Unleash the Golden Wonder: How to Growing Fountain Bamboo in Australia

How to Grow Fountain Bamboo – Transform your Australian garden into a stunning tropical paradise with the enchanting Fountain Bamboo. Its vibrant golden culms and lush green foliage will add a touch of exotic elegance that will take your breath away. Imagine the soothing sound of trickling water as you bask in the calming presence of this architectural beauty. Wondering how to cultivate this golden dream? Let’s explore the possibilities together.

Discover all the essential information you need to know to cultivate and maintain a thriving Fountain Bamboo in Australia. This comprehensive guide covers everything from the fascinating history of this plant to its ideal growing conditions in Australia. You’ll also find a step-by-step planting guide and essential care tips to ensure that your Fountain Bamboo grows into a beautiful golden paradise.

Unveiling the Fountain Bamboo: History and Australian Arrival

Originating in the mountainous regions of eastern Asia, Fountain Bamboo, also known as Fargesia robusta or Chinese Fountain Bamboo, has a rich and fascinating history. This graceful plant has been admired in Chinese gardens for centuries, thanks to its elegant form and vibrant colors.

Fountain Bamboo

While the introduction of Fountain Bamboo to Australia is a relatively recent phenomenon, it has quickly gained immense popularity among gardeners across the country. With its stunning appearance and low-maintenance nature, it’s no wonder that this beautiful bamboo plant has become a sought-after addition to gardens throughout Australia. Whether planted as a standalone feature or used to create a lush, green backdrop, Fountain Bamboo is a true delight for any garden lover.

While Fountain Bamboo thrives in most parts of Australia, some states offer particularly ideal growing conditions:

  • New South Wales: With its mix of coastal and inland climates, New South Wales provides a variety of microclimates suitable for different Fountain Bamboo varieties. From the warm and sunny regions to cooler, more mountainous areas, there’s a perfect spot for your golden treasure.
  • Queensland: Queensland’s warm and often humid climate is perfect for many Fountain Bamboo varieties. Just ensure proper drainage, especially during the wet season.
  • Victoria: Victoria’s temperate climate with mild summers and cool winters is well-suited for most Fountain Bamboo varieties. Just be mindful of providing some protection from harsh frosts in colder regions.
  • South Australia: South Australia’s mix of Mediterranean and arid climates can accommodate various Fountain Bamboo varieties. Opt for varieties known for good drought tolerance in drier areas.
  • Western Australia: Western Australia’s climate varies considerably across the state. Choose varieties that tolerate warmer temperatures and ensure proper drainage, especially in areas with high rainfall.

By considering your specific location and climate within your state, you can select the perfect Fountain Bamboo variety that will flourish in your Australian garden.

Choosing Your Perfect Golden Match: Selecting Fountain Bamboo Varieties

Are you ready to explore the captivating world of Fountain Bamboo and discover which states offer ideal growing conditions? Get ready to dive into the exciting realm of varieties! By selecting the perfect types of bamboo for your garden, you’ll unleash a burst of vibrant colors, sizes, and growth habits that match your wildest dreams. Get ready for an exhilarating journey into the world of bamboo varieties!

Factors to Consider

When choosing a Fountain Bamboo variety, there are certain factors that you should keep in mind. One such factor is the mature height of the bamboo. You can find a range of heights in Fountain Bamboo varieties, from dwarf options reaching around 1-2 meters to taller varieties reaching 4-5 meters. It’s important to consider the available space in your garden and the desired overall look before selecting a variety.

Another important factor is the spread or the width of the bamboo. Different varieties will have different spreads, with some forming tighter clumps, while others may spread more outwards. It’s crucial to choose a variety that suits the designated planting area.

Culm color is another characteristic that you should consider when selecting a Fountain Bamboo variety. While “golden” is a prominent characteristic, the exact shade of gold can vary between varieties. Some have a bright, sunshine yellow, while others have a softer, golden-green hue. You should select a color that complements your existing garden palette.

Finally, climate tolerance is also an important factor to consider. Most Fountain Bamboo varieties are known for their good cold tolerance. However, if you live in a particularly cold region, you should consider opting for a variety known for exceptional cold hardiness.

Popular Fountain Bamboo Varieties in Australia

Here are some of the most popular Fountain Bamboo varieties grown in Australia, categorised by their mature height:

Dwarf Varieties (1-2 meters):

  • Fargesia robusta ‘Rugo Bambino’: This dwarf variety matures at around 1-1.5 meters tall, making it ideal for smaller gardens or creating borders. It boasts vibrant golden culms and dense green foliage.
  • Fargesia robusta ‘Wollastonensis’: Another compact variety reaching around 1.5-2 meters, ‘Wollastonensis’ features a bushy form and bright golden culms. It’s known for its exceptional cold tolerance, making it a great choice for cooler regions.

