What the Light Requirements for Bamboo To Grow Well?

It’s hard to come across a species quite as cheerful and bright like bamboo ( Bambuseae spp.). Their fascinating foliage and easy-going nature makes for a beautiful home plant.

The majority of bamboo species call for bright light conditions, but how much of it do they require?

The amount of lighting your bamboo requires depends on your cultivar and variety. The larger species of bamboo (such such as the Golden Bamboo) require at minimum 5 hours direct light every day. Other species, like lucky bamboo, need at minimum 6-8 hours of indirect, bright sunshine every day.

Do Bamboo Plants Need a Lot of Light?

The majority of bamboo cultivars and types require a large amount of sunlight to flourish. Bamboos with golden hues, huge bamboo, and bamboos belonging to the Phyllostachys Genus are examples of bigger bamboo varieties.

To be able to photosynthesize and meet their requirements for high-growth They require lots of sunshine.

However certain bamboo species such as those found in Thamnocalamus, Fargesia, and Sasa genera, don’t need lots of sunlight.

It is essential to supply them with at minimum five hours of light although they’re capable of the majority of lighting conditions.

What Kind Of Light Does A Bamboo Need?

It is important to determine the kind of light is reflected on the area to determine the best place to put your bamboo. It is important to think about how much sunlight (light intensity) and the amount of hours it is exposed to.

It’s also necessary to determine the direction of light, its exposure, and if it’s direct or filtering. Let’s examine it more carefully.

Sunlight Exposure

Bamboo cultivars do well in bright sunlight. Bamboo has evolved and made the best use of sunlight’s bright light for photosynthesis.

But, you might require to protect some bamboo plants in your home from direct sunlight, especially in the summer.

Bamboo plants are an overall great for brightening the interior of your house. Most in the United States, these include the southern and western sun exposure.

Lucky bamboo, for instance can flourish with up to eight hours of direct sunlight that is bright and intense.

While most bamboo plants thrive in constant, lighting in the indoors They can also get a boost from just a few hours of full, direct sunshine.

Remember that these plants were designed to maximize the utilization of sunlight that is natural.

This being said the placement of your bamboo the window facing south is ideal. If you do this it will get the ideal amount of 5plus hours of sunshine throughout the daytime.

For delicate fabrics ensure that there’s a an open drapery that blocks the harsh sun’s radiation.

bamboo outside

The Intensity of Light

It’s likely that you’ve heard that many bamboo species prefer light that is bright (intense) lighting. For the larger varieties of bamboo this should be done in a direct manner.

It is important to keep in mind that when sunlight enters curtains, windows, and shades, a portion of its energy is degraded.

Therefore, you should place the bamboo in the closest position as you can to the light source. This is usually placing it on the window sill facing south.

This is particularly true during winter and fall when daylight hours are shorter.

The Direction of the Sun

The amount of light that gets to your bamboo can vary according to the angle it’s shining in. The light that is shining in the early morning hours is typically soft and gentle.

However the light in the midday hours can be the most harsh.

Therefore it is important to be aware of the direction of the window’s exposure. Morning sunlight can be mild through a window facing east.

But, it won’t get much sunlight in the afternoon, and throughout the day. For windows facing west, the reverse is the case.

They are only exposed to direct sunlight during the afternoon. The morning is when only a tiny amount of light is able to pass through the windows to the west.

I’m not even getting started on windows facing towards the north. Northern window windows within the United States receive the least amount of sunlight. They are shielded from the gentle morning sun as well as the scorching afternoon sun.

This could decrease the amount of sunlight the bamboo gets. This is why south-facing windows can be useful. They provide the most constant light throughout the day.

If you plan to maintain bamboo indoors, south-facing windows are the best standard.

It’s the best option since the bamboo will receive lots in direct sun.

The drawback is that you’ll need regularly water your bamboo to counteract the loss of moisture because of the evaporation.

Do Bamboo prefer Sun as well as Shade?

It is essential to know the kind of bamboo you’ve got to know if it needs shade, sun, or both. Most of the larger bamboo plants are fast growing and flourish in full sun.

For instance, the giant bamboo ( Dendrocalamus giganteus) that thrives in the US zones 9-11 of the Hardiness Zone requires full to partial sunlight.

Similar to the golden bamboo (which thrives in US zones 7 to 11) is a fan of full or partial sun.

