Bamboo, Bambusa Multiplex Alphonse Karr

Bambusa Multiplex Alphonse Karr Bamboo – Grow Guide

Bambusa multiplex ‘Alphonse Karr’ is a highly versatile and adaptable bamboo plant. It boasts tall, erect canes with stunning golden-yellow coloration and sporadic green stripes. 

In this comprehensive grow guide, we will explore the characteristics, uses, maintenance tips, special considerations, and winter care of Alphonse Karr Bamboo.

Key Takeaways

  • Bambusa multiplex ‘Alphonse Karr’ is a medium-sized evergreen bamboo with tall, upright, bright golden-yellow canes with random green stripes.
  • It can be grown in full sun to part shade and is best suited for fertile, moist soils.
  • It is an adaptable and versatile plant that can be used as a centerpiece, hedge, or in containers.
  • Regular maintenance, including watering, fertilizing, and pruning, is necessary for optimal growth and health.

Key Facts

Common namesAlphonse Karr Bamboo
TypeClumping Bamboo (Non-invasive)
HeightUp to 30 feet (9 meters)
Culm (stem) diameterUp to 2 inches (5 cm)
USDA hardiness zones9-11
Minimum temperature-10°F (-23.3°C)
Light requirementsFull sun to partial shade
Soil requirementsWell-drained, fertile soil
Watering requirementsRegular watering, especially in dry conditions
Best forScreening, hedges, ornamental use

Characteristics of Alphonse Karr Bamboo

Bambusa multiplex ‘Alphonse Karr’, also known as Alphonse Karr Bamboo, is a medium-sized evergreen bamboo native to China. It features tall, upright canes with bright golden-yellow color and random green stripes. This clumping bamboo can grow up to 10-30 ft. tall (3-9 m) and is an excellent choice for creating privacy screens.

Bambusa Multiplex Alphonse Karr stalk close up, yellow with green stripe

The culms of Alphonse Karr Bamboo can reach up to 2 inches wide (5 cm) and display a vibrant golden-yellow hue that turns orange-red when exposed to bright sunlight. The plant also produces young shoots that are tinged with pink, adding further visual interest. With its fine green leaves and occasional creamy-yellow stripe, this bamboo adds brightness to any garden or container.

It thrives in full sun to part shade conditions and is adaptable to various soil types. Alphonse Karr Bamboo is not only aesthetically pleasing but also serves as an effective privacy screen option due to its height and dense foliage.

Creating Hedges and Screens

Creating hedges and screens with Bambusa multiplex ‘Alphonse Karr’ is a popular choice due to its dense foliage and vibrant culms. This bamboo variety’s clumping nature allows it to create a thick, impenetrable hedge or screen. Within 3 to 5 years, it can form a wall of foliage that provides privacy and acts as a barrier.

The spacing at which the plants are planted determines the density of the screening. With heights reaching up to 10-30 ft., this bamboo variety is ideal for creating tall and visually striking hedges or screens. Its brightly striped canes of yellow and green add vibrancy to any landscape.

By using Alphonse Karr Bamboo, you can effortlessly achieve a beautiful and functional privacy screen for your outdoor space.

Maintenance Tips for Alphonse Karr Bamboo

To ensure the health and vitality of Alphonse Karr Bamboo, regular watering during the first year or two and annual pruning to remove aging or dead culms are recommended maintenance practices.

Adequate water supply is important for young plants as they establish their root systems. This can be achieved through regular watering, especially during dry periods.

Pruning is necessary to redirect energy towards rhizome growth and maintain an attractive appearance. Removing aging or dead culms also prevents the spread of diseases and pests.

Additionally, fertilizing with high nitrogen, controlled release organic fertilizer can promote healthy growth.

It is important to trim or prune annually to improve overall growth and productivity of the bamboo plant.

Special Considerations for Alphonse Karr Bamboo

This bamboo variety is susceptible to die-back below 20 degrees Fahrenheit, so it requires protection or indoor shelter during cold temperatures. It is crucial to move the plants indoors or provide adequate shelter to prevent damage.

Additionally, when growing Alphonse Karr Bamboo, it is worth noting that this noninvasive bamboo is drought tolerant once established and can survive in various conditions, including high winds and sea salt. These qualities make it a great choice for both outdoor gardens and containers.

However, it is recommended to regularly water the plant for the first year or two until it becomes more drought-tolerant.

Growing Alphonse Karr Bamboo

One important aspect to consider when cultivating the Alphonse Karr Bamboo is its adaptability and versatility as a plant. It can thrive in various conditions, making it an attractive choice for gardeners.

This bamboo variety grows best in full sun to part shade and requires fertile, moist soils. However, once established, it becomes drought tolerant and can tolerate almost any condition, including high winds and sea salt.

Its bright golden-yellow canes with green stripes make it a visually appealing addition to any garden or landscape. The Alphonse Karr Bamboo is particularly well-suited for use as a privacy screen or hedge due to its bushy foliage and thick culms.

With regular trimming or pruning, this bamboo can be easily maintained and encouraged to grow taller.

Winter Care for Alphonse Karr Bamboo

Moving on to the winter care of Alphonse Karr Bamboo, it is important to note that this bamboo variety can be susceptible to die-back below 20 degrees Fahrenheit. To protect your plant during cold temperatures, it is advisable to either move it indoors or provide proper shelter.

During winter and early spring, the growth focus shifts towards the roots and rhizomes rather than above-ground shoots. As a result, new shoots may not appear until the next shooting season. It is recommended to prune or remove aging or dead culms during this time as it redirects energy for rhizome growth.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What does “non-invasive” mean in relation to bamboo?

A: “Non-invasive” means that the bamboo will not spread uncontrollably and take over your garden or landscape.

Q: Can Bambusa Multiplex Alphonse Karr Bamboo be grown in containers?

A: Yes, Bambusa Multiplex Alphonse Karr Bamboo makes a wonderful container plant.

Q: What is the USDA zone tolerance for Bambusa Multiplex Alphonse Karr Bamboo?

A: Bambusa Multiplex Alphonse Karr Bamboo can tolerate USDA zones 9-11.

Q: Is Bambusa Multiplex Alphonse Karr Bamboo a good choice for a privacy screen?

A: Yes, Bambusa Multiplex Alphonse Karr Bamboo is an excellent choice for a privacy screen.

Q: Is Bambusa Multiplex Alphonse Karr Bamboo easy to maintain?

A: Yes, Bambusa Multiplex Alphonse Karr Bamboo is relatively easy to maintain if you follow the advice in this guide.


In conclusion, Bambusa multiplex ‘Alphonse Karr’ is a versatile and adaptable bamboo plant that adds brightness and beauty to various settings. With its tall canes featuring golden-yellow color and green stripes, it is an excellent choice for hedges, screens, and containers.