Sunshine in a Culm – 6 Steps How to Grow Golden Bamboo in Australia

How to Grow Golden Bamboo – Looking for a way to add a touch of elegance and sunshine to your garden? The answer lies in the Golden Bamboo! With its stunning golden culms, this plant can bring the beauty of Asia right to your backyard.

Picture yourself surrounded by a lush oasis, with vibrant privacy screens that shimmer in the sunlight. Or how about a stunning focal point that adds a pop of color to your landscape? Golden Bamboo is the answer to all your design dreams, and it’s no wonder it’s a favorite choice of Australian gardeners. But before you rush out to plant one, it’s important to understand its unique needs and make sure it thrives in your climate. Get ready to transform your garden into a paradise with the stunning Golden Bamboo!

Bambusa Multiplex (Golden Bamboo)

This comprehensive guide will reveal the hidden secrets of Golden Bamboo, from its intriguing history and flawless growing scenarios to a step-by-step planting technique as well as significant care instructions. Let us go on a journey to create your golden paradise!

Golden Bamboo: A Glimpse into History and Habitat

Golden Bamboo boasts a rich Asian heritage in regions like China and Southeast Asia. It was introduced to Australia in the late 19th century and has since adapted well to the warm climate of many regions.

New South Wales, Queensland, and Victoria offer ideal conditions for Golden Bamboo to flourish, thanks to their warm temperatures and ample sunshine. These states provide the perfect balance for this sun-loving plant to showcase its vibrant golden hues and lush growth.

Golden Bamboo: Not All that Glitters is Invasive (For Clumping Varieties)

It’s important to note that there are two main types of Golden Bamboo: clumping and running. Like the popular Bambusa Multiplex, clumping varieties are the perfect choice for Australian gardens. They grow in dense clumps and are generally low-maintenance, avoiding the unwanted spread that can sometimes occur with running varieties.

So, if you’re looking for a hassle-free way to add a touch of sunshine to your garden, the clumping Golden Bamboo is the ideal choice!

Step-by-Step Guide: How to Grow Golden Bamboo

Now that you’ve chosen the perfect Golden Bamboo variety and prepared the ideal planting hole bathed in sunshine, it’s time to get your hands dirty and plant your new treasure! Here’s a comprehensive guide to ensure a successful planting experience:

Selecting the Perfect Bamboo

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

Vibrant Culms

The star of the show! Inspect the culms (stems) for a healthy, vibrant golden color. This is the hallmark characteristic of Golden Bamboo and adds a touch of sunshine to your garden.

The culms should be free of any blemishes, cracks, or splits. Avoid plants with signs of physical damage, as these can weaken the structure and make them susceptible to pests or diseases.

Give the culms a close examination for any signs of insect infestation. Look for small insects crawling on the stems, webbing, or unusual sap deposits. A healthy Golden Bamboo shouldn’t have any visible signs of pests.

Disease-Free Foliage

Healthy Golden Bamboo boasts lush green foliage that beautifully complements the vibrant golden culms. The leaves should be a consistent green color, free from yellowing spots or wilting.

It is best to avoid purchasing bamboo plants that show signs of yellowing leaves, brown spots, or wilting foliage, as these could indicate underlying diseases that can be difficult to eradicate and may harm the overall health of the plant.

Clumping Variety

For an easy-care and manageable Golden Bamboo experience in your Australian garden, opt for a clumping variety. These varieties grow in dense clumps and are non-invasive. They will stay put in the designated planting area without spreading aggressively.

Growing different types of Golden Bamboo may seem like a great idea due to their beautiful appearance, but it’s essential to understand that some varieties have a tendency to be invasive. Running bamboo, in particular, can spread rapidly through underground rhizomes, which are root-like structures, and take over your garden in no time. It’s crucial to keep in mind that these plants may even extend to your neighbor’s property, causing problems. Unless you have adequate space that can be contained and are prepared to maintain it regularly, it’s better to avoid running varieties in most Australian gardens.

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Gently Removing the Bamboo from its Container

Now that you’ve chosen your perfect Golden Bamboo, it’s time to remove it from its nursery container carefully. Here’s a detailed breakdown to ensure a smooth and stress-free transition for your new plant:

Step 1: Tilting and Holding Steady

  • Find a Stable Surface: Locate a flat, stable surface near your planting hole. This will provide a safe space to remove the bamboo from its container gently.
  • Tilt with Care: Carefully tilt the pot on its side. It’s best to tilt it at a 45-degree angle to avoid the plant falling out completely.
  • Secure the Base: With one hand, firmly grasp the base of the bamboo plant just below the root ball. This provides stability and prevents the plant from slipping out of your grasp.