However, certain varieties like Thamnocalamus, Fargesias, and lucky bamboos, can require some shade. They need shade during the most humid times during the daylight hours (from noon until four).

Where Should You Place a Bamboo?

Bamboo is tolerant of a broad spectrum of light levels dependent on the cultivar or the variety. Insufficient light, on the contrary, could result in slower growth and the leaves to yellow.

Therefore the ideal location is one that gets plenty of full to partial sunlight.

As a specialist in plant care I’ve found that the distance to the window closest to you is the most crucial factor to consider. It is also important to take into consideration the size, shape, and direction that the windows are located.

As a novice gardener, I mainly used the technique of hand shadows to gauge the brightness of light.

I ended up buying a useful Lux meters (Check the most current cost at Amazon right here).

Just walk around the house and it will show you the amount of light being reflected on each spot.

In the end, it’s best to put it in the most bright area of your house. But what exactly is the best place to put it?

I’ve designed a table that shows the different light intensities in various places or locations in the modern home.

It is important to note that the intensity of light is measured in the lux. The most common unit of light illuminance is represented by this. 1 . FC (foot-candle) is equal to 10.764 lumens or 10 lux/square foot.

If your bamboo plant requires some to complete sun the ideal spot is a sunroom balcony or a south-facing window sill.

Signs That Your Bamboo Isn’t Getting Enough Light

Bamboos are a majority sun-loving plants. If they are exposed to enough sun they flourish and offer you an abundance of greenery. Keep an eye for signs of lack of sunlight.

If the bamboo you have is sagging or leaning toward a window or door, or any other light source, it’s not receiving enough sunlight.

The plant’s growth could be more rapid that the opposite. Are you seeing it tilted to one side instead of moving upwards?

Bamboo leaves or canes may appear curled or twisted when illuminated. Due to the lack of symmetry the bamboo is trying to capture the maximum amount of light.

The canes could eventually get larger and leaves could be reduced in size.

In many instances, turning your bamboo can provide an interim solution. But, it is important to place your bamboo in a way that the entire area is illuminated. Better yet, move it to a more bright spot.

Leggy Development

Leggy growth, similar to leaning, is a sign the bamboo trying to attain what it needs to be able to light. Bamboos are plants that grow quickly and are constantly competing for light to remain well.

The growth rate of your bamboo will be slow. The canes’ internodes however are growing. The spacing of the foliage has also been extended.

This gives a leggy look for your bamboo. It has tiny, thin canes and stems.

Bamboo Changes Color to White or Yellow

Bamboo produces lots of chlorophyll when it receives enough sunlight. It chemical pigment that is vital for photosynthesis.

If bamboo doesn’t receive sufficient light, it will not produce enough chlorophyll. In the end, the bamboo may turn appear yellow or pale.

It is likely to change color and give the appearance of bleached. Chlorosis may cause a decline in vigor and overall health.

There Is No New Growth

As previously mentioned, plants utilize chlorophyll for photosynthesizing when they are exposed to sunlight.

Bamboo doesn’t generate the energy and food it needs to thrive in darkness or low light.

The plant will show its displeasure by halting expansion in order to concentrate on the survival of the plant.

Bamboo can live for a time by relying on the food resources it stores. But once the food reserves are gone, the plant will start to decline.

The yellowing of the leaves and stems can be spread. In addition bamboos that are weak are susceptible to diseases and pests.

Bamboo Is Drying Out

Bamboo plants enter the survival mode after being exposed to very low levels of light.

They’ll go to any extent to improve the chances of being able to survive with the resources they can.

One method it uses is to not notice the older canes and leaves. The leaves that are pale or yellow tend to be sacrificed and dry out.

They’ll eventually die and disappear from the bamboo plant.

Soil Not Drying Out for Weeks

Bamboos are drought-resistant and hardy. In times of shortage they can slow the rate of growth. A good example is when there isn’t enough sunlight or your plant isn’t able to photosynthesise effectively.

In the end, the bamboo isn’t absorbing enough water. This means that the substrate or the soil can remain damp even if it isn’t wet for a period of time. Even if you don’t water your plant, the problem could persist.

How to Increase Lighting

For those who are in need, the solution is as easy as bringing an increase in light for your bamboo. In particular, you’ll have move the bamboo to an area that has plenty of sunlight.

Bamboos, fortunately, aren’t too fussy about changes in light and can be moved it all at once.