Mid-Sized Varieties (2-3 meters):

  • Fargesia robusta ‘Campbell’: A stunning mid-sized variety reaching 2-3 meters in height. ‘Campbell’ features bright golden culms with a graceful weeping habit, perfect for adding a touch of elegance.
  • Fargesia robusta ‘Jumbo’: This vigorous grower matures at around 2.5-3 meters tall. ‘Jumbo’ displays a beautiful golden-yellow culm color and forms a dense, upright clump.

Tall Varieties (3-5 meters):

  • Fargesia robusta ‘Jiuzhaigou’: This vigorous grower matures at around 4-5 meters tall. ‘Jiuzhaigou’ displays a beautiful golden-green culm color and is a great choice for creating a statement piece in larger gardens.
  • Fargesia robusta ‘Dragon Robe’: A truly unique variety known for its distinctive reddish-brown markings on its golden culms. ‘Dragon Robe’ matures at around 3-4 meters and adds an exotic touch to any garden.

When it comes to selecting the ideal Fountain Bamboo variety for your specific needs, your local nursery can prove to be an invaluable resource. The nursery’s knowledgeable staff can provide expert advice on the different varieties that thrive in your climate and offer recommendations based on your desired size and aesthetic preferences. They can give you a detailed rundown of the unique characteristics of each variety, including their growth patterns, color, and texture. This information can be immensely helpful in making an informed decision and choosing the perfect Fountain Bamboo that will add beauty and serenity to your garden or landscape.

Ideal Conditions for Fountain Bamboo

Where Does the Golden Magic Thrive? Now that you’ve chosen your perfect Fountain Bamboo variety, let’s explore the ideal conditions to make your golden wonder flourish in your Australian garden!

Sunshine is Key: Light Requirements

Fountain Bamboo thrives in a sunny location. Aim for an area that receives at least 6-8 hours of direct sunlight daily. This sunlight exposure is crucial for optimal growth, encouraging vibrant culm color and promoting healthy foliage.

While some afternoon shade can be tolerated, particularly in hotter regions of Australia, avoid excessively shaded locations. Insufficient sunlight can lead to leggy growth, pale culms, and decreased overall plant health.

Tip: If your garden lacks full sun exposure throughout the day, consider planting your Fountain Bamboo near a wall or fence that receives ample morning sunlight. This can provide the essential light it needs for healthy growth.

The Importance of Drainage: Soil Preferences

Fountain Bamboo is a relatively low-maintenance plant when it comes to soil requirements. However, if you want your plant to thrive, it’s important to provide it with well-drained soil. This means that the soil should be able to allow water to pass through it easily, without becoming waterlogged or compacted. When the soil is well-drained, it allows the roots of the plant to access the nutrients and oxygen they need to grow healthy and strong.

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So, if you want your Fountain Bamboo to flourish, make sure to choose a location with well-drained soil.Here’s why drainage is so important:

  • Prevents Root Rot: Excess moisture around the roots can lead to root rot, a detrimental fungal disease. Well-drained soil allows excess water to drain away, preventing this from happening.
  • Encourages Healthy Root Development: Good drainage ensures proper aeration around the roots, which is essential for healthy root growth and nutrient uptake.

Ideal Soil Types

  • Loamy soil: A good quality, well-draining loam is an excellent choice for Fountain Bamboo. Loam is a mixture of sand, silt, and clay that provides good drainage while still retaining some moisture.

  • Sandy soil: Sandy soil naturally drains well, but it may require more frequent watering during hot and dry periods. Consider amending sandy soil with some organic matter like compost to improve moisture retention.

  • Clay soil: Heavy clay soil can be problematic for Fountain Bamboo due to poor drainage. If your soil is predominantly clay, you’ll need to amend it to improve drainage. Here’s how:

    • Amending Clay Soil: Mix the excavated topsoil with an equal amount of compost or other organic matter like aged manure. This creates a richer, more fertile planting medium that retains moisture while allowing excess water to drain freely.

Considering Climate: Temperature Tolerance

Fountain Bamboo is a type of plant that is known for its excellent ability to tolerate cold temperatures. These varieties of bamboo can endure light frosts and even moderate freezes, which makes them ideal for a wide range of climates across Australia. It is important to note, however, that the level of cold tolerance may differ depending on the specific variety of Fountain Bamboo.

