Think you are roaming through your garden and notice some bamboo-like plants that you have not cultivated yet. Don’t get confused with the plants having a similar appearance to bamboo. Although they have the same characteristics as bamboo, they are not bamboo plants as well. If you are a professional gardener, you may want to know the species.
Some plants may have similar leaves to bamboo, some contain similar flowers to bamboo while some come with similar stems like bamboo. But they are not the real species. If you prefer to know the truth, would you mind reading this guide? It’s very important to identify the real bamboo plants as some species have a strong root system and often get invasive. It then becomes too tough to get them off.
Today, we are going to talk about the top 5 plants that match bamboo plants. You will get to know the further characteristics of these plants. Plus, you will also get knowledge about real bamboo plants. So, keep reading the article and get more information.
Table of Contents
How To Recognize Real Bamboo Plants?
Before knowing the plants resembling bamboo plants, it is very important to know the characteristics of a real bamboo plant. If you know the differences, you can easily recognize the real plants. Let’s have a look:
Bamboo is a member of a grass family named Poaceae. The grass family has 91 genera of bamboo. Bamboo plants grow via nods and offshoots. It has a thick stem that joints to the solid nodes. The culm pigments vary according to the species. The culms may be dark green, lush green, black, light green, yellow, or red also. They thrive through rhizomes.
There are usually two types of bamboo including running bamboo and clumping bamboo. Running bamboo has flat stems underground whereas clumping bamboo thrives through rhizomes upright. The plant has long leaves arranged to the stems. The leaves are branched and can be in different shapes including straight, curly, and heart-shaped. The heart-shaped leaves are more eye-catching. The leaves have green foliage.
The plant bears white or red flowers in flowering seasons. Bamboo plants have lance-shaped and linear leaves. They can be used for various purposes. Bamboo leaves are used to manufacture mats, whereas the stems are used to make wood instruments. The plant is more drought-tolerant than any other species. It grows best in full sun or part shade. It can tolerate dry air as well.
It prefers well-drained moist soils for growing. But excessive heat from the sun can lead to the burning of leaves. The plant can be used as both indoor and outdoor plants. The young stems are edible and tasty. In different countries, the stems are consumed as a substitute for vegetables.
You can get more bamboo-like plants on your lawn. But don’t get fooled with the fake plants. You should know the factors about the real ones.
Top 5 Plants That Looks Like Bamboo
We often get confused with some bamboo-like plants having a similar appearance to bamboo. Let’s know the top 5 plants resembling bamboo and their characteristics.
1. Lucky Bamboo or Dracaena sanderiana:
The top bamboo-like plant is Lucky bamboo that has the scientific name of Dracaena sanderiana. It is also named as million bamboos. The house plant is quite common in Africa and is widely used as a Feng Shui antidote. The stems of the plant are symbolized making it widely used as a “good luck” gift. That’s why it is typically named Lucky Bamboo. The plant produces beautiful flowers of white color. Thus, it is also called a bamboo-like plant with white flowers.
The plant is available in different sizes and shapes including straight, curly, and heart-shaped. The heart-shaped lucky bamboo is more elegant to look at. Wet seasons are preferable for growing these plants. It prefers enough water to grow properly. Indoor lucky bamboo can grow 2-3 ft in height while outdoor plants can get longer. It contains jagged leaves of grey-green color. Each leaf can be 9 inches long. The more elegant plants are said to carry good luck and blessing for those who plant them.
This tenacious plant has a fleshy stem from where the leaves get. It prefers partial sunlight and ventilated areas to grow. It can withstand a dry atmosphere and no need for continuous spraying for growth. The best place for growing lucky bamboo is scattered light or semi-shade areas. Bright sunlight may cause the burning of leaves. In different areas, it is named after different names including Sander’s dracaena, curly bamboo, ribbon dracaena, Belgian evergreen, Chinese water bamboo, ribbon plant, and Goddess of Mercy’s plant.
2. Giant Reed/Cane (Arundo donax)
The Giant reed or cane also called Arundo Donax is a bamboo-like plant with leaves. It is a species of the grass family Poaceae that propagates through offshoots on rhizomes. It thrives best in Asia that can be 35 feet tall. Wetlands and riparian environments are preferable to this plant. It has woody tubelike stems that are widely used to make flutes, organ pipes, and other woodwind instruments. The stems are arranged with straplike leaves commonly used for manufacturing mats and other purposes.
Giant cane can grow 6-23 feet depending on the place. The thick cane-like stems contain foliage leaves where each leaf has a length and width of respectively 60 cm and 7.5 cm. If the plant gets an optimistic environment, it can produce monocultures aggressively spread by rhizomes. It often forms feathery flowers that can be 60 cm long. The leaves are grey-green in color with a hairy bunch at the base. It starts bearing flowers in summer.
Arundo donax, the scientific name of Giant reed can be called after several names including elephant grass, Arundo, Spanish cane, wild cane, carrizo, Colorado river reed, etc. It maintains a C3 plant metabolism being a grass subfamily of Arundinoideae. It starts growing in March and rapidly grows in June and July. It is quite drought-tolerant and can grow in dry conditions also. The optimum growth temperature for growing giant reeds is between 7-30°C. In many highway beautification programs, giant reeds or canes are commonly used for erosion control. The invasive species is the toughest of all grass plants.
