According to Bamboo Garden, the growth rate of bamboo depends on the specific type of bamboo, its location and the growing conditions. Ambient temperature has a significant impact on the maximum height of a bamboo plant. For example, a plant that reaches 30 feet in a chilly climate reaches twice that height in a hotter region.
Bamboo varieties fall into two categories: runner bamboo and clumping bamboo. Runner bamboo propagates quickly. In the absence of careful observation and pruning, it spreads up to 5 feet per year and eventually suffocates adjacent plants. Clumping bamboo spreads much more slowly and does not threaten other plants.
Bamboo Garden reports that clumping bamboo grows up to 3 feet per year, and climbing bamboo grows between 3 and 5 feet annually. The growth rate increases with age. Bamboo specimens that are at least 3 years old grow considerably more rapidly than younger plants.
Bamboo benefits from regular irrigation, especially in dry, chilly weather. Thirsty bamboo plants grow much more slowly than their irrigated counterparts. Bamboo Garden recommends watering dry bamboo up to three times per week.
According to the American Bamboo Society, most varieties of bamboo are unsuitable for indoor container gardens. Bamboos that adapt to indoor conditions grow to the maximum size allowed by their container. They do not reach their maximum outdoor height. Bamboo houseplants need a lot of sunshine and benefit from outdoor rotation in clement weather.