Bamboo Grove

Bamboo – An Auspicious Plant For Your Home

I grew up in a home that always had a bamboo plant growing in it. My father grew up in Chevy Chase, Maryland, with a small bamboo grove on his parent’s home property. My grandparents had lived in China for many years and always loved bamboo, so this love of bamboo was passed down to all of us.

Bamboo is a misunderstood plant; many people think it is a tree as it is so strong and flexible, but in fact, bamboo comes from the grass family. Due to the bamboo plant’s inherent nature, having bamboo products or a bamboo plant in your home is considered auspicious for your home. We really love to have many bamboo items in the home, such as spun bamboo, bamboo glasses, and bamboo straws.

My father’s Great Uncle, Dr. Floyd A. McClure, was considered the lead U.S Expert on Bamboo for the United States during his lifetime. Dr. Floyd Mc Clure was an honorary research associate at the National Museum of Natural History in Washington DC for over 40 years.

It was Uncle Floyd that gave our family the bamboo we had growing in our home in Wisconsin. In fact, the bamboo stalk started to grow so tall that we had to cut it down eventually. I guess you can say in a way that Bamboo is in my blood and the blood of my ancestors, so no wonder I love bamboo and bamboo products so much.

Spun Bamboo
Spun Bamboo Bowls Drying in Vietnam.

What is Bamboo?

That word Bamboo actually comes from the Dutch or Portuguese languages, and scholars believe it was originally borrowed from the Malay language. The definition of Bamboo is:

“…any of various woody or arborescent grasses (as of the genera Bambusa, Arundinaria, and Dendrocalamus of the subfamily Bambusoideae) of tropical and temperate regions having hollow stems, thick rhizomes, and shoots that are used for food.”

Merriam- webster Dictionary

Because Bamboo is such a strong and yet flexible plant, many people think it is a tree, but bamboo is actually part of the grass family.

Here are a few interesting facts about Bamboo:

  • One of the fastest-growing plants – Bamboo is one of the fastest-growing plants in the world. Some bamboo species can grow 910 mm or 36″ in a 24 hour period, which is about 40 mm or 1.6mm every hour.
  • Growing Bamboo – Bamboo is usually found in warm, moist tropical climates. But some species are also found in cooler mountain regions. Some bamboo can also be grown indoors as an indoor plant.
  • Giant Bamboo – Giant Bamboo is, as the name implies, a huge bamboo plant. This plant is considered to be the largest member of the grass family.
  • Economic Significance – Bamboo has an economic significance all over Asia as it is used for building materials, food, and to produce a variety of items.
  • Compressive Strength – Bamboo has a higher compressive strength than wood, brick, or concrete. Compressive strength is the ability of a material to withstanding heavy loads without elongating, therefore resisting compression.
  • Tensile Strength – Bamboo is said to have a tensile strength that rivals steel. Tensile strength is how a piece of material will not fall apart, or in order words, not breaking apart while the material is being pulled and stretched.

Why Bamboo is Considered Auspicious For Your Home?

When you look at all of bamboo’s characteristics, you can understand why in Asia, bamboo can symbolize lasting strength and flexibility. It is like the yin and yang in life, as bamboo represents having harmony while at the same time, balance in life. The harmony and balance of bamboo also symbolize health. Bamboo reminds us to do all we can to have harmony and balance in life to stay healthy, both mentally and physically.

Bamboo symbolizes strength and flexibility as the bamboo plant itself has great strength and a lot of flexibility and the resilience to bending back when life gets tough. The harmony and balance of bamboo remind us all to stay healthy.

Bamboo Glasses
A Set of Bamboo Glasses (Vietnam)

Bamboo Is A Symbol of Strength

Bamboo is so strong that even today, in many parts of Asia, bamboo is used as scaffolding for building even very high rise buildings. Bamboo is a superior scaffolding material due to its strength and flexibility.

Bamboo’s strength symbolizes the strength we need to have in our lives—the strength of our relationships to our God and the strength that should bind families together.

In speaking about bamboo and its strength a Chinese Proverb says:

“You can lean on a bamboo stick, but not on a rope.”

Chinese Proverb

Bamboo is a symbol of strength in our lives. Not just our personal lives, but also families and friends we can lean on in times of need, our those who have become the so-called bamboo sticks we have in life. The bamboo sticks we have in our lives are those people that we can depend upon when we need them most. For most Asians, this would be their families, so the family is essential to them. Those that may not have a strong blood family can build a strong family of loved ones and friends.

Bamboo Is A Symbol of Resilience

When the wind blows, and the bamboo bends, it does not break; bamboo will bend, and then once the wind has passed, it will bend right back to its former position. This is not the same as trees that can fall in a large storm. Thus, bamboo can bend, so it symbolizes resilience in times of trouble or hardship.

A Japanese Proverb says:

The winds may fell the massive oak, but bamboo, bent even to the ground, will spring upright after the passage of the storm.

japanese proverb

When times get tough in life, the bamboo helps to remind us all to stay strong and keep ongoing. The storms of life can take down a mighty oak, but bamboo will not be taken down; it will bend with the storms of life. Once the storms of life pass, the bamboo is still standing.

