Growing Lucky Bamboo Indoors

Overview

Lucky bamboo, also known as curly bamboo or ribbon plant, is not a true bamboo, but a member of the Dracaena family. The plant's common name derives from its segmented canes that resemble those of real bamboo. Native to tropical areas of southeast Asia and west Africa, lucky bamboo thrives in warm household conditions. Novice and experienced gardeners alike value the plant for its attractiveness, toughness and ease of care. Grown almost exclusively as a houseplant in the United States, lucky bamboo makes a dramatic statement in any room and requires minimal upkeep.

Step 1

Transfer lucky bamboo into a vase filled with about 3 inches of distilled water and place in a location that receives four to six hours of indirect light each day. Maintain a constant temperature of 65 to 75 degrees F.

Step 2

Add small pebbles to the vase to provide support for the plant. Clean the pebbles thoroughly to ensure no foreign material is transferred to the water. Use just enough to hold the lucky bamboo erect in the vase.

Step 3

Change the water in the vase once every two to three weeks to provide a clean growing medium and reduce the chance of disease. Keep about 3 inches of clean water in the vase at all times for the best results.

Step 4

Feed your bamboo once every two to three months with an all-purpose liquid houseplant fertilizer immediately after you have changed the water. Add one drop of fertilizer to provide enough nutrients for continued growth.

Step 5

Propagate lucky bamboo by snapping off a section of the cane and placing it in water to root. Break off the cane at a joint to ensure the old plant will continue to grow properly. Transfer the new plant to a vase of water immediately.

Tips and Warnings

  • Always use distilled water for lucky bamboo, as tap water contains fluoride that will negatively effect the plant's health. Plants in the Dracaena family are very sensitive to fluoride and leaves may yellow if exposed to the chemical regularly.

Things You'll Need

  • Vase
  • Distilled water
  • Pebbles
  • Liquid houseplant fertilizer

References

  • University of Wisconsin: Lucky or Curly Bamboo
  • University of Illinois Extension: Lucky or Curly Bamboo
  • University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture: Lucky Bamboo
Keywords: lucky bamboo, curly bamboo, ribbon plant

About this Author

Willow Sidhe is a freelance writer living in the beautiful Hot Springs, AR. She is a certified aromatherapist with a background in herbalism. She has extensive experience gardening, with a specialty in indoor plants and herbs. Sidhe's work has been published on numerous Web sites, including Gardenguides.com.