Yellow Groove

4.40 out of 5 based on 10 customer ratings
(10 customer reviews )

A great screening bamboo for cold climates zones. Canes are green with a yellow stripe. About 10% of the canes will have a zigzag in the lower portions of the cane.

Scientific Name

Phyllostachys Aureosulcata 'Yellow Groove'

Light Conditions

Sun to Shade

Maximum Height

40 feet

Maximum Diameter

2 inch

Minimum Temperature

−5 °F

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Why choose this bamboo?
  • Taller cold hardy variety.
  • Canes have alternating yellow stripes and some zig-zag.
  • Very vertical appearance, does not tend to weep or lean.

Phyllostachys Aureosulcata ‘Yellow Groove Bamboo’ is a great species for privacy screens. It can get larger in warm climates but makes thick lower growing privacy screen in climate zone 6 and colder. The culms are very erect, making it suitable for planting around paths and roads. The shoots are edible.

The culm (cane) sheaths are pale green with creamy streaks. Auricles and oral setae are present on mid culm. Can be absent on lower and upper portions of the culms. A very upright species at maturity. Less aggressive in cooler climates. Yellow Groove is from Jiangsu and Zhejiang in east China.

In USDA Climate Zone 7 expect mature size canes to be over 40 feet in height.

In USDA Climate Zone 6 expect mature size canes to be 18 feet in height.

In USDA Climate Zone 5 expect mature size canes to be 12 to 14 feet in height.

In USDA Climate Zone 4 expect mature size canes to be 8 feet in height.

We have personally recorded this species at 46 feet and 2.6 inches in diameter in climate zone 7. In climate zone 6 expect max height to be around 20 feet.

‘Yellow Groove Bamboo’ is widely used as an ornamental because of the occasional zigzag pattern that occurs in the lower quarter of the culms. The culms also have a rough or sandpaper feel.

We have customers growing this cold hardy species in parts of Minnesota, in the Missouri Botanical Gardens, University of Minnesota Arboretum, Iowa and Nebraska. One of our customers in zone 3b/4a Wisconsin where temperatures have gone to -30  reported his ‘yellow groove’ dies back in the Winter months. It comes back each Spring 6 to 8 feet tall from a 5 year old planting.

At the Denver Zoo, it averages 10 to 12 feet in height by .75 inch diameter after 12 years and appears that this will be the mature average height at that elevation and climate zone 5.

Plant introduction number (PI) into the U.S. 55713

Customers' review

Rated 4.40 out of 5 stars
10 reviews

10 reviews for Yellow Groove

  1. 5 out of 5

    bought 2 2 yr ago and wow these grow fast but i have plenty of room,lewis bamboo are 4 sure pros,i planted in jan early feb just to see what would happen and they are as cold hardy as you can get survived minus 9 as recently planted trees came back beautiful in spring love this bamboo

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  2. 5 out of 5

    Plants look great and the one I received last year is growing better than expected. That is why I bought more this year.

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  3. 3 out of 5

    Quick speedy service...nice plant. HAVING a hard time getting it to grow.

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  4. 1 out of 5

    Having used your bamboo and fertlilzer, the bamboo was supposed to reach 30 feet, the bamboo is no taller than the day I bought it, approximately 18 months ago. The stalks on the bamboo are to small to reach that height, no bigger than a pencil.. Needless to say a complete waste of time and money. Once the bamboo reaches 6' high the stalks fall over, the new growth is far and few between REALLY DiSAPPOINTE:D

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  5. 5 out of 5

    Received my order of bamboo quickly and in very good condition. My new bamboo is doing just fine. Thanks

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  6. 5 out of 5

    Thanks for the Great plants Roger!
    I bought a few plants about 2-3 years ago and they are really taking off so bought some more, love bamboo. My neighbor just cut down a major screening tree... well really it was a 10 years overgrown weed (what's the difference? : ) ... but in a tight city like DC you want all the privacy you can get : ) and the bamboo I've already ordered looks great and is going to get the job done. So another order incoming, thanks again!

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  7. 5 out of 5

    Thank you very much-I was SO pleased with the condition of the plants, the packaging etc. I ordered a couple from elsewhere and they are pathetic in comparison to yours!! You have a new faithful customer in the northeast now. I am so excited to watch them grow! I am using them to fill in an open area where we had some trees cut down, and the past couple of years filled in with horrific weeds and poison ivy. I cleared the area earlier this spring and mulched a large area, so its all ready for them to run! They have a nice new home!

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  8. 5 out of 5

    Hello Roger! Just wanted to thank you for such a healthy plant, the yellow groove I purchased hasn't been in the ground that long and already has 5 shoots (or whatever their called!) higher than the Mother plant. I had bought bamboo from other companies over the years with no success, I will be back! Tks!!

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  9. 5 out of 5

    Dear Sirs:
    Just wanted to drop a line to thank you for the advice on planting you gave to me last year when
    I purchased a single division of yellow groove bamboo. Even though I was only buying a single item,
    you treated me like I was buying a hundred!

