Lucky Bamboo (Dracaena sanderiana) - Cultivation and care

Lucky Bamboo (Dracaena sanderiana) - Cultivation and care

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Lucky Bamboo






: Angiosperms


: Monocotyledons








: Dracaeneae






Dracaena sanderiana


The lucky bamboo must not deceive us with its name in fact it is not a bamboo (even if it resembles it) but a dracena (to be understood the trunk of happiness is a dracena) and precisely of branches taken from the Dracaena sanderiana originally from Cameroon, West Africa. This plant has become famous over time because it is said to bring good luck to those who keep it at home. His own name, lucky bamboo means "lucky bamboo".

The branches are of a beautiful bright green as well as the leaves which are shiny and lanceolate.

On the market it is possible to find lucky bamboo of different sizes ranging from 15 cm up to 1 m in height. Spiral branches are often found: to do this, the branches are placed horizontal and periodically turned.


Lucky bamboo is very simple to breed and does not require special care. In fact, these branches can be grown both on land and in water with the difference that in water they are much easier to grow than on land; on the ground they are less spectacular but grow more luxuriantly developing many more tufts of leaves.

To raise lucky bamboo in water, you need to get a high enough bowl and insert the branch inside. To keep it upright, if you do not have a very thin pot as in the photo, you need to put river pebbles (never taken from the beach as they contain a lot of salt and would burn the plant), expanded clay or gravel in which to The amount of water should not be very high, enough to keep the roots submerged.
If, on the other hand, you want to cultivate it in the ground, then you must choose a good soil (see indications in paragraph Soil type - repotting) and arrange it like any other plant.

The optimal cultivation temperatures are between 18 ° C and 25 ° C and should not drop below 12 ° C. It is also necessary to pay close attention to sudden changes in temperature and air currents that are not tolerated.

It requires good light but not direct sun because it would burn the leaves.


For the lucky bamboo raised on the ground, watering must be frequent, keeping the soil always slightly humid while if raised in water, the roots must remain constantly immersed.

It is advisable to use rainwater, mineral water or distilled water as normally the water of the city pipeline contains too much limestone and too much chlorine and fluorine. The water must be changed every two weeks.

To avoid the formation of algae it would be preferable that the vasoche contains the lucky bamboo raised in water, was not transparent because the sunlight favors their formation. We notice their presence by the fact that the water becomes cloudy and the vase opaque. At that point it is necessary to change it and clean the container thoroughly to eliminate the encrustations.

To prevent the tips of the leaves from drying out, during the summer, it is advisable to spray the leaves frequently with non-calcareous water.


If grown in the ground, repotting is carried out every year using a good fertile soil to which draining material such as sand, perlite or expanded clay is added to favor the drainage of the watering water.


If the lucky bamboo is grown on the ground, starting from spring and throughout the summer, fertilize it once a month by adding the fertilizer to the watering water, halving the doses compared to what is indicated in the fertilizer package. fertilizations must be suspended. If grown in water, very little fertilizer is added to the water once a month (in practice one tenth of that indicated in the fertilizer package), only in the spring-summer period.


In cultivation the Dracaena sanderiana he never produced flowers.


Lucky bamboo cannot be pruned. Only the leaves that gradually dry up should be eliminated


Lucky bamboo multiplies by cutting.

In propagation by cuttings, a sprout is taken from the mother plant, the lower leaves are removed and it is rooted in water. Once the roots have developed, the plant is placed in the ground or in water.

To cut, use a well sharpened, clean and possibly flame-disinfected scissors, to avoid infecting the tissues and the cut is preferable to be oblique in order to have a greater surface for rooting.

The branch of the mother plant from which the cutting was taken should also be cut about 1-2 centimeters below the point from which the sprout was taken to make the cutting. To protect the wound from both fluid loss and parasites, it is recommended to heal it with wax. After that if you have uprooted it, put it back on the ground or in the water. The plant will develop new shoots very quickly.


The tips of the leaves turn brown

The causes of this leaf pain can be different: either an environment that is too cold or too dry, or poor watering or a water too rich in mineral salts (both for fertilizations and because you have used tap water) or the plant is exposed to direct sun.

Remedies: analyze how you are growing the plant according to the indications given in this sheet and adjust accordingly.

The leaves are very pale green

This symptom is due to poor lighting.
Remedies: place the plant in a brighter position but not in direct sun.

The leaves and trunk turn yellow

This symptom is due to excessive fertilization.
Remedies: reduce fertilizations.

Leaves that begin to turn yellow, appear mottled with yellow and brown

If the leaves begin to turn yellow, to appear stippled and subsequently to these manifestations they curl up and take on an almost dusty and falling appearance, certainly an attack by the red spider, a very annoying and harmful mite, is underway.

Remedies: since the plant can be handled easily, it is advisable to remove it from the pot or from the water, wash it with soap and water, then rinse it well and put it back in its place, after having also carefully washed the pot and possibly the pebbles .

Video: Concise Lucky Bamboo Care Guide