Grow Lucky Bamboo Inside – Tips For Care Of Lucky Bamboo Plant
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By: Heather Rhoades
Usually, when people ask about growing bamboo indoors, what they are really asking about is lucky bamboo care. Lucky bamboo is not a bamboo at all, but rather a type of Dracaena. Regardless of the mistaken identity, the proper care of a lucky bamboo plant (Dracaena sanderiana) is important to the long term health of indoor bamboo. Keep reading to learn a little about the care of a lucky bamboo plant.
Lucky Bamboo Indoor Plant Care
Often, you will see people growing lucky bamboo indoors in their offices or low light parts of their homes. This is because lucky bamboo needs very little light. It grows best in low, indirect light. That being said, when you grow lucky bamboo inside, it does need some light. It will not grow well in near darkness.
Most people growing lucky bamboo indoors will also have their lucky bamboo growing in water. If your lucky bamboo is growing in water, make sure to change the water every two to four weeks.
The lucky bamboo plant will need at least 1 to 3 inches (2.5 to 7.5 cm.) of water before it has grown roots. Once it has grown roots, you will need to make sure that the roots are covered by the water. As your lucky bamboo grows, you can increase the amount of water it grows in. The higher up the stalk the water goes, the higher up the stalk the roots will grow. The more roots the lucky bamboo has, the more lush the top foliage will grow.
In addition, try adding a small drop of liquid fertilizer when changing the water to help the lucky bamboo grow.
When you grow lucky bamboo inside, you can also choose to transplant it into soil. Make sure that the container you will be growing the lucky bamboo in has good drainage. Water the plant frequently, but do not allow it to become waterlogged.
Growing lucky bamboo indoors is easy with just a little lucky bamboo care. You can grow lucky bamboo inside and help get your Feng Shui a boost in your home or office.
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Lucky Bamboo care is extremely easy!
|Common Name(s)||Lucky bamboo, sander’s dracaena, ribbon dracaena,curly bamboo, Chinese water bamboo, friendship bamboo, ribbon plant, Goddess of Mercy plant, Belgian evergreen|
|Scientific Name||Dracaena braunii, also known as dracaena sanderiana|
|Origin||Southeast asia & west africa|
|Height||Up to 5 feet|
|Light||As much indirect sunlight as possible|
|Water||Often, can live in water|
|Soil||Araited soil, or water|
|Fertilizer||2-3 x monthly|
|Pests||Gophers, mites, aphids, mealy bugs.|
Here’s a fun fact: lucky bamboo isn’t actually bamboo!
It actually belongs to the plant family of Dracaenas, just like Dracaena marginata, or the Madagascar Dragon Plant.
It can be grown in decorative planters or bowls filled with just rocks and water, making it one of the most tolerant houseplants you can grow.
Of course, you can also pot it into soil for more robust growth.
Thin, Spindly Stalk
Thinning, spindly stalks are often the result of too little light. Move your lucky bamboo plant closer to a natural light source, while making sure to keep it out of direct sunlight, and see if your plant improves. This condition could also be caused by too much fertilizer. If you've never fertilized your plant, it could have been over fertilized by the grower or manufacturer. Change your bamboo's water every 3 to 7 days and do not fertilize for 6 months to a year. Bamboo doesn't tolerate fertilizers well and should only be fed a few drops of an extremely diluted solution (one part houseplant food to ten parts water). Never fertilize more than every 3 months, and, ideally, only fertilize one to two times per year.
- Thinning, spindly stalks are often the result of too little light.
- If you've never fertilized your plant, it could have been over fertilized by the grower or manufacturer.
For Chinese New Year (or any other time of year), an auspicious gift is a lucky bamboo plant. Learn the meaning behind lucky bamboo and get some helpful growing tips!
What Is Lucky Bamboo?
Did you know that the plant we commonly call “lucky bamboo” isn’t a type of bamboo at all? Despite its appearance, lucky bamboo (Dracaena sanderiana or braunii) is actually more closely related to succulents than to bamboo, which is a type of grass.
Lucky bamboo is native to Africa, but is now cultivated around the world as a good-luck houseplant.