Here’s a general guideline

  • Most Varieties: Most Fountain Bamboo varieties can tolerate temperatures from around -5°C to -7°C.
  • Exceptionally Cold-Hardy Varieties: For particularly cold regions, consider varieties like Fargesia robusta ‘Rugo Bambino’ or Fargesia robusta ‘Wollastonensis’, known to handle temperatures as low as -10°C to -12°C.

Hot and Dry Climates

To ensure the healthy growth of Fountain Bamboo, it’s necessary to provide some shade from the intense afternoon sun in extremely hot and dry climates. It is recommended to plant the bamboo near a structure that offers some shade or use shade cloth during the hottest part of the day. It’s also essential to moisten the soil by watering it regularly, particularly during prolonged dry spells. These simple steps will help keep your Fountain Bamboo thriving and lush.

By understanding these ideal conditions—sunlight, drainage, and temperature tolerance—you can create the perfect environment for your Fountain Bamboo to thrive in your Australian garden. In the next section, we’ll delve into the exciting process of planting your golden treasure!

A Step-by-Step Guide: How to Growing Fountain Bamboo

Finally, the moment you have been waiting! Now that you have found the ideal variety of Fountain Bamboo and ensured that the suitable planting hole is filled with sunlight, it is time to get your hands dirty and plant your new treasure.

Here’s a comprehensive step-by-step guide to ensure a successful planting experience:

Step 1: Selecting the Perfect Bamboo Plant

Head to your local, reputable nursery; their expertise is invaluable when choosing your Golden Bamboo. Here’s what to look for:

Vibrant Culms

When you are inspecting bamboo stems, also known as culms, it is important to look for a healthy golden colour. The color of the culms is a good indicator of their overall health. Additionally, you should carefully examine the culms for any signs of damage or discoloration. If you notice any sections of the culms that are discolored or appear to be damaged, it may be an indication that the bamboo is not healthy.

Furthermore, you should keep an eye out for any signs of insect infestations, such as holes or tunnels in the culms. If you notice any such signs, it is advisable to avoid using that bamboo as it may be infested with insects and may not be safe for use.

Disease-Free Foliage

When inspecting your Fountain Bamboo plant, it’s important to closely examine the leaves for any indications of disease. You should be on the lookout for symptoms such as yellowing, spotting, or wilting.

Healthy Fountain Bamboo usually has lush green foliage that beautifully complements the vibrant culms.  By regularly checking the leaves, you can ensure that your plant remains healthy and vibrant, providing an attractive addition to your home or garden.

Preparing the Planting Hole

When planting a Fountain Bamboo plant, ensure that the hole you dig is twice as wide as the diameter of the plant’s root ball. It’s important to loosen the soil at the bottom of the hole to create a conducive environment for root growth. This will allow the plant to establish a strong foundation and thrive in its new home.

Here’s a more detailed breakdown on preparing the perfect planting hole:

  1. Measure and Mark: Use your shovel or a stake to mark the circumference of the planting hole, ensuring it’s double the diameter of the root ball.
  2. Digging the Hole: Start by digging a straight-sided hole to the desired depth, which should be slightly deeper than the root ball itself. As you dig, keep the excavated topsoil separate from any subsoil. The topsoil will be ideal for backfilling the hole later.
  3. Loosen the Soil: Once you’ve reached the target depth, use your garden fork to loosen the soil at the bottom of the hole. This encourages healthy root development by creating a more aerated and less compacted environment for the roots to penetrate.

Optional: Amending the Soil (For Clay Soil)

If the soil in your garden is predominantly composed of heavy clay, it may require some kind of amendment to help improve its drainage. This is because clay soil can be very dense and compact, making it difficult for water to penetrate and drain away effectively. By adding the right type of amendments, you can help loosen the soil structure, increase its porosity and permeability, and create a more hospitable environment for your plants to grow in.

Here’s where the topsoil you set aside earlier comes in!

  • Mix Amending Material: Mix the topsoil with an equal amount of compost or other organic matter like aged manure. This creates a richer, more fertile planting medium that retains moisture while allowing excess water to drain freely.
  • Partial Filling (Optional): If amending the soil, partially fill the hole with the amended soil mixture you created. Aim to fill it to a level slightly below where the root ball of your Golden Bamboo will sit.

Gently Removing the Bamboo from its Container

Before you begin, firmly grip the pot and have a flat, stable surface nearby to place the plant down once removed. You might also find a helper useful for larger or heavier bamboo plants.

