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Will Bamboo Grow In Michigan – Some Surprising Facts!

Bamboo is a very low-maintenance plant. Like any other plant, it does need specific conditions to grow in its best shape, but it will generally be able to grow almost anywhere and under any weather conditions. One question keeps cropping up when it comes to bamboo: Will bamboo grow in Michigan?

The short and simple answer to that question is yes. You can grow bamboo in Michigan. While bamboos typically need tropical temperatures to thrive, several types of bamboo plants grow under varying conditions.

You can find more than 1400 species of the plant spread all over Asia, Africa, America, and other continents, all with different types of climatic conditions.

Let’s dig a bit deeper and find out the answer to your question – will bamboo grow in Michigan?

Red Margin Will Bamboo Grow In Michigan
Red Margin – via Wikimedia

Will Bamboo Grow In Michigan?

One of the types of Bamboo plants is the “Michigan bamboo,” or as it is known, the Japanese knotweed. It is an invasive plant with red hollow stalks, and it grows very rapidly. If its expansion and growth are not controlled, it can lead to many problems.

Besides the Japanese knotweed, most bamboo plants have roots that can grow extensively under the ground and can cause damage to roads and buildings. It can even harm the sewage system if not tamed properly.

Bamboo is used for several purposes, such as making fabrics, pulp, furniture, etc. But is it an easy plant to grow in all places? Environmental conditions in some places are more suitable than others for bamboo to grow in, but this plant does not need much to spread its roots.

If you live in Michigan and want to plant bamboo someplace near your home, the most important question is – will bamboo grow in Michigan?

Keep reading to find out all the details.

Japanese Knotweed Will Bamboo Grow In Michigan
Japanese Knotweed – via Wikimedia

Suitable Species for Michigan

As you already know, there are several species of the bamboo plant, but not all species grow under the same conditions. Different types of bamboo plants will grow better in different places. There are certain species of the bamboo plant that will grow better in Michigan.

The issue with Michigan is that it is categorized under zone 5 by the US department of agriculture. Zone 5 areas are the ones that have winter temperatures anywhere between -10 and -20 °F.

Only a few chosen plants can grow efficiently in this cold temperature as most types of plants, including bamboo plants, go dormant in colder temperatures.

So, only cold, hardy bamboo plants will be able to grow in Michigan. Hardiness zones are categorized based on the ability of the plant to tolerate below-average and minimum temperatures.

Bamboo plants that can grow in zone 4, which has a lower temperature than zone 5, can certainly grow in zone 5, so they will be suitable for planting in Michigan.

Some of the bamboo plant varieties that can grow well in Michigan include the following.

Red Margin – This is a bamboo plant for zone 5, and it grows up to 18 feet in the cold temperatures of Michigan, but in warmer weather, it can grow even more.

Bisset – Another one of the bamboo plants species, Bissetii, is mostly grown in zone 4, but when planted in zone 5, it can grow up to 12 feet long. This bamboo plant does well in most types of soils.

Golden Crookstem – This bamboo plant can grow in temperatures as low as minus ten-degree Fahrenheit. It grows rapidly, too, as it acts as a windbreaker, a natural screen, and even as a hedge.

Incense – This bamboo species is more appropriate for wetland areas. It can grow as tall as 8-12 feet in Michigan weather. In zone 7 of the USDA, this bamboo plant can go up to 25 feet. It can grow well in temperatures as low as minus five degrees, but it is recommended that the plant be kept indoors if the temperature falls below minus five.

Giant Leaf – This bamboo plant is also well-suited for a zone 5 region. It can grow to a good size in Michigan. It has huge leaves, about two feet in length and half a foot in width. The stems are not too long, with the average height of the plant lying anywhere between 8 to 10 feet.

Yellow Groove – Yellow Groove has a striking yellow color with green stripes. This bamboo plant can grow up to 14 feet, making it a great natural screen.

Ruscus – This is a bamboo plant with a distinctive appearance. It has short, dense leaves, and it looks almost like a shrub. Ruscus is hardy to zone 5 and grows as tall as 8 to 10 feet.

These are a few names of bamboo plants that can grow well in Michigan. There are more types of bamboo plants for zone 5 as well.

Bisset - Will Bamboo Grow In Michigan
Bisset – via Wikimedia

Planting and Caring For a Bamboo Plant

For planting the bamboo tree, you have to dig a hole that is two times as large as the root ball on the bamboo plant. Choose a place for the hole protected from direct wind, especially in the winter.

After choosing a spot and digging the hole, spread out the roots of the bamboo in the hole. Fill up the hole with soil and keep pressing gently as you go.    

Add water to the hole. The amount of water needed by the plant may vary depending on the temperature and weather, but in most cases, it needs plenty of water, especially in the growing phase. You must ensure to add lots of water weekly.

Provide shade to the young plant for the first few weeks, and your bamboo plant will be on its way to healthy growth.


I hope this answers your question, “will bamboo grow in Michigan?” There are plants out there that grow well in cold temperatures as well. So, if you want to plant bamboo, the temperature shouldn’t be a stopping point for you.

Although there are other things, you need to be mindful of before planting a bamboo plant. With rapidly growing roots, bamboo can be destructive to things of concrete around you, even your own home.

Be cautious and gain comprehensive knowledge before planting a bamboo plant. Other than that, have a great time watching your plants spread their leaves in the garden. It is a truly fulfilling feeling.  


Wednesday 29th of March 2023

Nice to know possibility of taming bamboo or not.

Hoang Quang

Friday 31st of March 2023


It's essential to tame your bamboo and prevent them from causing harm.

There are many ways to tame your bamboo.

One is to plant them in containers to restrict the spread of roots. Another way is to use physical root barriers made from concrete or high-density polyethylene buried around the bamboo planting area to contain its roots.

Pruning and thinning can also help control its invasive growth.

Hope this helps!