What is Heavenly Bamboo?

Misty Amber Brighton

Heavenly bamboo is an evergreen shrub that has stems that somewhat resemble bamboo canes. Even so, it is not actually a bamboo. This bush normally produces medium pink to purple-colored flowers in late spring or early summer, followed by red berries in autumn. It may be grown as an ornamental shrub or used as part of a privacy hedge.

Man mowing the grass
Man mowing the grass

This small tree typically retains its foliage year-round. This may not be true when temperatures reach 10°F (-12°C), however. At this range, the leaves usually fall off the bush. When temperatures reach -10°F (-23.33°C) the branches of the tree will occasionally die back as well. Having the canes or leaves die back does not usually mean that the plant is dying as they normally return in the spring.

The branches of heavenly bamboo can be around one inch (2.54 cm) thick and very sturdy. This may make them difficult to prune or cut back. The canes do not usually branch out, but instead grow straight up and down. They normally grow in clusters, much like many varieties of bamboo. These clusters can be in a tight pattern of growth, creating the plant's bush-like appearance.

A mature plant may be between six and eight feet (1.83 to 2.44 m) tall. Some trees occasionally reach up to 10 feet (3.05 m) in height. It can also spread between four to six feet (1.22 to 1.83 m) in width. Heavenly bamboo usually grows best when placed in full sunlight but can also tolerate partial shade. It can normally tolerate a variety of soils and may flourish in wet locations as well.

While the flowers of a heavenly bamboo plant are usually pink or purple, they may also be white. The buds of the bush are usually pink just before they open in spring. In the fall, these flowers normally give way to dark red berry-like fruit. These berries generally remain through the winter unless they are eaten by birds or the branches die back due to cold temperatures.

This shrub can typically be grown by inexperienced gardeners due to the fact that it is usually very hardy. Heavenly bamboo can give an interesting splash of color to an otherwise dull winter landscape. The fragrant blossoms can sometimes attract birds and butterflies to a garden as well. Those who are looking for a unique bush to plant in their backyard might want to consider including it.

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