Growing Lucky Bamboo in Containers

Overview

Lucky bamboo is a popular Chinese New Year decoration and everyday office plant because of its inexpensiveness and ease of care, combined with attractive shape and color. It isn't actually a bamboo, but one of the popular dracaenas (lily family). It grows extremely well and easily in containers, since it is a water plant and actually will not grow well in the ground unless near or in a pond or swampy area. The most common way to grow lucky bamboo in a container is to surround the stems with real or glass pebbles and some water.

Step 1

Find an appropriate container. It should be shorter than the height of the lucky bamboo, so that the stems poke above the lip of the pot by about half their length. It should not have drainage holes, because holes would let the needed water out.

Step 2

Place a shallow layer of pebbles on the bottom of the container. Place the bamboo stems on the pebbles in the center of the container, then gently place more pebbles around the stems until they are supported adequately on all sides. Separate the stems slightly with a few pebbles so that they are not all pressed together, because crowding can encourage rot.

Step 3

Add water to the pebbles, up to just below the surface of the pebbles. Do not use tap water, because fluoride is added to most tap water, and dracaenas are sensitive to fluoride. Use bottled, spring or other water labeled fluoride-free. Change the water weekly and rinse off the pebbles when you do so, to avoid mold, rot or foul water.

Step 4

Place the lucky bamboo in a warm location with bright, indirect light. Don't place it directly in full sun; partial or filtered light is best, but be sure there is plenty of it. Six to eight hours of sun each day is recommended.

Step 5

Avoid over-fertilizing, because it can lead to tip burn, which is browning of the tips of the plant stems. Don't fertilize regularly; instead, use a small amount of organic fertilizer if the plant begins to yellow. Organic fertilizer is recommended because the plant is so sensitive to chemicals.

Things You'll Need

  • Lucky bamboo plant
  • Container
  • Pebbles
  • Non-fluoridated water
  • Organic fertilizer

References

  • Organic Gardening: Lucky Bamboo
Keywords: indoor plants, lucky bamboo, container plants

About this Author

Kim Hoyum is a Michigan-based freelance writer. She has been a proofreader, writer, reporter and editor at monthly, weekly and daily publications for five years. She has a Bachelor of Science in writing and minor in journalism from Northern Michigan University.