  1. Tilt and Hold: Carefully tilt the pot on its side at a comfortable angle. Use one hand to firmly grip the base of the plant, just below the root ball, to steady it.
  2. Tap and Wiggle: With your other hand, gently tap the sides of the container all around. The goal is to loosen the root ball from the pot’s interior. You can also gently wiggle the plant back and forth, moving it slightly in all directions. This further loosens the root ball and breaks any connections it might have formed with the pot.
  3. Slide Out (Optional – Gentle Force): Carefully slide the plant out once you feel the root ball move freely within the pot. If it’s slightly resistant, avoid pulling directly on the culms (stems) as this can damage them. Here are some additional techniques you can try:
    • Tap More: If the plant seems stuck, tap the container more firmly on all sides, paying attention to any areas where you feel resistance.
    • Butter Knife (Gently): As a last resort, if tapping doesn’t work, carefully insert a butter knife between the edge of the root ball and the pot. Gently pry the root ball loose a little at a time, working your way around the circumference of the pot. Be very cautious not to damage the roots in the process.
  4. Success! Once the root ball is free and the plant slides out easily, place it upright on your prepared flat surface. You’re now ready to proceed with the next step of planting your Fountain Bamboo.
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Optional: Inspecting and Teasing Roots

After carefully removing the plant from its container, you have the option to inspect the root system before planting. This step is particularly helpful for plants that have been in their containers for a long time and might be root-bound.

  • Signs of Root Bound: Look for tightly compacted roots circling around the bottom of the root ball in a congested mass.
  • Gently Tease Roots (if Root-bound): If root-bound, carefully tease out a few of the circling roots with your fingers. This encourages them to grow outward in the new soil environment, promoting better root establishment and healthier plant growth.

Important Note: Avoid over-handling or aggressively breaking apart the root ball. The goal is to gently loosen any tightly packed roots without causing significant damage.

Planting Your Fountain Bamboo

Now, the most important part after you removing root and putting to the soil.

Positioning the Plant:

  1. Center the Plant: Carefully lower your Golden Bamboo plant into the prepared planting hole. Position it in the center of the hole, ensuring it’s upright and facing the direction you desire.

  2. Crown Height: The crucial aspect here is the crown (the area where the culms emerge from the root system). Locate the crown and ensure it sits slightly above the ground level.

Why is crown height important? Planting too deep can smother the crown. The crown needs good air circulation to function properly and promote healthy growth. Conversely, planting too high can leave the root ball exposed and unstable.

  1. Checking the Level: To ensure proper crown height, use your hand as a guide. Hold the plant upright in the hole and visually check the position of the crown relative to the surrounding soil level. The crown should be just slightly proud of the soil surface, maybe by about 1-2 centimeters.

Backfilling and Tamping:

  1. Filling Gradually: Now it’s time to fill the hole around the root ball. Use the excavated topsoil you set aside earlier, or the amended soil mixture you created if dealing with clay soil.

  2. Distributing the Soil: Begin backfilling the hole gradually. Take handfuls of soil and gently distribute it evenly around the root ball. This ensures all sides of the root ball are covered and there are no air pockets.

  3. Tamping Gently: As you fill the hole, use your hands or a small tamping tool to gently compact the soil around the root ball. Tamping removes air pockets and creates good contact between the roots and the surrounding soil. This is crucial for efficient water uptake and root establishment.

Tip: Avoid using excessive force when tamping. You want the soil to be firm but not compacted. A good test is to press down on the soil with your thumb. If it leaves an indent but feels slightly springy, you’ve achieved the right consistency.

  1. Filling to the Top: Continue backfilling and tamping until the hole is completely filled and the soil level reaches your desired point – slightly below the crown of the plant.

  2. Watering Thoroughly: Once you’ve finished planting and backfilling, water your newly planted Fountain Bamboo generously. This settles the soil around the root ball, removes any remaining air pockets, and ensures the roots receive the moisture they need to establish themselves in their new home.

Watering Thoroughly

Once you’ve finished planting and backfilling the hole, generously water your newly planted Fountain Bamboo. The goal is to soak the root ball and surrounding soil thoroughly. This encourages good root establishment and helps the plant settle into its new home.

Tips for Maintaining Fountain Bamboo

Congratulations on successfully settling your Fountain Bamboo in its new home! To guarantee its longevity and growth, it’s crucial to take care of it properly. Let’s delve into some essential care practices that will help your Fountain Bamboo thrive for years to come.

Watering Wisely

Proper watering is crucial for the health of your Fountain Bamboo. Here’s a breakdown of watering needs throughout the year:

  • Spring and Summer: During the warmer months, water your Fountain Bamboo regularly, especially during periods of extended dry weather or hot sunshine. Aim to keep the soil consistently moist but not soggy. A good rule of thumb is to water deeply when the top few centimeters of soil feel dry to the touch.
  • Autumn and Winter: As temperatures cool down and rainfall increases, watering frequency can be reduced. However, don’t let the soil completely dry out, especially in drier climates.

