Check out these Lucky Bamboo Care Tips to learn how to grow this low care houseplant. It’s perfect for your office desk, kitchen counter or as a table centerpiece!
Botanical Name: Dracaena sanderiana
Common Names: Chinese water bamboo, Sander’s dracaena, ribbon dracaena, ribbon plant, lucky bamboo, curly bamboo, Goddess of Mercy’s plant, and Belgian evergreen
Lucky bamboo is native to central Africa and belongs to the family Asparagaceae. You’ll be surprised to know that it’s not a bamboo at all and in fact, it’s a tropical water lily. It’s considered to bring good fortune in Feng Shui and in many Asian countries, and that’s why it’s popular houseplant and also gifted on many occasions.
Also Read: 14 Positive Energy Plants for Offices
How to Grow Lucky Bamboo
Being a hydroponic plant, it can grow solely in water without the need of any other medium such as soil. It depends on you, whether you want to have it in soil or water. Let’s discuss both in brief.
You can grow it in small decorative pots and vases of your choice. However, very shallow containers won’t be able to support this plant, so it’s important for the container to be tall–At least covering the 1/2 or 1/3 height of your existing lucky bamboo plant.
When it comes to the material, you can go for both clear glass vase or ceramic pots. Both have their own set of advantages in disadvantages. When it comes to appearance, the glass vase steals the show with the clean water and decorative stones. Also, it’s convenient to check the water level in a glass vase. Although algae might grow in a clear container, so the colored container is a safer choice to go for. All in all, it depends on what suits your needs!
Growing Lucky Bamboo in Soil
Location: The plant will do best in bright indirect sunlight. So, if you keep it on the window sill make sure to avoid the exposure to direct light as it can scorch the leaves. To be on a safer side locate it at a place with lower lighting conditions. It also looks well on the coffee table.
Soil: Choose a well-draining potting medium that is light. You can use potting soil you use for houseplants or succulents.
Water: Keep the soil moist but do not overwater so that it turns soggy. Rot can develop in the plant due to overwatering and be the reason for the death of the plant.
Fertilizing: You don’t need to fertilize often. A dose of very low strength balanced liquid fertilizer once every 2 months would do the work. Adjust the dose and interval to fertilize again according to the results and growth of your lucky bamboo plant in the soil.
Temperature: This plant prefers warm growing conditions. It likes the surrounding temperature ranging from 55 F to 90 F (12 C to 33 C). Make sure to keep the plant away from the direct path of vents or air conditioners.
Also Read: Bamboo Planting Tips
Growing Lucky Bamboo in Water
- As mentioned above lucky bamboo plant is hydroponic so that it can grow solely in water. Also, it’s the easiest way to grow this low care houseplant.
- To support the plant, it’s crucial to fill the container with small pebbles that’ll keep the stem embedded in it, especially if your pot is small.
- The water at all times should remain one to three inches deep for the plant to grow. In other words, always cover its roots with water.
- The most simple rule is to keep the vase or container half full of water.
- Avoid using tap water as it might be treated with chlorine, to avoid chlorine toxicity. It can harm the plant severely. If you use tap water make sure to keep it undisturbed for at least 24 hours so that the chlorine can evaporate.
- For lucky bamboo–Use spring water, well or bore water, distilled water.
- You can also fill the vase with aquarium water every once in a while, it’ll work as a fertilizer.
- Change the water weekly to keep the oxygen level in check or change the water and rinse the vase when it starts to look mushy and less transparent.
- Clean the containers and pebbles as well, doing it when you change water makes sense.
- To feed it, add a pinch of powdered liquid fertilizer in every 4-6 weeks during the growing season.
Also Read: Using Pebbles in the Garden
Lucky Bamboo Care
How to Shape a Lucky Bamboo?
Unlike bonsai plants, lucky bamboos are not shaped by precise trimmings and plant wires. The different shapes it comes in are the result of the plant’s tendency to grow towards the light source. Professional growers rotate the plant in front of a light source to get the desired shape. Braiding and curling the stalks into intricate shapes designs is also done to shape the plant. It’ a tedious and long process when done on your own. That’s why professionals charge a substantial amount depending on the complexity of the design.
To keep the lucky bamboo healthy it’s essential to give it a regular trim. Avoid cutting the stem as it’s not good for the overall health and shape of the plant. Instead cut back the side stalks and offshoots with sterile and sharp snippers.
If you don’t want the plant to turn bushier with the new growth apply paraffin on the cut end. You can use the trimmings to propagate new lucky bamboo plants. Also, keep removing the dead and yellowing leaves regularly.
Check out our article on what to do when lucky bamboo turns yellow here
Pests and Diseases
It usually remains healthy and free from pests. Still, common pests that affect the other houseplants can cause damage to lucky bamboo too, especially when they’re grown in soil. Pick them off manually with hands or use insecticidal soap.
Also Read: Best Plants for Office Desk