Running Bamboo

Phyllostachys vivax

Family: Poaceae (poh-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Phyllostachys (fy-lo-STAK-iss) (Info)
Species: vivax (VY-vaks) (Info)


Ornamental Grasses and Bamboo

Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Water Requirements:

Unknown - Tell us

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


over 40 ft. (12 m)


6-9 in. (15-22 cm)


USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 C (-25 F)

USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)

USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)

USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)

USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)

USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)

USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)

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

Sun to Partial Shade


Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:

Unknown - Tell us



Other details:

May be a noxious weed or invasive

Soil pH requirements:

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

By dividing the rootball

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

This plant is monocarpic

Seed Collecting:

Unknown - Tell us


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

Fayetteville, Arkansas (2 reports)

Mountain Home, Arkansas

Los Angeles, California

San Leandro, California

Santa Barbara, California

Chicago, Illinois

Coushatta, Louisiana

Raleigh, North Carolina

Claremore, Oklahoma

Hulbert, Oklahoma

Ashland, Oregon

Portland, Oregon

Seattle, Washington

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On May 31, 2009, WUVIE from Hulbert, OK (Zone 7a) wrote:

In 2009, a visit to a bamboo nursery (Bear Creek) in Eureka Springs confirmed we have indeed been growing Phyllostachys vivax. Initially, we dug the bamboo from a friend's grove in 2005 during weather that was too warm, dragged the roots home, chopped them into entirely too small of sections and plunked them into an area far less than satisfactory. Real amateurs.

Somehow, the bamboo survived, but we did not see any real activity for four years. Suddenly, shoots popped out of the ground and shot for the sky, in a matter of days. No kidding.

With a bit of reading, we came to understand that bamboo is busy making roots underground. After all, one cannot expect a chunk of root to have the energy to send up 30-35 foot tall shoots the first year. Keep in mi... read more


On May 20, 2009, arthurb3 from Raleigh, NC (Zone 7b) wrote:

I planted 5 along the rear of my property to create a bamboo woods blocking my view of my neighbor's yard but it has only grown about one cane per plant per year. I was expecting it to take off and give me a bamboo screening fast. Should I check the PH or fertilize it?


On Jun 29, 2004, chicochi3 from Fayetteville, AR (Zone 6b) wrote:

This plant has made every effort to take over my yard. It has been a real pain.


On Aug 24, 2003, palmbob from Acton, CA (Zone 8b) wrote:

THis is one of the more attractive large running bamboos, with beautiful grey-sea-green culms, spaced nicely so you can walk among them. The culms are excellent for construction, too, being very straight and sturdy. It is a serious runner, so good, solid, deep rhizome barriers are needed.