Caring for Lucky Bamboo

Lucky bamboo – the bringer of good fortune – has become a very successful indoor plant.

Key facts for Lucky bamboo

NameDracaena sanderiana
Type – indoor plant
Height – 5 feet (1.5 meters)

Exposure – well-lit
Soil – water and then soil mix
Foliage – evergreen

Flowering – insignificant

Caring for it is very easy, and its lifespan can be extended thanks to the care and good practices we’re sharing with you here.

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Planting lucky bamboo

The plant must first develop roots in water before it can be transferred to a pot.

  • Keep the pot in 2 inches (5 cm) of water until the plant has grown enough roots for it to be planted in a pot.
    This can easily last several months.
  • Once the plant is ready, place it in a pot filled with soil mix and water abundantly on a regular basis.
  • It’s perfectly possible to keep your plant in water for as long as you wish.

Good news – lucky bamboo is one of the houseplants that releases the most moisture into the air around it. This makes it an ideal choice to add to your indoor moisture oasis! Very helpful for plants that fear dry air.

Propagating your lucky bamboo

If your lucky bamboo has grown a bit tall and scrawny, it’s possible to rejuvenate it and produce a second specimen all in one go! Simply:

  • snip off the leafy tip of the stem, just below at least one or two nodes.
  • a node is the ring that forms a swollen bump at regular intervals along the stem.
  • place the cutting in a glass of water, ensuring that the nodes are underwater
  • roots will sprout and from there, your new lucky bamboo will start growing!

Keep the older specimen as is: it will start sprouting leaves at a node, just like its counterpart will be sprouting roots!

  • This propagation technique works with all Dracaena plants, even the striking Dracaena marginata that is often found in homes and offices.

Emplacement, exposure and caring for Lucky Bamboo

What is important is that the plant receive sufficient light but not direct sunlight.

In summer, avoid placing the plant near a window that faces the equator, and in winter, don’t set it near a radiator.

  • Lucky bamboo will give an Asian touch to any house and garden. You can even use it as a living ornament in a Japanese garden!

Pruning and caring for Lucky Bamboo

Remove wilted leaves regularly.

While in water, change the water on a regular basis, more or less 1 or 2 times a month.

  • This helps renew available organic matter when the water has turned dirty and all nutrients have been extracted.

What is to be done if leaves turn yellow?

This often signals that the plant lacks nutrients.

  • After having grown, it requires more nutrients than it can find in the water.
  • You must then provide it with liquid fertilizer.

At this point you can choose to either repot it with soil mix in a pot, or simply provide organic matter by adding liquid fertilizer.

Learn more about lucky bamboo

Lucky bamboo actually only “looks” like a bamboo, which is the shape it is given because it isn’t part of the bamboo family that is native to Asia.

Lucky bamboo, also called “Chinese Culm” is actually native to Africa.

However, Asians and most especially the Chinese particularly appreciate this plant.

According to Chinese tradition, lucky bamboo bears luck for the person receiving the plant as a gift.

  • 3 stems for joy
  • 5 stems for health
  • 7 stems for wealth
  • 8 stems for prosperity

Smart tip about lucky bamboo

If you repot your lucky bamboo in soil mix, you’ll be rejuvenating the plant while ensuring it will have a longer life span!

Lucky bamboo and teapot with stones


Credits for images shared to Nature & Garden (all edits by Gaspard Lorthiois):
Potted lucky bamboo by Evan Amos under Public Domain
Lucky bamboo and mineral implements by Annca under Pixabay license