Lucky bamboo supposedly can bring good fortune to your home, but the plant is not a bamboo variety. Instead, it consists of cuttings from a bamboo-lookalike called Dracaena sanderiana, an easy-to-grow tropical species native to West Africa.
Lucky bamboo plants are usually leafless stems taken from a larger D. sanderiana plant, which can grow 2 to 3 feet tall. You can showcase lucky bamboo in your home as a single cutting or in clusters.
Lucky bamboo can thrive anchored in pebbles in a water-filled vase or moist soil. Plants growing in water need clean water every two weeks, according to Lucky-Bamboo.org.
Once the plant reaches about a year old, supplement the water with some houseplant fertilizer every two months, the University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service advises. Use a drop or two if the plant is rooted in water, since too high a concentration of fertilizer can burn the unprotected roots, Lucky-Bamboo.org warns.
Light and Water Effects
Lucky bamboo can survive in low lighting; in fact, direct sunlight can kill lucky bamboo, the University of Minnesota Extension service says. The service also suggests using spring or distilled water since the fluoride and chlorine in some tap water can yellow leaves and eventually kill the plant.
Lucky bamboos can become "leggy" over time, the University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service warns. Don't hesitate to prune the plant back and allow it to regrow. The service suggests cutting the canes back to their "original length."
- University of Arkansas: Plant of the Week Lucky Bamboo
- University of Florida IFAS Extension: Cultural Guidelines for Commercial Production of Interiorscape Dracaena
- Lucky Bamboo: Lucky Bamboo Care Tips
- University of Minnesota Extension: The Backyard Garden News
- Lucky-bamboo.org: Lucky Bamboo
lucky bamboo growth, growing lucky bamboo, Dracaena sanderiana
About this Author
Cameron Delaney is a freelance writer for trade journals and websites and an editor of non-fiction books. As a journalist, Delaney worked for wire services, newspapers and magazines for more than 20 years. Delaney's degrees include a bachelor's in journalism from Penn State and a master's in liberal arts from University of Denver.