Mexican Weeping Bamboo

Otatea acuminata subsp. aztecorum

Family: Poaceae (poh-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Otatea (oh-ta-TAY-a) (Info)
Species: acuminata subsp. aztecorum


Ornamental Grasses and Bamboo

Foliage Color:



Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Water Requirements:

Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Where to Grow:

Grow outdoors year-round


15-20 ft. (4.7-6 m)

20-30 ft. (6-9 m)


15-20 ft. (4.7-6 m)

20-30 ft. (6-9 m)

30-40 ft. (9-12 m)


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:

Sun to Partial Shade


Handling plant may cause skin irritation or allergic reaction

Bloom Color:


Bloom Time:



Grown for foliage


Other details:

May be a noxious weed or invasive

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 the rootball

Seed Collecting:

N/A: plant does not set seed, flowers are sterile, or plants will not come true from seed


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


Tucson, Arizona

Brentwood, California

Encinitas, California

Fallbrook, California

Granite Bay, California

Ojai, California

Rosedale, California

San Diego, California

San Jose, California

San Marino, California

Santa Barbara, California

Santa Cruz, California

Sierra Madre, California

Spring Valley, California

Thousand Oaks, California

Venice, California

Miami, Florida

Tampa, Florida (2 reports)

Ainaloa, Hawaii

Mountain View, Hawaii

Austin, Texas

Baytown, Texas

Broaddus, Texas

Galveston, Texas

Spring, Texas

Spring Branch, Texas

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Jun 10, 2017, JamesSpringBranch from Spring Branch, TX wrote:

I live on the border between zone 8a and 8b so I'm taking a chance growing his beautiful bamboo. I have lost one during winter several years ago and I am now taking steps to keep that from happening again.

I have two plants both planted near the south side of my house. This past winter we had two nights where it dropped down to 15 and I wrapped the plant with Christmas lights - the old kind that have a normal bulb that put out a small bit of heat. Next I wrapped the entire plant with De Witte plant wrap. This is a heavier duty wrap than what you will find at a big box store and an entire roll that will last years can b ordered from Amazon. The 'Planket' covers offered at big box stores will rip easily causing you to buy new ones.

I cut off the tallest cul... read more


On Apr 14, 2013, eillib from Woodbine,
United States wrote:

Loved having this bamboo. It served as a nice barrier between our kitchen eating area and the street. Would love to be able to put it in our yard in Maryland, but it appears that the winters are too cold for it.

We purchased a house in Long Beach, CA in 1975 where the Mexican Weeping Bamboo was already established. The previous owner had taken a root cutting from the plant at The Huntington - before it had been released to nurseries to sell - and planted it in the yard. I just recently learned the proper name - he called it feather grass.

One thing I have never seen in print, is that the plant dies out world wide and reseeds itself periodically. I am not sure of how long a period it is, but it did do so around 1990. (in 1975 it was a large mature clump.... read more


On May 8, 2008, zone10 from San Diego, CA (Zone 10b) wrote:

This plant is truly an easy care plant and adds so much movement to my garden. I recommend finding a breezy and backlit location for a beautiful affect. For clay gardeners, there's hope. I had the ideal place to plant this bamboo; ideal that is, for me and not my plant, as it was a bed of clay. I dug a 12" wide and deep hole, placed the bamboo in amended soil and kept my fingers crossed. That was 7 years ago and it is doing fine.


On Jul 2, 2007, rplingaltx from Galveston, TX wrote:

I planted my Mexican Weeper about 3 years ago and true to bamboo form this is the year it is LEAPING! Yay! This bamboo has proven itself to be very hardy here in Galveston. Although during the winter it looks a bit messy, it is so pretty the rest of the year I can overlook the messiness. I have not yet found it to be invasive. So far this year, 3 new culms have emerged. The tallest one being about 16 feet. Planted on the north side of my house and with NO protection during the winters and it is doing well.


On Feb 10, 2007, SudieGoodman from Broaddus, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:

Zone 8b, Southeast, TX

I need a fast-growing, thick bamboo to block ugly view and strong, unpleasent odor.
I see it is hardy only 9 + My temps drop to 19 or 20 degs. in Jan/Feb. Will it survive?
Your suggestions are greatly needed and appreciated.
This bamboo is expensive and I don't want to make a mistake.

Thanks, Bob


On Feb 3, 2004, palmbob from Acton, CA (Zone 8b) wrote:

This is one of my favorite species of bamboo. IT is drought tolerant, easy to grow, fast, nice looking (lacy, droopy effect) and not a runner. However, even though it's not a runner, but a clumper, it is one of the more invasive clumpers and can spread several feet in each direction yearly. I have not had much problem keeping the new growths kicked back (just kick them as they come out of the ground), but it did grow into a neighbor's yard. Makes a nice shade for understory plants, but I'd still recommend puttin a rhizome barrier around it to protect those plants from imminent invasion. Is a bit messy as are most bamboo. Not as prone to mealy bug and scale as Bambusa species are.