Planting Lucky Bamboo


Lucky bamboo is not a true "woody" bamboo of the grass family. It is actually a tropical water lily known as dracaena and is most often grown as a houseplant. When planted outdoors, lucky bamboo does well in humid, tropical environments and often has a hard time making it through North American winters. As bamboo often grows in standing water, it should be watered on a regular basis in well-drained soil.

Step 1

Choose a location. Look for a shaded area with very little direct sunlight. Lucky bamboo is hard to grow outdoors and will shrivel and die under direct sunlight.

Step 2

Prepare the soil. Pull any weeds and loosen the dirt. Use a rototiller or your hands to dig up the dirt and break up any clumps. Add about 50 percent sand to the soil.

Step 3

Dig a hole. Use a hand shovel to dig up an area as deep as the lucky bamboo container and twice as wide.

Step 4

Mix the original soil with 50 percent compost. Lucky bamboo plants are fast growers and spread more rapidly with rich, nutrient-dense soil.

Step 5

Plant the lucky bamboo. Place the bamboo in the hole and cover the roots with about an inch of dirt. You can spread rocks around the base of the bamboo to protect the roots and aid in moisture control.

Step 6

Water thoroughly. Lucky bamboo plants should be watered daily and not let to dry out during their first year in your garden. If the leaves start to roll up, it is much too dry.

Step 7

Fertilize. Use a high-nitrogen fertilizer once a month to keep your bamboo thick and green.

Tips and Warnings

  • Do not add fertilizer during initial planting as it may burn the roots.

Things You'll Need

  • Shovel
  • Rototiller
  • Compost
  • Sand


  • Facts and Tips
  • Bamboos
  • Plant Care
Keywords: lucky bamboo, plant bamboo, outdoor houseplants

About this Author

Kelsey Erin Shipman has worked as a travel writer, poet, journalist and award-winning photographer since 2004. Her work has appeared in various newspapers, magazines and journals. Shipman has also authored three collections of poetry: "Cold Days," "Bastante" and "Short Poems." She earned a Bachelor of Arts in philosophy from Southwestern University.