Looking for the comparison of Lucky Bamboo vs. Bamboo plants?
When you look at these plants, you often feel they are quite similar to each other.
Well, they might appear pretty similar, but there is a lot of difference between these two plants.
In today’s guide, let’s compare these two plants and see how they compare with each other.
So, let’s begin!
What Is Lucky Bamboo Plant?
Lucky Bamboo is scientifically known as Dracaena sanderiana.
It belongs to the Asparagaceae family, which is widely popular for its flowering plants.
The garden asparagus is another well-known plant that belongs to the same family of plants.
As for Lucky Bamboo, it originated in Central Africa.
It is a perennial herb and can be grown in indoor conditions.
Its common names include – Curly Bamboo, Chinese Water Bamboo, Ribbon Plant, Belgian Evergreen, and Sander’s Dracaena.
The term Chinese Bamboo or Chinese Water Bamboo does not reflect its origin.
As mentioned earlier, this plant comes from the African regions.
Now, let’s understand more about the typical Bamboo plant in the following section.
What Is Bamboo Plant?
The Bamboo plant is a flowering plant and belongs to the Poaceae family.
The plants under this category are considered grasses.
Therefore, it’s not related to the Lucky Bamboo plant.
Both these plants are very different in this sense.
Although its origin is unknown, you will find this plant in abundance in tropical regions of Southeast Asia.
Over the years, its plantations have spread across other continents and are also found in South America, Australia, Africa, etc.
It is also a perennial plant, which means you can grow this plant in your outdoor garden.
This plant prefers tropical conditions like humid weather and moist soil.
If you wish to have this plant in your backyard, you will have to mimic the same conditions for the optimum growth of this plant.
It may not do well in chilly weather.
Well, that’s a little bit about these two plants.
In the next two sections, you will get to know the differences and similarities between them.
So, let’s quickly take a look at them.
Lucky Bamboo vs. Bamboo – Differences
Here’s a list of differences for you –
1. Scientific Name
Even though we call them Bamboo plants, their scientific names are different from each other.
The Lucky Bamboo plant is called Dracaena sanderiana, named after a German-English gardener Henry Frederick Conrad Sander.
On the other hand, real bamboo is referred to as Bambusoideae.
As you know, the Lucky Bamboo plants are native to Central Africa.
But the origin of real bamboo is still a topic under research.
Still, many believe it might have come from the tropical regions of Southeast Asia.
This is the most decisive comparison factor between these two plants.
The Lucky Bamboo plant can reach a height of 3-4 ft if it gets the right conditions.
There are also various other factors that are crucial in growing this plant tall.
On the contrary, the real Bamboo plant can grow up to 100 ft tall.
The growth of this plant depends on the variety of the plant.
You will also find some dwarf varieties in the real Bamboo plant.
The Lucky Bamboo plant has a soft and fleshy stem, a typical feature of this plant.
As for real bamboo, its stem is sturdy and has a hollow structure from the inside.
This is also the reason why this plant is preferred in the construction field.
The strength and tenacity of Bamboo make for a great tool in this field.
5. Light Requirements
The light requirements for both these plants are different as well.
The Lucky Bamboo plant can thrive in slightly less sunlight in indoor places, whereas the real bamboo does require full sunlight.
6. Water Requirements
Similar to the light, the water requirements are very different from each other.
You can water your Lucky Bamboo plant once a week, and it will do alright.
Regarding real bamboo, it’s a fast-growing plant and needs water accordingly.
Hence, it should be planted in open spaces so that the roots can do their job of collecting water from natural resources.
7. Growing Environment
The Lucky Bamboo plant can be grown indoors and outdoors without much issue.
It can do well in almost all weather conditions if it doesn’t reach either side of the extreme.
The real Bamboo plant likes to grow in slightly humid conditions.
It can also thrive in dry places, but you must take care of other growth aspects in such cases.
8. Growing Medium
The soil requirements for these plants are also different due to the difference in their needs.
The Lucky Bamboo plant needs more sandy soil so that the water doesn’t stay in the pot for too long.
But the real Bamboo plant can grow in hardy garden soil.
It doesn’t need any specific type of soil.
You can grow Lucky Bamboo plants indoors and outdoors, but the same can’t be said for the real Bamboo plant.
The real one is not highly adaptive to different conditions.
The Lucky Bamboo plant is most commonly used for interior decoration.
It also has significance in some cultural practices.
Real bamboo is often used for furniture and construction-related activities.
Now, let’s check out the similarity factors between these plants.
Lucky Bamboo vs. Bamboo – Similarities
Here’s the list of similarities between these two plants –
It’s the common factor that makes many believe Lucky Bamboo is real bamboo.
The Lucky Bamboo plant does appear like a miniature version of the real one, and it is also marketed as the same in many parts of the world.
The leaves of these two plants also have a similar structure, which again adds to the confusion.
The leaves and stems of both these plants are green, and the shade is often seen as dark.
Sometimes, the leaves of these plants do change their colors and turn yellow after a while.
This mostly happens due to the underlying issues in the plants, which include overwatering, underwatering, root rot, extreme temperatures, direct sunlight, bugs issues, etc.
If you notice these issues in your plant, you will also see a similar transformation of colors in their leaves.
The stem may also show similar characteristics, though it happens in more advanced phases of such issues.
Moving on, there aren’t many similarities between these two plants, especially when you keep the appearance aside.
These are two entirely different plants, but their appearances often confuse newbie gardeners.
However, I hope the above comparison guide helps you understand these points in detail.
Now, let’s have a look at the FAQs below.
No, Lucky Bamboo is not a real bamboo.
It is part of a different family of plants called Asparagaceae.
These plants look similar because of their unique structure.
The way these two plants grow and form physical characteristics, like nodes on the stalks, make these plants look similar.
Yes, it should be repotted.
The Bamboo plant is meant to do well in the ground and needs more space as it grows.
So, it’s always a good idea to repot the plant in a year or two.
You can also grow this plant in the garden if it has outgrown the current pot size.
No, the Lucky Bamboo plant is not known to clean air in indoor places.
It also doesn’t feature in the list of plants that are part of Nasa’s Clean Air Study.
There are a lot of varieties of Bamboo plants in the world.
Hence, it’d be difficult to say if the plant you have is real bamboo.
But keeping that aside, if you have an indoor Bamboo-like plant, it’s likely to be the Lucky Bamboo plant.
And as explained in the guide, you shouldn’t confuse it with real bamboo.
These are completely different plants that you can have in your indoor and outdoor garden.