Fargesia rufa, the Chinese Fountain Bamboo is a small to medium sized, non invasive, clump forming bamboo. Fargesia rufa has lush green leaves all year and is useful to gardeners having a dense bushy habit developing into a compact arching specimen in tight non-invasive clumps. It has rapid growth each year growing between 1.5 - 2m in height. Rufa produces masses of small leaves on top of orange and green stems (or culms). Very hardy and tolerant of both sun and shade. Happy growing in most planting soils but as with all bamboo add a good, rich compost when planting, keep well watered until established to achieve the best possible results. Hardy and easy to grow in most soils, only requiring watering during periods of extreme dry.
Fargesia rufa is a quick rooting bamboo, easy to grow and suitable as specimen, low screen or dense bushy hedge. When grown as a hedge it can easily be clipped with either shears or hedge cutter.
Due to it's small size Fargesia rufa is ideally suited to smaller gardens or where space is limited. It is also perfect in pots and raised beds.
- Position: Shade to sun very hardy but looks it's best planted away from exposed windy sites
- Soil: All soils, but avoid waterlogged areas very dry soils will need extra watering
- Eventual Size: Up to 2 metres, usually between 1-1.5 metres high
- Habit: Compact/Arching/Non-invasive
- Foliage: Evergreen
- Common Names: Fountain Bamboo, Rufa bamboo
Because this is a non invasive clumping or clump-forming Fargesia bamboo there is no need to install bamboo root barrier to contain growth like you would with many of the invasive ‘running’ Phyllostachys bamboos.
Fargesia Rufa Bamboo Care
Before planting it is a good idea to soak the bamboo thoroughly to ensure the rots are well and truly saturated then dig a hole at least twice the size of the root ball add compost then place the bamboo so that the finished soil height will be slightly lower than the top of the root ball. Backfill using your soil mixed 50:50 with good compost. Once planted gently firm down the soil around the base add a top dressing of a good fertilizer, we prefer poultry manure, then mulch with a good 8-10 deep layer of compost. Finally water again to help settle the bamboo. In dry periods it may be necessary to repeat watering regularly, if the bamboo looks dry and the leaves are curling this is a sure sign. After the first season we repeat the mulching and feeding each spring.
Now stand back and enjoy. Don’t expect your bamboo to grow away like a rocket, yes bamboo can grow incredibly fast but most of this happens over a 3 month period which is very generally late May through to early August so if you’ve planted either side of this period I’m afraid you’ll have to wait.
Pruning and Grooming
Bamboo can be very accommodating here. I’ve seen pristine clipped hedges and topiary shaped plantings of both Phllostachys aurea and bissetti showing easy how easy it can be managed. What I like to do though on any large bamboo is to remove all old, thin and spindly canes (or culms as us horticulturists call them) then prune away all the side branches off the remaining culms to a height of between 60cm to 150cm depending on your choice. This in my opinion show bamboos off to there best making them stately specimens.
For more information see our Bamboo Care Guide for these types of Bamboo:
Also see our Bamboo FAQ
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Liam Vandergraff on 11 Oct 2017
Fargesia rufa is absolutely fabulous in my garden, so much so that I ordered 2 more plants from Big Plant Nursery. I am delighted to say they arrived on the day requested and were so much bigger they I expected. Will definitely use Big Plant Nursery again. Thank you.
Alma Peterson on 25 Aug 2017
Delighted with the quality, box was a little bit bashed up when it arrived but this was probably down to the courier and not the sender, plants are absolutely fine i'm very happy with them.
Joanna Kent on 20 Aug 2017
Amazing service from start to finish, staff are extremely friendly and willing to offer advice which we really appreciated! We were after a low growing bamboo to form a hedge that could tolerate quite a bit of sun. We settled on Rufa and we are very pleased with how its progressed since going in the ground. We highly recommend Big Plant Nursery for their expert advice and fast array of plants.
Big Plant Customer on 8 Jun 2017
Healthy looking plants and fast delivery - recommend
James on 17 Apr 2017
Lovely healthy plants arrived 48hours after placing order