Bamboo’s Ideal Location

Where is the ideal location to grow bamboo? The answer depends on the kind of bamboo you want to grow.

If you’re lucky enough to are blessed with golden bamboo it’ll require at least 6-8 hours of light and brightness every day, which includes some hours of full sunlight.

Plant your bamboo to be golden in a sunroom or an outdoor balcony that is sunny if you can. If you plan to keep it inside, place it next to an east-facing window.

You can be sure that you will get lots of sunlight throughout the daytime.

What happens if you don’t have windows facing south? Pick a well-lit east or west-facing window in this instance.

Place it on the window sill in a spot where the light stays constant all daytime.

Certain species, like Fargesia and luck bamboo, must be protected from scorching afternoon sun. Therefore, it is best to place it in a shade behind curtains.

Make an investment into LED Grow Lighting that have an Output of High

Bamboo likes light that is bright and natural. But what happens if it’s not receiving enough light? Perhaps it’s winter which means that the hours are becoming shorter!

This is where an artificial grow lights can be useful. You can consider purchasing LED plants with high output to grow lights that are labeled for succulents or bamboos.

They’ll give you enough light and you can put the bamboo wherever you like.

Signs Your Bamboo Is Getting Too Much Sun

There’s a problem that is too many good things. This is particularly relevant to some bamboo species when it comes to light.

Scorched Bamboo

Bamboos can meet a variety of requirements for light. The requirements of bamboos differ between species and the next.

Certain bamboo species particularly, like those that are tolerant of indirect light and can be burned if subjected to sunlight that is direct.

It’s recommended to conduct some research about the bamboo species you are interested in prior to making a decision to plant.

It is best to put the bamboo in an area that is well-lit. In addition, you need to shield it from the sunlight’s rays.

The most obvious evidence that sunburn has occurred is the browned edges and tips of leaves.

They’re extremely hard, brittle, and dry. If the burning continues, the remainder of the leaves will turn brown and sunburned.

Bamboo Shriveling

Another sign that you have excessive exposure to sunlight is the appearance of shriveling. In the course of the daytime, you’ll see your bamboo leaves curving up.

The leaves will unfold and then flatten again in the evening or after the sun sets.

Due to a myriad of reasons, the leaves are shrinking and curling. One reason is that an increase in transpiration and evaporation is leading them to shed a significant amount of water.

The second is that the bamboo has folded its leaves to decrease the amount of visible surface.

Pale Bamboo

The paling phenomenon is the main obvious indication of the imbalance of light in bamboo. It occurs when there is either excessive or insufficient light.

Bamboo leaves that have sunburned however tend to become appear pale and dry in the same moment.

Translucent, Pale, or Brown Spots

It could be that you are dealing with excessive light if your bamboo leaves appear to be coated with light brown or transparent spots. These spots are a sign of sunburn, bleaching, and paleness.

Leaves Turning Yellow

Bamboo leaves that are older (and stems) will naturally turn to yellow as they get older.

If, however, younger leaves are becoming yellow it could be that sun exposure could be the reason. The reason for this is due to the damage to tissues due to sunburn.

Unfortunately, the yellowed bamboo leaves are caused by many other causes.

In the event of an overflowing pool and underwatering, nutritional deficiencies and, perhaps most important low light should all be eliminated.

Bamboo Turning Purple

Bamboo canes may have naturally purple colors. If the leaves have begun to brown, scorching of the sun is the reason.

It means that your bamboo is an abundance of anthocyanins, which is a purple color.

The pigment functions as an natural sunscreen, absorbing harmful UV rays while also safeguarding your bamboo. But, be sure that your bamboo isn’t lacking in the mineral phosphorus.

It’s a different reason for plants to turn purple.

What Should You Do If Your Bamboo Is Getting Too Much Light?

It’s as simple as moving your bamboo to a place that isn’t sweltering by the scorching sun. Most of the time this is simply shifting it away from your window.

Just move it inside when it is exposed to direct sunlight.

Bamboo is made to ward off the harmful negative effects from direct sun.

If the patient is experiencing pain the symptoms, it may be caused by a secondary problem such as water logging or heat draft, or nutrient deficiencies.

Make sure that these issues are addressed, and that the lighting placement is altered.



Went from a bad gardener to a half-decent one over 10+ years. Super happy to share my tips and tricks with you :)