10 facts about bamboo that are NOT true (but could be)

1. Bamboo grows so fast that it needs to be harvested every day.

Yes, it is fast growing but not that fast! About 30cm per day for the speediest of species means that bamboo gets cut every 3 to 5 years to get useable lengths. Find out more about growing bamboo here.

2. Bamboo is the world’s most popular food source

Bamboo produces edible seeds which can be cooked like rice, and we eat bamboo shoots of course, but the worlds most popular food source is actually rice, which by the way, cooks very well in a bamboo steamer.

3. Bamboo is strong enough to support the weight of a full-grown elephant.

Not one single culm, no. Even if you had the world’s best balancing elephant, that stick of bamboo, no matter how big, is going to break.

4. Bamboo can be used to make cars and airplanes.

Bamboo has been used in the construction of houses, and even as scaffolding, but never has it been made into a car or an aeroplane.

5. Bamboo is naturally fire resistant.

This is a dangerous myth. Bamboo burns faster and hotter than hardwood.

6. Bamboo can be used to make furniture that never needs to be polished.

Bamboo furniture requires care and attention like all furniture. Find out how to best clean your furniture here.

7. Bamboo can be used to make a type of paper that never needs to be recycled.

This makes no sense, why would paper never need to be recycled? You can recycle AND compost paper made from bamboo if you wish to, making it one of the most sustainable materials on the planet.

8. Bamboo has a natural ability to repel bugs and other pests.

Bamboo plants are highly resistant to bugs and pests but this does not mean that they’re capable of repelling ALL pests and bugs from your home by placing a piece of bamboo on your windowsill. (Sorry)

9. Bamboo is bulletproof

Don’t test this at home folks! Bamboo is absolutely NOT bulletproof. However, bamboo has been used with epoxy resin to create a material which can have ballistic impact protection properties.

10. Bamboo can be used to make a type of fabric that never wrinkles or fades.

Bamboo fabric is incredibly resistant to wrinkling however it does fade and often faster than traditional fabrics due to its stretchiness.

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