How to Care for an Indoor Bamboo Plant

Overview

Indoor bamboo plants, also called lucky bamboo plants, are historically a symbol of luck and prosperity. Having one is said to attract good energy to your living space, and receiving one as a gift increases this effect. Indoor bamboo plants look different from other houseplants, but they actually require less care. Bamboo plants have only a few simple demands, and as long as they're met, they'll enhance your space for a long time.

Step 1

Change the water every 1 to 2 weeks. Not regularly changing the water is perhaps the biggest mistake bamboo owners make. Stagnant water harbors bacteria and fungus, which can rot your root system and attract bugs.

Step 2

Avoid tap water. It contains chemicals that harm your bamboo plant and its root system. Filtered water is ideal, however you can use tap water so long as it is allowed to sit in an open container for at least 2 days before you use it. This will allow some of the chemicals to evaporate.

Step 3

Don't forget the anchoring material. Most bamboo plants are anchored to their containers with rocks, gravel or marbles. It's acceptable to gently remove your bamboo plant from this material to clean it. If not cleaned, rocks can harbor algae and create pockets of organic material where mold and bacteria thrive. Simply give them a good rinse in hot water and shake them around. Don't use soap or other chemicals, as they're not good for the plant.

Step 4

Avoid direct sunlight. Direct sunlight will burn your plant and cause the stalk and leaves to turn yellow. If left in direct sunlight too long, your plant will likely die. On the other hand, if your plant is not getting enough light, it will begin to appear spindly and thin. Choose a spot such as a desktop or table rather than a sunny windowsill.

Step 5

Prune cautiously. Never prune more than one-third of any plant at a time, as this is a shock to the plant's system. If your bamboo gets too tall, use clean, sharp pruning shears to clip off the excess growth above a node or ring. Pinch off leaves as needed.

Step 6

Fertlize one to two times per year. Overfertilization will kill a bamboo plant. Add one to two drops of aquarium plant food to your plant's water during a water change. If you are using commercial houseplant food, dilute it 10 times more than the directions call for and only use one to two drops.

Things You'll Need

  • Filtered water
  • Aquarium plant food
  • Pruning shears (optional)

References

  • Care of Lucky Bamboo
  • Lucky Bamboo Care Instructions
  • How to Choose and Care for Lucky Bamboo
Keywords: care, indoor, bamboo plant

About this Author

Lillian Downey is a writing professional who has served as editor-in-chief of "Nexus" literary journal and as an assistant fiction editor at the "Antioch Review." Downey attended Wright State University, where she studied writing, women's studies and health care.