Giant Timber Bamboo, Oldham's Bamboo

Bambusa oldhamii

Family: Poaceae (poh-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Bambusa (bam-BOO-suh) (Info)
Species: oldhamii (old-HAM-ee-eye) (Info)


Ornamental Grasses and Bamboo

Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


over 40 ft. (12 m)


4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)


USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)

USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)

USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)

USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun


Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:

Unknown - Tell us


Grown for foliage


Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

By dividing rhizomes, tubers, corms or bulbs (including offsets)

From woody stem cuttings

By air layering

This plant is monocarpic

Seed Collecting:

Unknown - Tell us


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Woodville, Alabama

Brentwood, California

Clayton, California

Encino, California

Fairfield, California

Granite Bay, California

Lake Nacimiento, California

Los Angeles, California

Palm Springs, California

San Anselmo, California

Santa Barbara, California

Upland, California

Deland, Florida

Edgewater, Florida

Jacksonville, Florida

Loxahatchee, Florida

Mims, Florida

Tampa, Florida

Decatur, Georgia

Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Port Barre, Louisiana

Las Vegas, Nevada

East Berlin, Pennsylvania

Alvin, Texas

Austin, Texas

Cedar Park, Texas

Galveston, Texas

Houston, Texas

San Antonio, Texas

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Jun 1, 2013, barnpainter from East Berlin, PA wrote:

Planted in spring of 2009 and didn't see any culms until this year (2013). Initially thought proximity to black walnut (Juglans nigra) was interfering with development over the past four years, but within four weeks of visible shoots, the three culms have reached 14 feet and continue to thrive. Southern central Pennsylvania with winter lows below 20f and highs reaching 100 annually.


On Mar 18, 2010, victorengel from Austin, TX wrote:

Still establishing this plant. I planted it in late spring of 2008. It didn't shoot at all that year. In 2009, it produced a good number of healthy culms. Last winter, though (2009-2010) we had a lot of really cold weather. It bottomed out at 15 degrees at my house. One of the culms has started to leaf out, but I think the rest of them may have been damaged down to the ground.


On Aug 9, 2008, bamboodave2 from San Anselmo, CA wrote:

Oldhamii great plant ,mine is now 9 ft. dia. in 07 due to lack of water and cold temps lost 3/4 of the culms it had also it got some kind of #$%&^ . I think it came from organic chicken and rice I used to get. It started to get black spots from bottom up then the culm died.This year early I sprayed sulfer / lime on ground before big rains. it is recovering .Biggest culm was 3 3/4 in. had 5 down to 2 at 10 ft. make sure during summer you water deeply at least weekly(deeply=200-300 gals. )I use a 1100 gal. tank that uses the back flushing from pool. (check the water before water. ferilizers mine takes at 9 ft.dia. take about 2 lbs. 27-10-10 per month from april till july in Oct. I go back to 5-20-20 it keeps the salts up so it can take frost. Mine has gone to 15 degrees that was in 07 ,t... read more


On May 22, 2007, JaxFlaGardener from Jacksonville, FL (Zone 8b) wrote:

This plant can be seen growing at the Jacksonville Florida Zoo & Gardens in the "Range of the Jaguar" exhibit. It is one of the most dramatic and impressive plants I've ever seen. I am amazed it is hardy in our zone 8b/9a climate as it would seem to be totally tropical.



On Jun 13, 2004, deehrler from Los Angeles, CA wrote:

I needed a plant that would add something to a otherwise awful view of a 18' concrete retaining wall built into a hillside. From a 24" pot and not much more in depth where it was planted, the soil level had to be raised a foot even to give it a chance. In partial sun (actually 90% shade in the winter) it did hardly anything. I worried if it was going to perform.

I noticed some above ground activity about a month ago and knew something was going on. This week, I noticed my first new culm at about 5" in height! Four days later it is growing over 1" per day and accelerating. The base is already larger than a silver dollar and widening.

Update: 11/29/04
The first 3 cums topped at 20 feet and continue to spread out. Now an additional 2 culms are growing... read more


On Jan 25, 2004, pburch from Houston, TX wrote:

Growing well in Houston, Texas. New culms have appeared three or four times in the year since I planted it, the latest being thirty feet high. Highly gratifying.


On Aug 28, 2003, Happenstance from Northern California, CA wrote:

Instant tropics! Clumping non-invasive bamboo, good focal point, 20' tall in 3 years. New culms appear Aug/Sept each year, growing 3-4' a week. Some canes may not mature beyond 6" tall, if temps cool too quickly in the fall. Prone to wind damage if canes have not had several months to stiffen up and become strong.

Semi deciduous in 9b, but comes back stronger each year. Wonderful rustling in the wind, gives an architectural look if trimmed up about 5-6'.

See the images I've uploaded to appreciate the fast growth of this bamboo.