Signs of Thirst: Wilting leaves and dry, discolored culms are telltale signs your Fountain Bamboo needs water.

Tip: Deep watering encourages the roots to grow deeper into the soil, promoting overall plant health and drought tolerance.

Feeding for Success: Fertilization

While Fountain Bamboo isn’t a heavy feeder, providing occasional fertilization can boost its growth and overall health. Here’s a fertilizing guide:

  • Frequency: Fertilize your Fountain Bamboo once or twice a year, ideally in spring and early summer.
  • Fertilizer Choice: Opt for a slow-release balanced fertilizer specifically formulated for ornamental grasses. Avoid fertilizers high in nitrogen, which can promote excessive foliage growth at the expense of culm development.
  • Application: Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for application rates and methods.

Tip: Mulching around the base of your Fountain Bamboo with organic matter like compost or aged manure helps retain moisture, suppress weeds, and gradually releases nutrients into the soil as it decomposes.

Maintaining Shape and Size: Pruning

Fountain Bamboo is a naturally low-maintenance plant that doesn’t require extensive pruning. However, occasional pruning can be beneficial for maintaining its desired shape and size. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Pruning Time: The best time to prune Fountain Bamboo is in late winter or early spring before new growth emerges.
  • What to Prune: Remove any dead, diseased, or damaged culms. You can also selectively prune out any culms that are detracting from the overall shape of the plant.
  • Pruning Tools: Use sharp, sterilized pruning shears to make clean cuts.

Tip: Avoid removing more than a third of the total culms at any one time. Over-pruning can stress the plant.


Keeping Your Fountain Bamboo Healthy

Fountain Bamboo is known to be resilient against a majority of pests and diseases. However, there are a few potential issues that can occur. Let’s take a look at the most frequently observed culprits so that you can be better prepared to protect your Fountain Bamboo.

  • Aphids: These tiny, sap-sucking insects can cause leaves to curl and distort.
  • Scale: These small, armoured insects can appear as bumps on the culms and leaves. Both aphids and scale can be controlled with insecticidal soap sprays or neem oil.
  • Fungal Diseases: Fungal diseases like leaf spots can cause brown or yellow spots on the leaves. In most cases, good air circulation and avoiding overhead watering can help prevent fungal issues. If a fungal disease persists, a fungicide spray might be necessary.

Tip: Regularly inspect your Fountain Bamboo for any signs of pests or diseases. Early detection and treatment are key to preventing them from spreading and causing significant damage.

Addressing Yellowing Leaves

Yellowing leaves on your Fountain Bamboo can have several causes:

  • Overwatering: Soggy soil due to overwatering can cause the roots to rot, leading to yellowing leaves. Ensure proper drainage and adjust your watering frequency accordingly.
  • Underwatering: Lack of moisture can also cause leaves to yellow. Water deeply when the top few centimeters of soil feel dry to the touch.
  • Nutrient Deficiency: A lack of essential nutrients can also contribute to yellowing leaves. Consider fertilizing your Fountain Bamboo once or twice a year with a balanced fertilizer.

Tip: By observing your watering practices and fertilization routine, you can usually determine the cause of yellowing leaves and take corrective action.


By following the steps outlined in this comprehensive guide, you’ve equipped yourself with the knowledge and skills to successfully cultivate and care for your very own Fountain Bamboo in Australia. From selecting the perfect variety to planting, watering, and maintaining its health, you’ve embarked on a journey to witness the golden magic unfold in your garden.

As your Fountain Bamboo matures, it will reward you with its vibrant culms, graceful form, and lush foliage, creating a tranquil and visually captivating focal point. Enjoy the calming presence of this architectural beauty and the satisfaction of nurturing a thriving piece of nature in your own Australian oasis.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

How fast does Fountain Bamboo grow?

The growth rate of Fountain Bamboo can vary depending on the variety and growing conditions. Generally, they grow at a moderate pace, adding around 20-30 centimeters per year in ideal conditions.

Can I grow Fountain Bamboo in a pot?

Yes, Fountain Bamboo can be grown successfully in pots. Choose a pot large enough to accommodate the mature size of the variety you select. Ensure the pot has adequate drainage holes and use a well-draining potting mix.

How long does Fountain Bamboo live?

With proper care, Fountain Bamboo can live for many years, adding beauty and elegance to your garden for decades to come.

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