How to Care for a Lucky Bamboo Dracaena Plant

Overview

The houseplant sold as Lucky Bamboo is not bamboo at all, but the cut canes of a plant from Cameroon called Dracaena sanderana. Customs laws make it difficult to import bamboo as houseplants, but the tough canes of Dracaena can be shipped without soil and thrive in containers to create a pleasant bamboo-like effect in the home.

Step 1

Plant your Lucky Bamboo in a container filled with pebbles if you have not purchased it already in an attractive container. Although Lucky Bamboo can also be grown in soil, potting soil can be more difficult and messy to maintain, and may give rise to a fungus gnat infestation in your home.

Step 2

Fill the container with rainwater. Dracaena are sensitive to flouride and can also be negatively affected by the build-up of salt and mineral deposits from hard water, which can cause leaf-tip burn and leaf yellowing. Continue to use rainwater to water your Lucky Bamboo to keep the leaves healthy and green.

Step 3

About once a month, add a small amount of diluted liquid fish emulsion fertilizer to the water for your Lucky Bamboo plant. Dracaena do not have heavy nutrient requirements, but like any plant, do require an occasional feeding. Commercial fertilizers, or over-feeding, can cause the Lucky Bamboo to grow too rapidly and look leggy.

Step 4

Wash the Lucky Bamboo leaves with a mild solution of insecticidal soap if they get dusty or develop webs. Lucky Bamboo is relatively pest-free, but can occasionally develop spider mites. Cleaning the leaves should resolve this problem.

Step 5

Cut the Lucky Bamboo stalks down to their original length with pruners when they get overgrown or sparse looking. This will restore the plants to their original lush growth habits.

Things You'll Need

  • Lucky Bamboo Dracaena plant
  • Rainwater
  • Pruners
  • Liquid fish emulsion fertilizer
  • Container
  • Pebbles
  • Insecticidal soap

References

  • Lucky Bamboo, U. Arkansas Cooperative Extension
  • Dracaena is a Good Houseplant Choice, U. Conn. Extension Service
  • Lucky Bamboo Information from Bamboo World

Who Can Help

  • Dracaena, Russ and Pertuit, Clemson U. Cooperative Extension
Keywords: lucky bamboo, bamboo houseplants, dracaena care

About this Author

Cindy Hill has practiced law since 1987 and maintained a career in freelance writing since 1978. Hill has won numerous fiction and poetry awards and has published widely in the field of law and politics. She is an adjunct instructor of ethics and communications.