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How to Care for Your Lucky Bamboo

How to Care for Your Lucky Bamboo

Bring fortune and good luck into your home and office fascinating and unusual houseplant that will surely grab the attention of your guests. Learn how to care for your Lucky Bamboo with our guide.

Are you a new plant parent? Yes? Then here's an attractive, easy to care for, and popular houseplant that has a long history in China as a symbol of good fortune and prosperity in Feng Shui, similar to the Jade plant and Money Tree.

The Lucky Bamboo, also known as a ribbon plant, is actually not bamboo. Dracena sanderiana or braunii, to be exact, is a dracaena plant. It's actually more closely related to succulents, and it originated from the tropical rainforests of Africa and parts of Southeast Asia.

Fun Fact: According to feng shui practitioners, Lucky Bamboo's number of stalks have different meanings:

  • 1 stalk symbolizes a strong life that's filled with prosperity
  • 2 stalks mean love or double luck
  • 3 stalks bring 3 kinds of luck: happiness, long life, and wealth
  • 4 stalks produce negative energy and are thought to be a death wish!
  • 5 stalks attract and balance 5 areas of health: emotional, intuitive, mental, physical, and spiritual
  • 6 stalks draw prosperity and wealth
  • 7 stalks encourage good health
  • 8 stalks are great for growth, fertility, and success
  • 9 stalks bring great luck
  • 10 stalks bestow a complete and perfect life
  • 21 stalks are for enduring health and great wealth

Since the Lucky Bamboo is a Dracaena, its care should be more in line with Dracaena care. If your Lucky Bamboo is growing in water, you should replace it every week. However, if you planted it in soil, keep the soil slightly damp, but don’t let the soil be completely dry and avoid overwatering it. It's best to put your Lucky Bamboo in a warm spot where it can get bright, filtered sunlight.

The Lucky Bamboo is a perfect houseplant for beginners because even if it's poorly kept, it will still thrive for a long time before it finally dies. You can also grow your Lucky Bamboo in a simple vase filled with pebbles to support the plant. Make sure to pour at least an inch of bottled or distilled water as this plant is very sensitive to chlorine and other chemicals found in tap water.

Here's everything else you need to know on how to care for your Lucky Bamboo.

Botanical Name Dracaena sanderiana
Common Name Chinese Bamboo, Chinese Water Bamboo, Curly Bamboo, Friendship Bamboo, and Ribbon Plant.
Plant Size Indoor: 3-5 feet tall, Outdoor: it can grow up to 8 feet tall and 2 feet wide
Types of Lucky Bamboo Plants 2 Layer Lucky Bamboo Plant: belongs to the species Dracaena Sanderiana.
3 Layer Lucky Bamboo Plant: also known as Dracaena Braunii. It is the most common Lucky Bamboo plant.
7 Layer Lucky Bamboo Plant: a formal type of Lucky Bamboo plant that makes a perfect gift for someone on casual and professional occasions.
Sunlight The Lucky Bamboo requires moderate or indirect sunlight to thrive.
Water Keep your Lucky Bamboo plant's soil slightly damp, but don't let the soil get too dry and don’t overwater it. If you're growing your Lucky Bamboo in water, make sure that you're using distilled or filtered water because this plant is sensitive to chlorine. It's also recommended to change the water at least once a week to avoid algae from forming in the water.
Humidity The Lucky Bamboo thrives on high humidity above 50%.
Temperature It prefers temperature, between 65–95°F.
Toxicity Your Lucky Bamboo can be toxic to your pets.
Food Feed your Lucky Bamboo every couple of months with a water-soluble houseplant fertilizer diluted to tenth of the normal strength.
Pests and Problems The Lucky Bamboo is prone to common pests, such as fungal infections, mealybugs, and mites. Remove any infected part of the plant, and clean your Lucky Bamboo with dish detergent, water, and rubbing alcohol.
Omysa Plant Care Tip Did you know that the stalks of the Lucky Bamboo can be manipulated into spiral shapes? To do this, you need to control the amount of sunlight they are exposed to.

Lucky Bamboo Plant Care Tips

As I have mentioned, the Lucky Bamboo can be manipulated into spiral shapes by controlling the light source. If you're curious how to make a Lucky Bamboo spiral, here are the steps (yes, even a beginner, like you, can do this):

Materials:

Carboard box
Cutter or scissors

  • Step 1: Cut one side out of a cardboard box.
  • Step 2: Place your Lucky Bamboo inside the box.
  • Step 3: Set the box. Make sure that its open side faces a light source (not the top).
  • Step 4: Care and grow for your Lucky Bamboo until it starts leaning towards the light.
  • Step 5: Slightly rotate Lucky Bamboo. You will notice that it will continue to grow towards the light.
  • Step 6: Keep rotating your Lucky Bamboo in the same direction to achieve that spiral look.
  • Step 7: Prune your Lucky Bamboo's leaves as it spirals with sharp scissors disinfected with alcohol to avoid bacteria.

