Spiral bamboo is a form of lucky bamboo popular as a unique houseplant. Its tough nature and low maintenance needs make it a good choice for most homes. A member of the lily family, spiral bamboo gets its name from its resemblance to the segmented canes of true bamboo. Lucky bamboo cuttings are quick to form new roots in water, and it is a centuries-old custom to give guests a cutting to take home.
Spiral bamboo is a symbol of good fortune and has different meanings depending on the number of stalks grown together. Three stalks attract happiness, five stalks bring wealth, and seven stalks mean good health. Spiral bamboo is often used to improve Feng Shui.
Growers create lucky bamboo by cutting sections from older stems of the Dracaena sanderiana species of lily. These sections develop roots at the bottom joints and leaves at the top joints. Lucky bamboo normally grows straight but can be cultured to form a spiral shape.
Create your own spiral bamboo from a stem cutting of an established plant. Place the stalk in a container with 1 to 3 inches of water; you will need to change the water every two to three weeks and add water as needed to replace that lost through evaporation. Your plant will form roots at every joint below the water level. By growing in higher water levels you can cause your plant to grow more roots and create an attractive display in a clear container. You can also grow it in a shallower, wider container with marbles or stones to provide support and keep the lucky bamboo upright.
Creating the Spiral
To create the spiral bamboo shape, keep the plant in a box which covers it on three sides and only allows light to enter from the front. When the plant bends toward the light and creates a curve, turn the plant so the new angle will cause the curve to become more pronounced. Continue to rotate the plant periodically until it forms a spiral shape.
Spiral bamboo is a hardy plant which grows well in low or indirect light. You can add a drop of liquid fertilizer periodically to help your bamboo produce more and longer foliage. Because spiral bamboo grows very slowly, you won't need to divide or transplant it.