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What Is a Bamboo Vase?

By C. Mitchell
Updated May 16, 2024
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A bamboo vase is one of two things: it is either a vase made out of bamboo wood, or it is a vase designed to house bamboo-like stalks. A hardwood native to many parts of central and southern Asia, bamboo grows in dense forests that are often harvested for wood. Plants that resemble miniature bamboo are frequently sold in the United States and Europe under the bamboo name, but there is usually no relation between these small stalked plants and indigenous Asian bamboo. A vase designed to house domestic “bamboo” is frequently, if erroneously, called a bamboo vase, as well.

Members of the grass family, bamboo plants are taller and tougher than most grass species. They grow as tall woody tubes that can be harvested to retrieve large strips of wood. Bamboo wood can be both functional and decorative. A vase fashioned out of bamboo wood is properly known as a bamboo vase.

Most bamboo vases are designed to be ornamental and are usually sold as decorative vases. If left raw, the wood of a bamboo vase is usually striated and textured in a way that is often pleasing to the eye. A bamboo vase can also be carved or painted and most are meant to be displayed as pieces of art.

In order for a bamboo vase to be functional as a container for flowers, it must usually be treated or sealed in some way. Bamboo wood is usually quite porous, which means that it absorbs water. Flower vases typically hold water for some period of time, which can lead to rot or disintegration in bamboo. A bamboo vase designed to hold bouquets will usually be sealed, at least on the inside, with some kind of waterproof resin.

The term “bamboo vase” can also describe a vase that is designed to hold plants commonly believed to be domestic bamboo. Vases in this category can be made of nearly any material, but they are typically tall and narrow. They must be able to hold a bamboo stalk upright, without giving it too much room to move around.

Domestic bamboo is often sold as “lucky bamboo” or “water bamboo.” In reality, this plant is not bamboo at all. Most lucky bamboo is actually an African plant known as Dracaena sanderiana. The plant resembles bamboo in that is it a tall, narrow stalk, which is how it gets its name. It is much smaller than actual bamboo, however, and is not actually wood.

Lucky bamboo usually needs no more than an inch or so of water to thrive. When placed in a bamboo vase, it can liven up almost any space and requires very little upkeep. There are many types of bamboo vases in this category. Some bamboo vases are designed for just one stalk, while others are designed to house entire bamboo gardens. Vases in this category are often colored vases, but the majority are transparent, allowing for decorative use of rocks or pebbles to anchor the stalk’s roots.

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