Decoding the Difference: Lucky Bamboo vs. Regular Bamboo

You've probably heard of bamboo and lucky bamboo. They both have "bamboo" in their names, so they must be similar, right?

Well, not exactly.

Lucky bamboo and bamboo are more different than you might think.

Let's find out the differences and similarities to help you understand.

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Lucky bamboo vs real bamboo

If you are looking for an easy-to-care-for houseplant that brings good vibes, go for Lucky Bamboo. For a versatile, outdoor-friendly option that can serve multiple purposes, Bamboo is your pick.


One of the biggest surprises is that lucky bamboo and bamboo aren't related at all. Bamboo is a type of grass with over 1,200 different species.

Lucky bamboo, on the other hand, belongs to the asparagus family. Yes, you read that right—the asparagus family!

Physical Appearance

At first glance, both plants have slender stems and delicate leaves. But that's where the similarities end. Bamboo can grow incredibly tall, up to 90–100 feet. Lucky bamboo usually maxes out at around 5 feet.

Bamboo also comes in a variety of colors, like green, gray, black, and red. Lucky bamboo is mostly green. Both plants have unique rings on their stems, which can tell you a lot about their age.


Lucky bamboo is mainly a houseplant. People love to gift it because it's said to bring good luck. It's also popular in Feng Shui designs.

Bamboo, however, is a jack-of-all-trades. You can use it to make furniture, paper, and even food. Some cultures use bamboo for medicine and musical instruments.

Lucky Bamboo vs True Bamboo

Hardiness Zones

If you're thinking about planting one of these, you need to know where it can grow. Lucky bamboo is a houseplant that thrives in zones 10–11.

Bamboo is more flexible. Depending on the species, it can grow in zones 5–10.

Water and Light Needs

Lucky bamboo is pretty easy to care for. You can grow it in water or keep the soil slightly damp. It does well in indirect light or partial shade.

Bamboo needs a bit more attention. It likes at least 5 hours of bright, indirect light each day. Make sure to give it an inch or two of water every week, but don't let the roots sit in water.

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