Bamboo is an elegant plant that is full of character and can be put to good use as effective plants for shade. The largest member of the grass family, bamboos are perennial evergreen flowering plants, and they have a great deal to offer in terms of visual appeal and useful applications, providing natural screens, wind breaks and shady spots. However, many gardeners are reluctant to use bamboo because of its perceived aggression and invasiveness. In fact, only certain types of bamboo behave in this way, and there are plenty of varieties that are ‘non-invasive’.

Also referred to as clumping bamboos, non-invasive types originally grew on mountainsides and do very well in semi-shaded, cooler areas, making them ideally suited for use in UK gardens. Here are five different clumping bamboos that won’t get out of control and invade other area of your garden. Image source:

Fargesia Murielae ‘Umbrella Bamboo’


This tall and bushy evergreen bamboo has very attractive stems that are almost pendulous. Very popular in Scandinavia and Eastern Europe as well as the US, many people consider it to be one of the most beautiful bamboos in cultivation. The tall stems, or culms, tend to be very dense and to arch over, hence the name ‘Umbrella Bamboo’. A popular choice with many gardeners, this non-invasive bamboo grows just as well from a container as it does from the ground and is one of many garden patio ideas that can also be used to enliven decking areas and even balconies. Buy Umbrella Bamboo

Borinda Papyrifera ‘Blue Panda’


This beautiful bamboo has steel blue or grey culms and rich green leaves, making it a popular choice with gardeners. An enthusiastic grower, its culms can become as thick as 4 cm in diameter and can reach heights of up to 7 metres. As a clumping bamboo, it is non-invasive and does best of all in semi-shaded positions. This is an excellent choice if you need your bamboo to act as a boarder or screen. Buy Blue Panda Bamboo

Fargesia Robusta ‘Pingwu’

This is the perfect choice of bamboo for creating a narrow screen in your garden. It has a relatively slim diameter of up to 2.5 cm and is capable of growing to as much as 5 metres. The culms are light green in colour, and the foliage is a much darker green, helping to make this clumping and non-invasive ‘Pingwu’ Robusta bamboo an excellent backdrop or privacy screen for your garden. Living up to its ‘robust’ name, it will grow well in both direct sunlight and semi-shaded areas. Buy Pingwu Bamboo

Fargesia Scabrida


This clumping bamboo is non-invasive and grows into a lovely vase shape, making it a beautiful addition in any garden or planter. Scabrida is also considered the most evergreen of the Fargesia bamboos and is able to flourish in below zero temperatures, without sustaining any damage to its foliage. It is suitable for containers, can grow up to 4 metres in height, and does well in full sun as well as semi-shaded locations.
Buy Fargesia Scabrida Bamboo

Fargesia Dracocephala ‘Green Dragon’

This is the stuff that pandas like to eat, and its Chinese name translates as dragon head bamboo. With purple and black culms and deep green foliage, it is a very attractive bamboo. The culms tend to radiate evenly around the base and fan out into a pleasing v-shaped clump. Non-invasive and hardy, this bamboo does well in full sun as well as part-shaded areas. Buy Green Dragon Bamboo