or aged manure. This will help the plant to produce more mature culms rather than a cluster of thin, weepy culms. It is also important to mulch the plant and give it enough space to grow unimpeded.
Black Bamboo is a stunning addition to any outdoor space and can be shaped to form a dense hedge for privacy. It is even sought after for its decorative woodworking due to its dark or mottled hues. In colder regions, it is best to grow this plant in a pot, providing it with full sun to semi-shade and regular watering.
With jet black culms and feathery green leaves, Black Bamboo is an exceptionally beautiful specimen. Under ideal conditions, it can grow to a height of 35 feet with culms over 2 inches in diameter, but its average height in most climates is 25 feet. With proper care and attention, this bamboo can be the focal point of any garden.