Step 2: Loosen the Root Ball gently!

  • Tap, Tap, Tap: With your other hand, gently tap the sides of the container all around the circumference. This helps loosen the root ball from the pot’s interior walls.
  • The Wiggle Test: Once you’ve tapped around the entire pot, try gently wiggling the plant back and forth. This further loosens the root ball and helps break any connections between the roots and the pot.

Step 3: Slide Out Smoothly

  • Feeling for Looseness: Once you feel the root ball move slightly within the pot, it’s time to slide the plant out.
  • Slide Slowly and Carefully: Gently slide the plant out of the container. Avoid pulling on the culms (stems) as this can damage them.
  • Stubborn Situations: If your plant appears to be stuck in its pot, you can try tapping the sides of the pot a bit more firmly. Another option is to carefully insert a butter knife between the root ball and the edge of the pot to gently loosen any areas that seem particularly resistant.

Important Note: Patience is key! Avoid using excessive force or yanking the plant out. If it doesn’t come out easily after gentle tapping and wiggling, try tapping some more or consult the nursery staff for assistance.


Inspecting and Teasing the Roots (Optional)

When you take out your Golden Bamboo from its container, it’s a good idea to take a closer look at the root system before planting it. This is especially important for plants that have been in their containers for a while and might have developed a root-bound system. By inspecting the roots, you can ensure that they are healthy and not tangled or compacted, which can hinder their growth and development once planted in the ground. This step is crucial for ensuring that your Golden Bamboo thrives in its new environment.

What is Root Bound?

A root-bound plant occurs when the roots have filled the container and begin to circle around the bottom and sides in a congested mass. This can restrict root growth and limit the plant’s ability to take up water and nutrients from the surrounding soil.

Signs of a Root-Bound Bamboo:
  • Circling Roots: As previously stated, a clear indication that a plant needs to be repotted is when its roots appear firmly compacted and twirled around the base of the pot. This can lead to restricted growth and limited nutrient absorption, which can ultimately harm the plant’s health. Therefore, examining the root system is an essential step in determining whether a plant needs to be repotted or not.
  • Deformed Root Tips: In instances where there is limited space for root development, the tips of the roots may appear stunted or discolored, with shades ranging from light yellow to brown. This may occur as a result of overcrowding, nutrient deficiencies, or other environmental factors that impede root growth. In severe cases, the roots may be unable to expand and grow properly, leading to a range of issues for the plant, including reduced nutrient uptake and vulnerability to disease.

Benefits of Inspecting the Roots:

  • Early Detection of Root Bound: It’s always a good idea to check for root bound in your garden plants. By doing so, you can identify and address the issue before it starts hampering the growth and development of your precious greens. Root bound is a condition where the roots of a plant become too tightly packed in their container, making it difficult for them to absorb nutrients and water from the soil. Checking for this problem in a timely manner can help ensure that your plants stay healthy and vibrant throughout their growth cycle.
  • Encourages Outward Root Growth: When planting a new seedling, it’s important to give its roots ample space to spread out and grow. By carefully loosening some of the tightly packed circling roots and encouraging them to extend outward into the new, roomier soil environment, you can promote optimal root establishment and create the ideal conditions for healthy plant growth. This method encourages the roots to take in more nutrients and water, which in turn contributes to the development of a strong, resilient plant.

How to Inspect and Tease the Roots:

  • Gentle Examination: Carefully spread the roots out with your fingers to get a good look at their overall health and growth pattern.
  • Identifying Circling Roots: Look for any roots that are circling around the bottom of the root ball in a congested mass.
  • Tease Gently (Optional): If you find circling roots, carefully tease out a few of them with your fingers. The goal is to loosen their hold on the root ball, not to completely break them apart.
  • Focus on Outer Roots: It’s best to focus on gently teasing the outer circling roots. Avoid manipulating the central core of the root ball too much.
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Important Reminders:

  • Don’t Overdo It: Remember, the goal is to gently loosen, not aggressively break apart the root ball.
  • Prioritize Healthy Roots: Leave the healthy, non-circling roots undisturbed.
  • When in Doubt, Consult a Professional: If you’re unsure about the extent of root bound or hesitant to tease the roots yourself, don’t hesitate to consult the nursery staff for guidance.