Bamboo Is A Symbol of Flexibility

Bamboo is also a symbol of flexibility and being able to live together with a grove or forest. Bamboo plants will all grow together. The bamboo will grow straight up, so it will also give room for other bamboo plants to grow beside it.

There is a Chinese saying that says:

“One bamboo does not make a forest.”

Chinese proverb

Bamboo can remind us that we are not alone in life, but to really thrive, we need to look out for each other while at the same time being flexible enough to live well with others in our own bamboo grove or forest.

Bamboo Is A Symbol of Health

In some parts of Asia, bamboo will be given as a house warming gift. The reason is that bamboo has strength and flexibility, along with harmony and balance. In Asian medicine, harmony and balance equal good health.

Bamboo is thought to be a symbol to help people stay or remain healthy by using good wisdom and living a balanced life. To stay healthy by not living our lives in excess but with balance and harmony.

Bamboo Straws
A Set of Bamboo Straws (Vietnam)

In summing up the qualities of bamboo, Ping Fu, the Chinese- American tech entrepreneur who wrote the book “Bend Not Break” said this about bamboo:

“Bamboo is flexible, bending with the wind but never breaking, capable of adapting to any circumstance. It suggests resilience, meaning that we have the ability to bounce back even from the most difficult times. . . . Your ability to thrive depends, in the end, on your attitude to your life circumstances. Take everything in stride with grace, putting forth energy when it is needed, yet always staying calm inwardly.”

Peng Fu

10 Life Lessons Bamboo Teaches Us

Here are 10 life lessons that bamboo teaches us:

  • What may look weak can be very strong
  • Learn to bend and not break
  • Be Flexible
  • Be Strong
  • Emptiness is Ok
  • Commit to continued to grow
  • Be Useful
  • Live Simply
  • Be Tough
  • Live a balanced life

Having bamboo and bamboo products in your home can remind you to have strength, resilience, and flexibility in our lives at the right time and in the right places.

Bamboo Utensils
Eating Utensils Made of Bamboo (Vietnam)

Some Great Bamboo Products

Every home can have some bamboo products in their homes. Here are some bamboo products that we think are great in every home. The great thing about these is that any home can have these products, and they can be a part of almost any decor.

  • Spun Bamboo – Spun bamboo is an 800-year old technique that spins bamboo into various shapes. You can learn more about Spun bamboo by reading our blog entitled What Spun Bamboo is? Using Spun Bamboo in Product Development by clicking here.
  • Bamboo Straws – Bamboo straws are all hand-crafted and all-natural. They are also free from chemical agents and fertilizers, bleaches, and detergents. As more and more places are starting to ban plastic straws, having a set of bamboo straws is a great way to help the environment by not using plastic by using a natural straw.
  • Bamboo Glasses – Like bamboo straws, a bamboo glass is also hand-crafted and all-natural. The sizes can vary as bamboo does the way in size, but it is a great way to bring bamboo into your home in a trendy and design conscience way,
  • Bamboo Utensils – Bamboo utensils are also a great way to not only reduce your carbon footprint but also to have bamboo in your home.

Having bamboo products in your home or part of your decor is a great way to bring in the strength, resilience, and flexibility of the bamboo plants, along with the harmony and balance of living a healthy life. We can all learn from the characteristics of bamboo, and then we can try to implement these traits in our life. This is why having bamboo in your home is an auspicious plant for your home.

What Do The Different Stalks of Bamboo Mean?

If you have a bamboo plant or a lucky bamboo plant in your home, according to how many stalks of bamboo plants you have, they can all mean something different,

  • One bamboo stalk – one bamboo stalk is considered a good fortune
  • Two bamboo stalks – two bamboo stalks are about love or a couple together.
  • Three bamboo stalks – three bamboo stalks represent happiness, wealth, longevity,, or the past, present, and future.
  • Four bamboo stalks – four bamboo stalks can represent stability, strong, strength, and power. Some may say that four is unlucky, but that is mainly in China as the number four in Chinese sounds a lot like the word death in certain Chinese dialects.
  • Five bamboo stalks – five bamboo stalks means wealth and fortune.
  • Six bamboo stalks – six bamboo stalks mean prosperity.
  • Seven bamboo stalks – seven bamboo stalks means good health.
  • Eight bamboo stalks – eight bamboo stalks means growing wealth.
  • Nine bamboo stalks – nine bamboo stalks means a general good fortune.
  • Ten bamboo stalks – ten bamboo stalks means completeness or perfection.
  • Twenty-one bamboo stalks – twenty-one bamboo stalks mean bounteous blessings.

Is Bamboo a Good Indoor Plant?

Through most bamboo plants grow outdoors, a few types of bamboo plants can survive conditions indoors. An indoor plant may need a bit of extra care, but they can survive indoors. Bamboo, when grown indoors, needs to have as much light as possible. During the warmer climate, you can take your plant outside and let it grow outside for a while.

As bamboo needs humidity to grow, it is also good if you keep the plant a bit drier than normal during the colder winter months. Using a spray bottle to spray the plant with water can simulate moisture rain the plant would normally have received outdoors.