Training a Lucky Bamboo Plant


Lucky bamboo is a popular house plant. In Asian cultures, the number of bamboo stalks in a container has different meanings for good fortune. A twisted bamboo stalk in particular is known as a "money stalk" and is believed to bring wealth. Lucky bamboo does not naturally grow in a twisted shape but must be trained. The most common method of training a bamboo plant is forcing the plant to lean toward a light source. Depending on how you position the plant, you can create all kinds of unique shapes.

Step 1

Cut a cardboard box to fit over your bamboo plant and container. Cut out the bottom and one side of the cardboard box until you have three sides and a top. You should be able to cover the bamboo plant with the box.

Step 2

Place the cardboard box around the bamboo. Leave one side open to a light source such as a window or grow lamp.

Step 3

Leave the plant for several days or weeks. The lucky bamboo will start to lean toward the light.

Step 4

Turn the plant away from the light. Once you notice the plant beginning to lean, turn the plant slightly into the box and away from the light. This encourages the stalk to curl as it reaches for the light.

Step 5

Continue turning the bamboo plant in the same direction for a spiral. Vary the directions for different types of twists. Continue the process until you have the desired shape. Be patient, this process could take several months or even years.

Tips and Warnings

  • Don't forget to keep your bamboo watered.

Things You'll Need

  • Lucky bamboo plant
  • Cardboard box
  • Scissors


  • Lucky Bamboo and Feng Shui
  • Orchids Asia
  • Lucky Bamboo Survival Guide
Keywords: train bamboo, lucky bamboo, curly bamboo

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.