Flamingo Crossing

better gnomes and gardens

Care of lucky bamboo -- tips and tricks

How to grow lucky bamboo -- tips and tricks
What is lucky bamboo?

The plant we commonly call "lucky bamboo" is not actually a bamboo. It is actually a type of grass. Its scientific name is Dracaena braunii, and it is native to Africa.

Despite its origin, it is a popular houseplant in Southeast Asia due to its perceived feng shui meanings. Its bright green leaves can be seen on the counters of many shops and restaurants.

Different feng shui meanings are traditionally assigned to different numbers of lucky bamboo stalks. Three, five, and twenty-one stalks are the best groupings to look for, as those are considered to be "lucky numbers".

You might also see heart-shaped lucky bamboo plants. These are thought to be lucky for love. Pineapple-shaped lucky bamboo plants are considered a welcoming symbol and should be placed near the entrance of your home or shop.

Care of your lucky bamboo

Choosing your lucky bamboo

lucky bamboo First, choose a lucky bamboo plant that is green and healthy. Bruising or insect damage are signs of an unhealthy plant, as are drooping yellow leaves.

Lucky bamboo plants are typically grown in water (hydroponics). If the plant you have selected is grown in soil, check that the soil is not dry at the time of purchase as dry soil will kill the plant. Roots will grow whenever the plant's stem is in contact with moisture, whereas these same roots will dry out and die without inadequate water. Use a toothpick or small wooden dowel to check the dampness of the soil. A clean toothpick means it is dry all the way down, so choose another plant whose soil is moist to wet.

lucky bamboo Potting your lucky bamboo

When selecting a planter for your lucky bamboo plant, the important consideration is that you can easily see the water level in the container. There needs to be at least an inch of water; do not let your plant dry out. I prefer to use glass planters or vases since it is easy to see the water level. However the pretty ceramic pots used for bonsai plants also work well since they are fairly shallow.

Decorative rocks or not?

You will need to add some small rocks to your plant to stabilize your plant. Select rocks that will fit comfortably into your planter: smaller rocks for a small single-stem planter, larger rocks for a larger lucky bamboo arrangement.

Lighting and watering your lucky bamboo

Lucky bamboo is an easy-care plant, requiring only low lighting and water. Too much care can actually kill it. Those who are unlucky in gardening will enjoy having such a low maintenance plant.

Help, why are the leaves turning yellow?

If your lucky bamboo plant turns yellow, it is getting too much light. These plants need low light conditions to thrive. Your plant will perk up if you move it to a dark interior room for a few days.

Fertilizer for your lucky bamboo

If you feel that your plant might benefit from fertilizer, a generic "plant food" will not provide the proper nutrients for this particular plant. Choose a plant food designed for water plants or epiphytes for best results.

Happy growing!

Tealmermaid's Treasure Grotto