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How to Raise Lucky Bamboo Plants

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How to Raise Lucky Bamboo Plants

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Overview

Lucky bamboo isn't actually bamboo at all, but it does make a sturdy houseplant that thrives in a wide variety of lighting conditions. Usually grown in a hydroponic garden, these plants are easy to care for as long as you change the water regularly. They're also very easy to propagate; any healthy shoots you may have pruned off to keep the arrangement in shape or keep it from getting top heavy make great gifts to give.

Step 1

Top off your lucky bamboo plant's water, as necessary, to keep it at a constant level. The water should cover the top of the plant's roots but not reach any higher on the stem; if the non-rooted section of the stem stands in water it will start to put out excessive roots.

Step 2

Dump old water out--holding your hand over the vase opening to help keep gravel from spilling out--and refresh with new water every week. Using tap water is fine as long as it isn't high in chlorine or fluoride. If your tap water has these chemicals in it, try using bottled spring water instead.

Step 3

Keep your lucky bamboo away from direct sunlight; this will scorch the leaves, browning or yellowing their tips. It can thrive in almost any kind of light except for direct sun, and can even flourish in a bathroom under fluorescent lights.

Step 4

Prune top-heavy plants by cutting just above a joint in the lucky bamboo stem with a sharp knife. Place the cut portion in about 3 inches of water and it will root; new, smaller stalks will branch out from below the cut area on the parent plant. You can drip a bit of melted paraffin onto the cut area of the parent plant to help keep bacteria from entering.

Step 5

Peel or trim away yellowed or damaged leaves as you notice them. Remove any yellowing stems from the arrangement as soon as you see them to keep bacteria or rot from spreading. Protecting your bamboo from bumps and scrapes that injure the stems, thus letting bacteria enter, is the best way of preventing rot from setting in.

Step 6

Transplant your lucky bamboo if it's been in the same-size container for several years and shows signs of stress, like yellowing leaves, under conditions that otherwise caused it to thrive. Just work it gently out of the previous container and place it in the new one, then fill with water to the level of the bamboo's roots.

Things You'll Need

  • Non-fluoridated, non-chlorinated water
  • Sharp knife
  • Paraffin (optional)

References

  • Lucky Bamboo Care
  • Lucky Bamboo FAQ
Keywords: growing lucky bamboo, lucky bamboo, lucky bamboo care

About this Author

Marie Mulrooney has written professionally since 2001. Her diverse background includes numerous outdoor pursuits, personal training and linguistics. She studied mathematics at the University of Alaska Anchorage and contributes regularly to such websites as eHow, Garden Guides, LiveSTRONG and Trails.com. Print publication credits include national magazines, poetry awards and long-lived columns about local outdoor adventures.