Lucky Bamboo’s Many Meanings
In Chinese lore, lucky bamboo symbolizes good fortune, and feng shui practitioners use it to attract positive energy. The number of stalks have different meanings:
- 2 stalks symbolize love or double luck
- 3 stalks bring 3 kinds of luck: happiness, long life, and wealth
- 4 stalks are bad luck they bring negative energy and are thought to be a death wish!
- 5 stalks balance 5 areas of health: emotional, spiritual, mental, intuitive, and physical
- 6 stalks attract prosperity and wealth
- 7 stalks promote good health
- 8 stalks are good for success, growth, and fertility
- 9 stalks bring great luck
- 10 stalks bestow a complete and perfect life
- 21 stalks are for great wealth and enduring health
How to Grow Lucky Bamboo
Grow your lucky bamboo plant in soil or in water.
- To grow in water, use a layer of pebbles to stabilize the stems of the plant and hold it in place.
- Add enough water to keep the roots covered.
- Distilled or filtered water is best, especially if you have fluoride or chlorine in your tap water. These chemicals can cause the green tips of the leaves to burn and turn brown.
- A clear container makes it easy to see the roots and check the water level, but it can also cause algae to grow, so you may want to use a colored container.
Lucky Bamboo Care Tips
Lucky bamboo is a very easy-going plant that doesn’t require much attention. Follow these tips for success with your plant:
- Change the water every 7 to 10 days, cleaning the pebbles and container as well.
- Normally, lucky bamboo will grow fine without any fertilizer, but if you wish, you can give it a drink of weak houseplant fertilizer monthly.
- Since this plant grows in the shade of taller trees in nature, keep it out of direct sunlight. Bright, indirect light is best. If it starts to fade to a pale green it needs more light.
- Lucky bamboo likes warm temperatures, in the 65° to 90°F range.
- Caution—this plant is toxic to cats!
If the stalks get too tall, cut them off and start a new plant by rooting the stalks in water. Keep them in a shady area until new roots form, then plant them in soil or pebbles. Tie a gold or red ribbon around the stalks to hold them together and to symbolize good fortune.
Young stalks can be trained to curl by using wire to hold them or you can try blocking light on three sides of the plant causing it to grow toward the light. Keep turning as it grows to form the curve. This takes time, but makes for a fun project. Pliable stalks can also be braided or twisted together.
Happy Year of the Rat! Do you have a lucky bamboo plant? Let us know in the comments!
How to Grow Bamboo in Rocks
Lucky bamboo (Dracaena sanderana) is not actually bamboo. It grows hydroponically in a container filled with rocks real bamboo, which belongs to the grass family, requires soil to thrive. Lucky bamboo's name comes from the Chinese belief that the plant brings its owner good luck. Novice gardeners will have no trouble growing lucky bamboo as a houseplant. You can purchase a starter set where the green canes are straight up and down, or you can select a set where the canes have been grown in a spiral pattern.
Fill a decorative pot one-third full with rocks. Clean the rocks off first if you haven't already. A little running water and a scrub brush is all you need.
Pour water into the pot until it reaches half way up the pot. The water you select should be free of chlorine and fluoride. If your tap water has chlorine in it, set it out for a full 24 hours before using it. This will give the chlorine time to evaporate out of the water. You'll have to purchase distilled water if your tap water contains fluoride, as this chemical won't evaporate on its own.
Place your starter lucky bamboo canes down into the rocks until the bamboo canes can stand straight up on their own. Move the rocks around a little to support the canes if they don't stand up right away. The canes should be at least 2 inches below the surface of the water.
Set the lucky bamboo plant somewhere in your house that is well-lit. Don't place it in the path of direct sunlight though.
Change the water in the decorative pot at least once per week, although twice per week is ideal.
Repotting the Lucky Bamboo Plant
Another major step in caring for Lucky Bamboo plant is repotting. When Lucky Bamboo plants outgrow their container, cut the extra roots and replace the soil with a new potting mix in a new container. Get a bigger pot to house your beautiful, rapidly-growing Lucky Bamboo plant and continue the watering and fertilizing practices accordingly.