small Fargesia Rufa in black soil

Fargesia Rufa (Dragon Head Bamboo) – Grow Guide  

Key Takeaways

  • Fargesia Rufa bamboo is a clumping bamboo plant known for its ornamental value and ease of care.
  • It is cold hardy and can tolerate temperatures as low as -20 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • When planting Fargesia Rufa, choose a suitable location with partial to full shade and well-draining soil.
  • Proper watering and fertilizing are essential for the healthy growth of Fargesia Rufa.
  • Regular pruning and overall maintenance practices are necessary to maintain the health and beauty of Fargesia Rufa bamboo.

Key Facts

Common namesDragon Head Bamboo
HeightUp to 10 feet
Culm (stem) diameterUp to 0.5 inches
USDA hardiness zones5-9
Minimum temperature-20°F
Light requirementsFull sun to partial shade
Soil requirementsWell-drained soil
Watering requirementsRegular watering, especially in dry conditions
Best forScreening, hedges, ornamental use

What is Fargesia Rufa?

Fargesia Rufa, commonly referred to as Dragon Head Bamboo,  is a specific type of bamboo plant that is highly sought after for its ornamental value and ease of care. 

It is a clumping bamboo variety, meaning it grows in tight clusters rather than spreading aggressively like running bamboo. This makes it a popular choice for gardeners who want to add a touch of elegance and privacy to their outdoor spaces.

Fargesia Rufa is known for its vibrant green foliage and graceful arching canes. It typically reaches a height of 6 to 10 feet, making it a great option for creating natural screens or hedges. The plant’s slender leaves and delicate appearance add a sense of tranquility to any garden or landscape.

One of the key features of Fargesia Rufa is its cold hardiness. Unlike many other bamboo species, it can tolerate temperatures as low as -20 degrees Fahrenheit (-29 degrees Celsius). This makes it an excellent choice for gardeners in colder climates who still want to enjoy the beauty of bamboo in their gardens.

In terms of growth rate, Fargesia Rufa is considered to be moderate. It can take a few years for the plant to reach its full height, but once established, it will continue to grow steadily. With proper care and maintenance, Fargesia Rufa can thrive for many years, providing a stunning focal point in any garden.

Overall, Fargesia Rufa is a versatile and attractive bamboo plant that is relatively easy to grow and care for. Its unique characteristics and adaptability make it a popular choice among both novice and experienced gardeners alike.

Planting Fargesia Rufa

When it comes to planting Fargesia Rufa, there are a few key factors to consider in order to ensure the successful growth and establishment of this bamboo variety. 

Firstly, it is important to choose a suitable location. Fargesia Rufa thrives in partial to full shade, making it an excellent choice for areas with limited sunlight. However, it can also tolerate some direct sunlight, especially in cooler climates. 

Next, prepare the soil before planting. Fargesia Rufa prefers well-draining soil that is rich in organic matter. It is recommended to amend the soil with compost or well-rotted manure to improve its fertility and drainage. 

When it comes to planting, dig a hole that is slightly larger than the root ball of the bamboo plant. Place the plant in the hole, making sure that the top of the root ball is level with the surrounding soil. Backfill the hole with soil, gently firming it around the roots to eliminate any air pockets. 

After planting, water the bamboo thoroughly to help settle the soil and ensure proper hydration for the plant. It is important to keep the soil consistently moist, but not waterlogged, especially during the first year of growth. 

Watering and Fertilizing Fargesia Rufa

When it comes to watering, it is important to strike a balance. These bamboo plants prefer moist soil, but they do not tolerate waterlogged conditions. Overwatering can lead to root rot and other diseases, so it is crucial to water them in moderation. 

A good rule of thumb is to water deeply once or twice a week, allowing the soil to dry out slightly between waterings. However, during hot and dry periods, you may need to increase the frequency of watering.

fargesia rufa bamboo

In terms of fertilizing, Fargesia Rufa benefits from a balanced slow-release fertilizer. Apply the fertilizer in early spring, just as new growth begins. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the appropriate dosage. Avoid over-fertilizing, as this can lead to excessive growth and weak stems.

It is recommended to mulch around the base of the Fargesia Rufa plants to help retain moisture and suppress weed growth. This will also provide some insulation during colder months.

Pruning Fargesia Rufa

Pruning is an essential aspect of caring for Fargesia Rufa bamboo plants. Proper pruning helps maintain the plant’s shape, promotes healthy growth, and prevents overcrowding. Here are some techniques and tips:

  1. Timing: Pruning should be done during the late winter or early spring when the plant is dormant. Avoid pruning during the growing season as it may disrupt the plant’s growth.

  2. Removing dead or damaged canes: Start by removing any dead or damaged canes. These canes not only detract from the plant’s appearance but can also attract pests and diseases.

  3. Thinning out crowded canes: Fargesia Rufa canes tend to grow in dense clumps. To maintain a healthy and aesthetically pleasing plant, thin out the crowded canes by cutting them at the base. This allows more light and air to reach the inner parts of the plant.

  4. Controlling height: If you want to control the height, prune the taller canes to the desired height. Cut them just above a node or joint to encourage new growth.

  5. Pruning for rejuvenation: Over time, Fargesia Rufa can develop old and unproductive canes. To rejuvenate the plant, remove these older canes at the base. This stimulates new growth and helps maintain the plant’s vitality.

Remember to use clean and sharp pruning tools to minimize damage to the plant. Additionally, dispose of the pruned canes properly to prevent the spread of pests and diseases.

Overall Maintenance of Fargesia Rufa

Here are some key tips for the overall maintenance of Fargesia Rufa:

  • Pest and Disease Control: Monitor for any signs of pests or diseases. Common pests include aphids, mealybugs, and spider mites. Treat infestations promptly with appropriate insecticides or organic pest control methods. Additionally, ensure good air circulation around the plants to prevent fungal diseases.

  • Mulching: Apply a layer of organic mulch around the base to help retain moisture, suppress weeds, and regulate soil temperature. Use a mulch such as wood chips or straw, and replenish it annually.


By following the expert tips provided in this grow guide, you can ensure that your Fargesia Rufa bamboo thrives and reaches its full potential.

With proper care and attention, your Fargesia Rufa bamboo will flourish and become a beautiful addition to your garden or landscape.