So you don't like variegated bamboo?

It's interesting how some plants can completely captive you, while others you just don't care for. For example, begonias. Some people are just crazy about them, collecting every type they can find. I don't see the attraction, and find them to be just another plant, even boring. (No offense to those who love begonias!) For those who are crazy about certain types of plants, it's impossible to see why everybody doesn't love them, right?

That's how it is with me and bamboo. Bamboo is a plant that just does it for me, and my collection is always growing. So when I recently read that there was somebody who loved all sorts of plants but did not really like variegated bamboo, my first thought was "you haven't been looking at the right variegated bamboos!" If this is true and lack of exposure is the problem in this case, I hope today's post helps.


Some of these photos are new, but others have been taken over the past couple of years. Variegation usually looks best when the leaves are fresh, and after a month or more of too-hot days it's hard to find pristine leaves -- I looked to my archives to help round out this post.

The bamboos featured here are: Pleioblastus fortunei, Pleoiblastus viridistriatus, Hibanobambusa tranquillans 'Shiroshima', Sasaella masamuneana 'Albostriata', and Pleioblastus shibuyanus 'Tsuboi'

If these photos haven't convinced you that variegated bamboos are beautiful plants that you must have in your garden, then I guess you really don't like them. Sigh.

I know that I sure do.

(I'll label all of these photos if the demand is there. Please let me know in the comments!)


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Matthew  – (July 20, 2012 at 8:54 AM)  

Great pics, Alan! Bamboo REALLY does it for me and so do variegated plants in general, so variegated bamboos?! Oh yeah!

scottweberpdx  – (July 20, 2012 at 9:04 AM)  

That's so funny...I usually don't like variegated plants...but I do like variegated bamboo! I'm not sure why, I think because the variegation is so linear, I don't think of it as "busy", which I why a lot of variegation drives me crazy. For some reason, I also prefer yellow/green variegation over white/green (I know...I'm weird). It's the same for grasses...for me, the variegation enhances their linear nature...and doesn't detract from it. It's funny how we all have our little quirks.

Gerhard Bock (Succulents and More)  – (July 20, 2012 at 11:37 AM)  

You didn't have to sell me on variegated bamboo but I'm sure glad you posted these beautiful photos :-).

Anonymous –   – (July 20, 2012 at 12:51 PM)  

You are "spot on" Alan! I grow all of these, and LOVE them ... especially Shiroshima and the Albo. I had to clear the "creeping" Albo out of a walkway and ended up with 33 vigorous divisions. A friend recently declined a pot of it saying "I don't really like variegated plants." I'm willing to bet he'll change his mind after he sees the plant in person. I look forward to your blog every day! Thanks! -jeremy
PS I wish you could grow bambusoides 'Albo.' You would love it!

Zoo Horticulture  – (July 20, 2012 at 2:24 PM)  

Not only do I like variegated leaves on bamboo, I also like ones with striped canes such as Phyllostacys aureosulcata 'Spectabilis' (Green Groove Bamboo).

Hoover Boo  – (July 20, 2012 at 3:33 PM)  

They are all beautiful. Lovely photos, too. The third-to-last with the different colors and textures is great.

outlawgardener  – (July 20, 2012 at 5:22 PM)  

Gorgeous pictures! I adore bamboo and begonias, and palms, and conifers and succulents and... O.K. I'm a plant slut. I love them all!

Bom  – (July 20, 2012 at 10:18 PM)  

I really like variegation on plants. Your bamboo shots are great. Thanks for sharing them.

danger garden  – (July 21, 2012 at 12:38 AM)  

You definitely shared some mighty fine looking leaves and yes, I would be happy to have any of these growing in my garden...

Christine  – (July 21, 2012 at 4:46 PM)  

Love the photo of the variegated bamboo and miscanthus - great combo!

RichieNJ  – (July 23, 2012 at 7:28 AM)  

Zoo Horticulture, spectibilis is my fave! I don't have any variegated bamboo - so I must look for that next. Beautiful pictures!

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