Yellow bamboo hardiness


I have a yellow bamboo plant I’ve had for at least 10 years it’s around 6′ tall. I leave it out every summer, this year I divided it and put half in my green house for the winter. The ground in the green house never seems to freeze. Do you think it will survive ? I saw one growing in downtown Toronto beside a brick house on the south side. I’m in Aurora, just north of Toronto. Thanks, John


Thank you for contacting Toronto Master Gardeners regarding the hardiness of your yellow bamboo.

The longevity of your potted yellow bamboo is a testament to the care you have given it over the years. It is difficult to provide you with a precise answer without the actual botanical name as there are several species of hardy bamboos, the roots/rhizomes of which can survive and thrive in Zone 5b of Aurora. The best guess, consistent with the name you provided, is a commonly available species known as Phyllostachys aurea (synonym Bambusa aurea) with the common names of fish-pole bamboo and golden bamboo (RHS) which is native to southeast China.

The survival of the division in your greenhouse is very likely, however this could pose significant problem depending on the method by which it has been planted. This plant must be contained/potted to limit its spread (RHS). While Phyllostachys may initially have a clumping growth habit, it is a “running bamboo” (CABI) related to its ability to spread aggressively underground. It is listed in the Invasive Species Compendium ( as a highly invasive species capable of altering the ecosystem, choking out native species and causing property damage, please refer to: As can be seen in this answer to a previous ASK question, removal is difficult. From personal experience, a shoot was still found this summer from a single plant which was removed with considerable effort over 10 years ago – the underground rhizomes have the legendary strength and resilience of bamboo canes.

For information, on containing Phyllostachys aurea, please see:

Hope this information helps.