Best Bamboo Plants for Japanese Zen Gardens - Bamboo Bootcamp


Japanese and Zen gardens have many benefits. From a calming place to retreat from the stress of life to aesthetic beauty to gaze upon. Adding these Japanese elements to your landscape can add to the betterment of your personal environment. A beautiful Japanese garden can promote relaxation and stress relief.

Benefits of Japanese Zen Gardens

The Journal of Therapeutic Horticulture routine cites the benefit of Japanese Gardens. In one study, they found the Japanese Tea Garden to be superior to a natural forest or French Garden:

Psychological and Biological Response to Three Landscapes in Japan: A Pilot Study
By: Seiko Goto, Naveed Kamal, Helene Puzio, Eijiro Fujii, and Karl Herrup

Why Bamboo?

Bamboo can be a crucial design element to Japanese Gardens and Zen Gardens. Bamboo as an accent plant or privacy screen can provide a serenity of flora accompanied with a beautiful rustling of leaves. It is the fastest path to add Japanese design to your landscape. The bamboo can be used to create depth and privacy with it contrasting vertical lines and lush foliage. Along with function and form, it can help incite thought and relaxation into your landscape making it the perfect Japanese garden plant.

Isn’t bamboo invasive?

Bamboo is a plant that can easily be contained in specific areas. With the addition of Bamboo Shield, you can define a shape or pattern on the ground in which the bamboo will grow. This aspect can allow you to grow bamboo down to the finest detail and obtain the exact form and composition that you desire from bamboo in a Japanese Garden design. It can easily be incorporated in a rock garden or utilized with rock mulch to compliment traditional Zen gardens.

Bamboo Varieties

Bamboo is not your typical plant or regular Japanese garden tree. Bamboo is a species of plant that has a multiple of sizes, colors and shapes. Here are the top recommend bamboos for Japanese gardens by category..

Giant Bamboo

Phyllostachys nigra ‘Henon’ – Giant Gray. This bamboo is cold tolerant and can get 4.5″ diameter by 65′ tall. Mature canes have a ghostly pale gray appearance. The contrast of the green foliage on the gray canes makes a striking appearance.

Shrub Bamboo

Shibataea Lancifolia. This little jewel can get up to 7′ tall but is usually much shorter. It has a long leaf with a velvety underside. This bamboo is also very shade tolerant.

Colorful Bamboo

Phyllostachys Aureosulcata ‘Spectabilis. This is a bamboo that has so many enduring characteristics. It is far from your typical bamboo. The canes are yellow with an alternating green stripe, the leaves have an occasional variegation and about 5-20% of the canes will have a distinct bend in the bottom portion.

Cold Hardy

Phyllostachys Bissetii. This is your normal appearing green bamboo. The aspect that makes this bamboo a winner is its ability to take adverse growing conditions. This is the most durable bamboo available. It can tolerate cold temperate, windy conditions, salt sprays and poor soils