By following these steps and keeping a gentle touch, you can help your Golden Bamboo adjust to its new home in the garden and promote healthy root development for future growth and prosperity.

Planting without Root Inspection:

If you’d prefer to skip the root inspection step, you can proceed directly to planting your Golden Bamboo in the prepared hole. However, keep in mind that a slightly root-bound plant may take a little longer to establish itself in the new environment.

Positioning the Plant in the Hole

Carefully place your Golden Bamboo in the center of the prepared planting hole. Ensure the crown (the area where the culms emerge from the root system) sits slightly above the ground level. This is crucial – planting too deep can smother the crown and hinder growth.

Backfilling the Hole and Tamping

Now it’s time to fill the hole around the root ball:

  • Fill and Tamp Gradually: Gently fill the hole with soil, distributing it evenly around the root ball. As you fill, use your hands or the end of the shovel to tamp down the soil to remove any air pockets gently. Air pockets can prevent proper root-to-soil contact and hinder water absorption.
  • Continue Filling and Tamping: Continue filling the hole with soil, tamping it down gently as you go, until the hole is completely filled and the plant’s crown sits slightly above ground level.


Watering Thoroughly

The final step in the planting process is thorough watering. This helps settle the soil around the root ball and ensures proper hydration for the newly planted Golden Bamboo. Use your garden hose with a gentle spray setting to water the base of the plant until the water starts to run off.

Golden Care: Maintaining Your Bamboo Paradise

With your Golden Bamboo planted, here’s how to ensure it thrives in your Australian garden:

  • Watering Needs: Golden Bamboo reaps the rewards of regular watering, especially during periods of dryness and hotter summer times. Water carefully at the plant’s base, allowing the water to reach the root zone. However, avoid overwatering, since it may lead to root rot. A good rule of thumb is to check the soil moisture on a frequent basis; if the top inch of soil is dry to the touch, it is time to water.

  • Fertilizing for Growth: To give your Golden Bamboo an extra push, apply a balanced fertilizer suited to bamboo or ornamental grasses a few times a year across the growing season (typically spring and summer). Avoid over-fertilizing, because may end up in excessive growth of leaves at the cost of a healthy root system.

  • Mulching for Moisture Retention: Applying a layer of mulch around your Golden Bamboo plants helps maintain moisture in the soil, reducing the amount of watering needed. Organic mulch, like bark chips or wood shavings, also helps to control weeds and soil temperature. Aim for a 2-3 inch layer of mulch around the base of

Potential Challenges and Solutions

While clumping Golden Bamboo is generally well-behaved, it’s important to be aware of potential challenges, especially if you’re considering running varieties (not recommended for most Australian gardens due to their invasive nature).

Running bamboos spread rapidly through underground rhizomes, quickly taking over your garden and even encroaching on your neighbor’s property. If you’re set on a running variety, installing a root barrier around the planting area before planting is crucial for managing its spread. This physical barrier will help contain the bamboo and prevent unwanted shoots from popping up in unexpected places.


With its vibrant culms and graceful growth, the Golden Bamboo offers a touch of exotic elegance to any Australian garden. This versatile plant offers endless design possibilities, from creating a privacy screen with a sunny disposition to adding a focal point that turns heads.

Following the steps outlined in this guide, you can successfully cultivate your Golden Bamboo paradise. With proper planting, regular watering, and mindful care, your Golden Bamboo will reward you with years of beauty and low-maintenance enjoyment.

Merry Mary


How fast does Golden Bamboo grow?

Golden Bamboo is known for its rapid growth, with some varieties growing several feet per year under ideal conditions.

Can I grow Golden Bamboo in a pot?

Certain clumping varieties of Golden Bamboo can be grown successfully in pots, making them ideal for patios and balconies. Choose a pot that’s large enough to accommodate the root system and ensure proper drainage.

How do I control the spread of running bamboo?

As mentioned, running bamboo varieties are not recommended for most Australian gardens due to their invasive potential. However, if you’re set on one, installing a root barrier around the planting area before planting is crucial. Regularly monitor the area for shoots outside the designated zone and remove them promptly.

What are some common pests and diseases that affect Golden Bamboo?

Fortunately, Golden Bamboo is relatively pest and disease-resistant. However, keep an eye out for common garden pests like aphids or scales. If you notice an infestation, address it promptly with organic methods whenever possible.

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