If you're interesed to grow a braided Lucky Bamboo, which is another popular option, here are the steps:

  • Step 1: You need to choose a container with three potted stalks that are at least ½ to one inch thick and about two inches apart from each other in a row or triangle.
  • Step 2: Prune the base of the three stalks.
  • Step 3: Now it's time to braid the stalks. First, take the right stalk over the middle stalk, then bring the middle stalk to the right.
  • Step 4: Next is to take the left stalk and cross it over the stalk that's now in the middle, then bring that stalk out to the left of the new middle stalk.
  • Step 5: Continue doing this until there are four to five inches left.
  • Step 6: Tie the top of the braid.
  • Step 7: Similar to a spiral Lucky Bamboo, care and grow for your Lucky Bamboo. Eventually, the braid will strengthen as your Lucky Bamboo grows.

Here's a complete explanation on how to care for your Lucky Bamboo, from sunlight requirement to common problems and its solutions.

Sunlight

First, on our list on how to care for your Lucky Bamboo is to put it in a warm spot where it can get bright, filtered sunlight.

Tip: In Feng Shui, practitioners believe that you can put your Lucky Bamboo anywhere in your home, except in the bedroom since the yang energy of the Lucky Bamboo is too powerful, and it will hinder you to have a peaceful rest.

If you want to attract prosperity and wealth, put your Lucky Bamboo in the southeast area of your office. Remember, there should be adequate light in this place for your Lucky Bamboo to thrive.

Common Problem: If the leaves of your Lucky Bamboo are turning brown, this could mean that it's getting too much sun.

Solution: Your Lucky Bamboo is also a low light houseplant, but expect that it will grow slower compared to bright, indirect light. Don't place your Lucky Bamboo under too much direct sunlight because this can cause the leaves to burn.

Water

Next on our list on how to care for your Lucky Bamboo is to water it at least once a week. Keep the soil moist, but don't overwater it as this can lead to root rot. Moreover, make sure that you don't let the soil get too dry.

If you're growing a Lucky Bamboo in water, make sure to change the water every week to avoid algae from forming. Additionally, ensure that there are a few inches of water at all times to cover the roots.

Common Problem: If the leaves of your Lucky Bamboo are turning yellow, this means that there are too much fluoride and salt in the water.

Solution: Your Lucky Bamboo is pretty sensitive to chemicals found in tap water. The best way to avoid this problem is to use distilled or filtered water. However, if this is not possible, leave the water in an open container overnight, as this will evaporate the harmful chemicals.

Humidity & Temperature

Adding to our list on how to care for your Lucky Bamboo thrives on high humidity above 50%. If you live in a place with low humidity, you can increase your home's humidity by using a humidifier.

Your Lucky Bamboo prefers temperature, between 65–95°F. Do not place your Lucky Bamboo near a cooling vent or heating vent.

Toxicity

Your Lucky Bamboo can be toxic to your pets. The most common side effects of eating this plant are abdominal pain, diarrhea, dilated pupils, drooling, incoordination, vomiting, and weakness.

Food

Another on our list on how to care for your Lucky Bamboo is to feed it every couple of months with a water-soluble houseplant fertilizer diluted to tenth of the normal strength.

It's important to follow the prescribed amount of fertilizer and schedule to avoid fertilizer burn or plant burn.

Pests & Other Problems

Your Lucky Bamboo is prone to common pests, such as fungal infections, mealybugs, and mites. To eliminate these pests, here are the solutions:

  • If you notice grey fuzz on your Lucky Bamboo, it could be a fungal infection. Remove the infected part. It's also important to increase air circulation and the stalk and leaves dry.
  • To eliminate mealybugs, swab it with a cotton dipped in rubbing alcohol.
  • For mites, we advise that you wash your plant with dish detergent and water.

That's a wrap on how to care for your Lucky Bamboo. If you want a houseplant that's resilient and has a long lifespan, then the Lucky Bamboo is perfect for you. It's also a great gift for your family and friends.

Grow your plant knowledge. Check out our Plant Care blog to learn more about different houseplants and tips on how to keep your plants alive and healthy.

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