Lucky bamboo, or Dracaena sanderiana is a small rain forest plant native to Cameroon. In spite of its name, it is not a bamboo at all, but its straight, skinny stems composed of multiple green nodes resemble bamboo. It is widely used decoratively and in the Chinese art of feng shui, where it is said to bring good luck.
Balancing the Elements
Traditional Chinese philosophy believes in five elements: wood, fire, earth, metal and water. A properly prepared lucky bamboo display is designed to bring harmony to a space by containing all five elements, according to Esprit de Isle. The rocks, pebbles or sand in the jar holding the bamboo represent earth. The water in the jar covers water, as do blue decorations sometimes painted on it. The lucky bamboo itself with its color green represents wood. Red tassels tied around the bamboo represent fire and coins. Metal figurines or gold, silver or other metallic colors on the display represent metal.
Some people view lucky bamboo as a lucky plant, and different numbers of stalks have different symbolic meanings. According to Fast Feng Shui, two stalks can bring wealth, three or six, happiness, five or seven, health, eight, wealth, nine, all around good luck and 21, blessings. Pick the lucky bamboo arrangement that offers the sort of help you need most.
Lucky bamboo tends to grow towards the light, and can be easily trained into interesting, decorative shapes. To train your lucky bamboo, block off the light from all sides but the direction that you want it to grow in. The shoot will begin to grow in that direction. To get your lucky bamboo to grow in a spiral, turn the pot slightly every few days. Eventually, the stalk will form a curly cue.
Easy Indoor Plant
Although lucky bamboo naturally grows in dirt, it can survive in nothing but water. It needs very little light, and grows extremely slowly. This makes lucky bamboo an excellent indoor plant, particularly for dark rooms with little or no natural light. As long as you occasionally refill the pot with fresh water, your lucky bamboo will stay alive for a long time without outgrowing its pot.