Lucky Bamboo Significance


The plant commonly referred to as the "lucky bamboo" is actually not even bamboo. While resembling bamboo, it has become popular due to its association with feng shui. Feng shui and the lucky bamboo both carry significant meaning over from Asia to the United States. Feng shui has become popular in home decor and bamboo is a way to incorporate that into the design of a room.

Feng Shui

Feng shui is the Chinese belief of how environmental factors affect humankind. An environment can include many places, especially one's own home. Feng shui promotes rest and relaxation, a place of escape from the busy world. It encourages a quiet and healing atmosphere instead of one of chaos. To do this in the home, plants such as lucky bamboo can transform a room into a green, relaxing haven.

Feng Shui and Lucky Bamboo

In addition to the visual appeal of live, green and growing plants, there are five elements that must exist to make feng shui complete. The lucky bamboo must be arranged to contain all five of these elements. The first is earth, represented by rocks, sand and pebbles. Next is the element of water; lucky bamboo is always kept in water. The third element is wood; the plant signifies wood as does its green color. The fourth element is fire; the colors red, burgundy, maroon or pink should be included in or garnish the container. Finally, the last element is metal; feng shui coins or statues made of metal or metallic coloring should also appear. The lucky bamboo plant has long been included with the Eastern practice of feng shui. It is used as an ideal symbol of the five elements and to bring positive energy of "chi" into a room. It is considered especially lucky when received as a gift.

Lucky Bamboo

Lucky bamboo is actually in the Dracaena family, which is closely related to the family of lilies. The two types of Dracaena are based on their growing habits. The first type, with wide trunks and stiff wide leaves, grows in dry desert areas. The other type is grown indoors and has slender stems and flexible leaves; this is the kind referred to as lucky bamboo.

Numbers of Lucky Bamboo

Ancient Chinese tradition insists that the number of lucky bamboo stalks have different meaning and invites different features that benefit your life. For example, three stalks of lucky bamboo will bring happiness. Five or seven stalks of lucky bamboo symbolize good health. Nine stalks means good fortune or wealth. Twenty-one stalks are to offer a very powerful, all encompassing blessing.

Care of Lucky Bamboo

Lucky bamboo requires some special care to maintain growth and vitality. Despite the fact that it grows in water, regular tap water contains too many harmful chemicals for the bamboo. Distilled water can be used as an alternative to tap water, but if unavailable, tap water can still be used if treated first. Tap water should be left to sit out for 24 hours, allowing time for the chemicals in the water to dissolve. After the 24 hours, the water can be added to the plant. Bamboo also requires nutrients. Add plant food to the water when refilling the container. The plant food should be about 1/10 its regular strength. Another important factor is light. In nature, it grows under dense canopies of the rainforests in Africa. Therefore, direct sunlight is too much for the plant to handle.

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About this Author

Sheri Engstrom has been writing for 15 years. She is currently a gardening writer for Demand Studios. Engstrom completed the master gardener program at the University of Minnesota Extension service. She is published in their book "The Best Plants for 30 Tough Sites." She is also the online education examiner Minneapolis for