Despite the common belief, lucky bamboo is not bamboo at all. It is Dracaena sanderiana of the lily family. This hardy plant is becoming increasingly popular because of the hope that it will bring qi, or vital energy, into the home. The small plant has been a staple for good luck.
Lucky bamboo is believed to bring and circulate qi within the area it is located. The number of stalks represents positive energies. The familiar three stalk bamboo plant usually represents the bringing of happiness, wealth and longevity. The 21 single stalks or curled stalks represent all around good fortune to all that care for the plant and live in the area. Since the lucky bamboo is believed to bring qi it is considered an ideal plant to place near someone who is sick.
The lucky bamboo plant started as a common houseplant in China. In Chinese tradition qi is the energy that animates all life but can become blocked, resulting in bad luck, sickness or misfortune. The lucky bamboo is supposed to bring environments in harmony with the universe while promoting happiness, health and prosperity. This idea has slowly spread to the Western world.
The lucky bamboo plant has been a staple in regulating qi and promoting good luck in Asian countries for more than 4,000 years. Feng shui masters have recommended the lucky bamboo promote harmony and create a better life experience.
Lucky bamboo usually grows straight up to the sun but it can be trained to grow in patterns. Most people have seen the unique decoration of a bamboo plant that has begun to curl. This does not occur naturally but is caused by directing the plant to grow toward the sun and rotating it periodically to create the curls. This time-consuming process can take up to two years. The practice is considered to provide more good luck for the owner.
The lucky bamboo is a resilient plant that does not need everyday care. Take precaution when choosing a new home for the plant. Never put it in direct sunlight or it will start to yellow. Change the water every week or refill when the water evaporates.