3. Bamboo Palm (Chamaedorea seifrizii):
Bamboo palm is one of the topmost common bamboo-like plants with stems that resemble bamboo plants. The scientific name of bamboo palm is Chamaedorea seifrizii that has leaves like palm trees. The plant can withstand tropical to subtropical environments. It is the most popular bamboo-like indoor plant that you can use to decor your home and garden. In favorable conditions, the plant can thrive up to 20 feet as well. It has several names including Clustered Parlor Palm, Reed Palm, Bamboo Palm plant, and Cane Palm.
The bamboo palm has a multi-stemmed growth habit making it perfect for indoor plants. You can cultivate this shade-loving plant in your verandah, garden, and pots. It generally originated in Mexico and Central America. It bears dark-green glossy leaves to give a pleasing look to your home decorations. It aggressively spreads by nodes. The plant has the greater ability to remove benzene, carbon monoxide, formaldehyde, and other notorious gasses from the air. Because it is an air purifying plant as well. Get a refreshing breath by planting this amazing plant at home.
The plant bears tiny spherical fruits that are 8 mm in diameter. When the berries get mature, they turn orange to black. It comes from a family of Arecaceae. It is a perennial plant that can withstand the hardiness of USDA zones.
Hawaii and Florida are the main places for planting bamboo palms. Summer and Spring are the peak growing seasons for the growth of palm in the south Florida area. It prefers moist soil and enough watering to produce dark green leaves. The plant can bear 5 to 10 feathery flowers through the thick stems. Typically, the stems resemble bamboo covered with tan fiber.
4. Japanese Knotweed (Polygonum cuspidatum):
Japanese Knotweed has similar stems to bamboo, thus it is a plant resembling bamboo. We are often mistaken for the stems of the plant. But it has no similar leaves to the bamboo plant. It grows aggressively through rhizomes and merges to the stems like bamboo. The stems of the plant can grow 20 feet long. It is a bamboo-like plant that forms white blooms. The flowers have a creamy texture and glossy appearance. It is found best in East Asia, Japan, China, and Korea. Having invasive properties, the plant is said a weed sometimes.
The stems are yellow in color with a height of 10-13 feet during growing seasons. The stems produce oval-shaped dark-green leaves from a truncated root. Each leaf can be 7-4 cm in length and 5-12 cm in width. It produces tiny flowers where each flower becomes 6-15 cm long. The blooming time is during late summer and early autumn. Some widespread names for Japanese Knotweed are Himalayan fleece vine, monkey weed, fleece flower, elephant ears, billy weed, monkey fungus, Mexican bamboo, donkey rhubarb, pea shooters, and American bamboo.
The plant is named after with different names in different places. The flowers of the weed that look like bamboo are a great source of nectar that attracts bees and other pollinators. It produces tasty monofloral honey that is being widely consumed. Being edible the young stems of bamboo are consumed worldwide as a vegetable rich in various nutrients.
Native vegetarians used to eat these young stems as a source of vegetables. It also has some medicinal properties to treat various serious disorders. But the invasive nature of the plant makes it a common weed in different countries.
5. Heavenly bamboo or Nandina domestica:
Heavenly bamboo with the scientific name of Nandina domestica is a bamboo looking plant with leaves. The leaves of this plant resemble the bamboo plant. It is quite common in Eastern Asia. Sometimes it gets invasive due to its drought-tolerant and tough properties. In southern states, the plant is treated as an invasive weed. It has so many names such as Sacred Bamboo, Chinese Sacred Bamboo, Nandina, and more. It can be 4-8 ft in height and 2-4 ft in width. It is one of the slow to moderate growing plants. But it can also grow tall in different places.
The plant can add multi-season beauty to your home with its evergreen shrubs. It produces dramatic red berries and fabulous foliage color, making it more impressive. The leaves are branched out in the thick stem with a spectacular foliage color. It also carries a cluster of green berries that ripen to bright red color. Being rich in nectar, heavenly bamboo fascinates bees and other pollinators to grow pollen. The berries get ripped during the winter fall or spring. The ornamental plant has red-purple leaves that make it gorgeous and perfect for home decorating. It is one of the most popular types of bamboo in India.
But the plant is deadly to some species like birds, animals, and even humans. It is the toughest of all plants and sometimes gets invasive. People used to cultivate the plant as it provides a fascinating vertical emphasis. It looks eye-catching with red flowers. Thus, it is the most common bamboo-like plant with red flowers. Both bright and partial sunlight is preferable to this tree. It demands average moist and well-drained soils. Being pest and disease-free, the plant needs low maintenance. So you can easily plant stunning plants. It is quite popular in Japan, China, and India.
You can find some plants that resemble bamboo plants alongside your lawn. But they are not the real ones. Although they have a similar appearance to bamboo, they are different from each other.
It’s time to recognize the real plants. So, we have come up with the top 5 plants for you that look like bamboo plants. Know the characteristics and discover the truth.