    I planted in early August, and was very concerned about the division becoming established before
    winter here in North Central Indiana. Even though we had a week of temperatures at and below 10
    below zero, it has been growing this spring. I followed your advice of putting composted cow manure
    in the planting site, and mulched heavily before winter came. I am happy to report that I now have 7
    new canes that have come up, even though the top died to the ground during the winter. Two of the
    new canes are a foot away from the mother plant.

    Again, thanks for the advice, and I will be moving shortly to a new house where I will need to start
    several groves, so you will surely be hearing from again this summer!


    John W

    Lafayette, Indiana

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  10. 5 out of 5

    Hi Roger,
    Thought you might like a follow up. I bought the P aureosulcata three years ago and trucked it here to Butte.
    First winter, we got it under cover late...Jan 1...and had many days of zero degree to 5-10 below weather, not windy. All but two of the plants survived. About 20% of the plants lived but tops all died and new growth came up. About 50% of plants lived, but burn was visible...culms turned a purple color. About 30% of plants had minor leaf burn.
    This last winter (second year) we got them covered in November. I bought a 60 x30 ft heavy plastic and built a frame, basically covering them with a greenhouse. Also ran steam pipe into the ground, which rarely turned on. We keep root temp about 30-40 degrees in the winter. You might recall, Butte is Zone 3. I also bought a propane heater, and when we get our week or so of 30-40 below weather, I turn that on to keep the temp in the "greenhouse" just about 5 degrees.
    So the bamboo over wintered much better this year, and whereas some of the new growth from first summer planting died in the winter, all survived this winter. Bamboo sits in a hollow, with about 6 ft of a dirt berm surrounding it, so the ground and plastic cover really holds the heat and I don't really have to spend much money keeping the temperature adequate.
    I have a natural pond right next to the bamboo and we caught dragonflys for the pond to keep the mosquito's down. They seem to like the bamboo, and watching them dart in among the bamboo with the hummingbirds using the feeders in the bamboo is really quite a sight, one I never thought I would see in Montana.
    I had reasonable growth the first year, pretty good growth last year, and I think this summer the grove is really going to take off.
    I'm leaving for a long trip to Africa in May, be back in July...I'll send you a picture later this summer.
    J C
    Butte, Montana

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    How Bamboo Grows

    Bamboo grows a little different than most plants. The bamboo that you get initially never grows vertically again. It has babies that are taller, that has babies that are taller. Every generation should be taller that the previous year's shoots. The intriguing aspect is that each year’s growth emerges and grows to it complete height in 60-90 days. They spread as they produce larger growth, filling in and providing a screen.

    This link will help you learn how bamboo grows. It will give you an idea of what kind of growth to expect from your planting. It is a lot of information, but well worth your time. How Bamboo Grows


    Planting bamboo is also easy. You want to dig a hole about twice the size of the root ball. When you plant the bamboo amend your soil with composted manure and a good top soil. Bamboo can be planted at ground level or slightly deeper. It is not a picky about it conditions but this will help get it off to a good start.

    More details can be found on our Planting Instruction Page


    One division of bamboo will start a grove or screen over time. However, if you want a privacy screen fast, I recommend planting bamboo 3 to 5 feet apart. This will hopefully allow you to have a good screen in three years. There are a lot of factors such as water, sunlight, and climate zones that speeds up or slows down the process. Three years is about the average on this spacing, closer planting will allow you to screen or develop your grove faster. You cannot over plant bamboo.



    Bamboo can benefit from a fertilization program. You can safely fertilize your bamboo once it has been in the ground for one month. A time release fertilizer will work great. Time release fertilizers allow for proper absorption in case your soil is out of PH balance. We offer some fertilizer to help with growth. We fertilize twice a year. Once in the early spring to encourage new growth and then again during the middle of the grow season to replace any nutrients that are being depleted. Click here to see our recommended fertilizer: Our Fertilizers


    Over the years a lot of myths have been told about bamboo, while it can spread under good conditions, it is not as invasive as many people would have you believe. In colder climates an aggressive runner here in the south will hardy spread at all in comparison. We have been growing bamboo since 1985 and had experience with it long before that. The bamboo's underground root system (rhizome) will spread beyond the initial planting over the years, so in the next two or three years you will need to decide on some method of containment on the sides you do not want the rhizomes to run over into.

    We have constructed a page discussing multiple methods of controlling bamboo. It goes over root pruning, mowing new shoots, and in ground barriers: Controlling Bamboo

    All this said and it may discourage you, but as with any plant there will be maintenance. Bamboo is very beautiful and is great in a Japanese style garden, but it will need maintenance down the road. At first it may seem to be doing nothing, but after 3 to 5 years you will have a lot of beautiful culms (canes) and love the foliage. All our 150 plus species simply contained by mowing and weed eating the new Spring and Summer shoots. Hopes this helps and don't be afraid of the bamboo.