How to Prune Lucky Bamboo


Lucky bamboo, Dracaena sanderiana, is in fact a member of the lily family. It's not bamboo at all. This hardy houseplant is capable of adapting to a wide range of conditions. It will thrive in almost any light short of direct sunlight, which can scorch its leaves. It will even flourish in a windowless bathroom as long as you give it pure water to live in. While this plant can be potted in sandy soil, it's more commonly found in a small water garden.

Step 1

Identify any healthy stems or shoots that have grown so long they make the bamboo formation unsightly or top-heavy. These unsightly or top-heavy stems are your candidates for pruning. Yellowed shoots can be simply peeled away from their stems, and yellowed stems should generally be removed entirely from the bamboo arrangements to keep disease from spreading to the other stems.

Step 2

Melt a small piece of paraffin in a double boiler or the microwave. A 1-inch chip is sufficient. Watch it carefully as it will take a very short time to melt.

Step 3

Use a sharp knife or cutting shears to cut through the bamboo stem you're pruning, about 1/4-inch above the joint.

Step 4

Dip the cut end of the parent stem in the paraffin, no more than 1/8-inch deep. This helps seal the stem against bacteria that might enter the open wound. No further care is needed for the parent stem. You may discard the pruned stem, if you like, or root it for use in another bamboo arrangement.

Things You'll Need

  • 1-inch chip or more of paraffin
  • Sharp knife or cutting shears
  • Glass container
  • Non-fluoridated, non-chlorinated water


  • Taking Care of Lucky Bamboo

Who Can Help

  • More Lucky Bamboo Care
Keywords: dracaena sanderiana, lucky bamboo, pruning lucky bamboo

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 Print publication credits include national magazines, poetry awards and long-lived columns about local outdoor adventures.