Do You Need to Plant a Lucky Bamboo in Soil?


Lucky Bamboo is a perfect houseplant because it does not need to be planted in soil. Fresh, clean water every seven to 10 days and moderate temperatures will keep the plant flourishing and growing for many years. Lucky Bamboo is not actually a bamboo but a member of the lily family. It grows in tropical rain forests so it does not need direct sunlight.

Lucky Bamboo

Vibrant, green leaves and stalks indicate a healthy Lucky Bamboo plant. The bamboo never needs soil. It will thrive in a container of water that is changed regularly. The stalks are anchored with pebbles, marbles or rocks so they can grow straight and make an attractive arrangement. The plant should be kept in a room with good light but never put in direct sunlight. If, for some reason, you prefer to have the plant in a more solid medium it can be potted in a light mixture of sand and soil with very good bottom drainage. The soil will need to dry out some between watering but should never be completely without moisture. The best medium for Lucky Bamboo is water. Tap water has too many chemicals to keep the plant healthy. Yellow leaves indicate a problem. Filtered water, natural spring water, or rainwater is the best for the Lucky Bamboo plant. If none of these are available make sure the tap water sets out for at least 24 hours before putting it in the vase of bamboo. Take care when fertilizing the plants as they burn easily. They will not need fertilization often but if they appear droopy they can be fed a small amount of African violet feed or plant feed that is intended for use in a fish aquarium. Starts can be taken from existing bamboo by slicing the stalk with a clean, sharp knife at a place below the joint. Mist the cutting and put it in clean water, anchoring it with marbles or pebbles. It will grow even before developing a root system so treat it like the mature plant. Lucky Bamboo is one of the most resilient house plants and extremely hardy. It is, however, related to the Dracaena family and is poisonous to pets and humans. It should be kept out of range of children and household pets.

Feng Shui

Lucky Bamboo is associated with feng shui, a practice of balancing the environment of a room. It brings together wood and water. When tied with a red ribbon it adds "fire" and a positive energy flow. The number of stalks in a Lucky Bamboo arrangement has significance. There is some disagreement but generally three stalks, in Chinese culture, promote happiness. Five stalks, wealth, and six for health. Always avoid four stalks because the Chinese word for four is very similar to the word "death."

Keywords: lucky bamboo, feng shui and lucky bamboo, watering lucky bamboo

About this Author

Allene Reynolds has been a freelance writer for more than 30 years and has written both fiction and nonfiction. Her work has appeared in several national magazines, regional publications and major newspapers.

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