Otatea acuminata ssp. aztecorum

Mexican weeping bamboo
Billowing clouds of leaves on a weeping bamboo screen. Fountains of new shoots emerge from summer into fall. Appreciates heat and overall size increases with warm temps. Clumping.
Otatea acuminata ssp. aztecorum
height 8–20ft
width 8–20ft
tolerates Coast, Heat, Pots
Bamboo adds a lush look to any garden and will need consistent irrigation to look its vibrant best. These plants are tough; once established, they usually will not die without irrigation, but they might start to look droopy and dry. Regular watering will give them their signature lushness!
exposure Part Shade – Full Sun
drainage In Ground: Planting Mix, In Pots: Potting Soil, Tolerates Heavy Soil, Tolerates Sandy Soil
fertilizing All Purpose
origin Mexico
8, 9, 12–24

Sunset Zones Map

Outdoor Exposure Guide


Full Sun
Six or more hours of sun beams directly landing on the plant's leaves.

Part Shade
Three to five hours of sun beams directly landing on the plant's leaves.

Part Sun
One to two hours of sun beams directly landing on the plants leaves.

Full Shade
The plant is never fully lit by sun beams, but is in a bright spot or has dappled sunbeams playing over the leaves throughout the day.

Deep Shade
The plant never has dappled light on the leaves, and is in a place that feels dim, even on a nice sunny day.


Growing Notes

Canes range from one to one and a half inches in diameter.
Clumping Bamboo does not have the escape artist qualities that can give running bamboo a bad reputation. These bamboos will make a slowly expanding circular clump and do not need a bamboo liner. If you would like to have a long line of bamboo, such as along a driveway, you will want to plant multiples spaced evenly. If you plant it along a fenceline, clumping bamboo may end up forming part of its clump on the other side of the fence.
Remember that Bamboo is a grass, and that will help you understand how to care for it, from watering to pruning and fertilizing. It likes food and water in order to look vibrant and appreciates nitrogen. Fertilize during the growing season from March through October. A yearly addition of compost and mulch in the fall is a great way to keep your bamboo looking lush and clean.
Bamboo looks best when the old shoots are thinned out annually; this also invigorates the bamboo and encourages it to send out new growth. You can also prune up the branches to expose the canes, or prune the tips of those branches and thin them to get a staggered bonsai effect. You can also top bamboo if it gets too tall, or if you would like to have it look more formal like a hedge. However, some people feel this ruins the natural plume silhouette.
Bamboo sheds leaves constantly, and it is recommended not to remove this leaf matter if possible, as it builds up a nice layer of compost to feed the soil and keep in water. Keep this shedding in mind when underplanting with small plants (they might get buried) or when bamboo is placed near pools, patios, roof drains, etc.

Special Interest

When bamboo blooms in cultivation it is synchronized among plants of the same type worldwide over a couple of years. The reason for this is still a bit of a mystery, but it likely has to do with the plants production through division, which essentially means that the worldwide population is one cloned plant. Often after bamboo blooms it becomes ragged or dies completely, needing to be replaced. Luckily blooming bamboo are exceedingly rare.