How to Grow a Lucky Bamboo Houseplant


If you honor ancient Feng Shui traditions, then you know you can attract good energy to your home by adding a lucky bamboo plant. These plants, actually members of the lily family, have other advantages besides their good chi, or energy. They thrive in the indirect lighting conditions of most homes and they require very little care and maintenance, once their basic needs are met. What's more, you can grow them in nothing more than filtered water and a clean container.

Step 1

Select the best container. You can grow lucky bamboo in a vase, a sealed flower pot, a canning jar, a decorative bowl, a glass or ceramic flower pot (with no drainage holes) or any other watertight container. For best results, use an opaque container, like a ceramic, as clear glass containers require dutiful algae management.

Step 2

Prepare your plant's water supply. Filter plain tap water, or leave on open container of tap water out overnight. Bamboo plants are sensitive to water treatment chemicals, and many of these chemicals spur algae growth. Avoid using water straight from the tap. Always use room temperature water.

Step 3

Decide on an anchoring medium. If you're using a tall, slim container, you can simply choose to let your bamboo plant lean against the side. If you'd like to stand the stalks upright, you'll need to add gravel, pebbles, marbles, sand or any other water-safe anchoring medium to the bottom. Always rinse your anchoring medium in warm water before using to remove an excess dust and debris.

Step 4

Put everything together. Place your bamboo stalks in your container. Add the anchoring medium gently and use your fingers to spread it around. Add only as much as you need to cover the root system and keep your plant standing. Don't cover the stalk by more than 1 or 2 inches. Pour in water, just enough to cover the anchoring medium.

Step 5

Choose to display your bamboo plant in a place where it will receive plenty of indirect sunlight. Direct sunlight will burn and brown your plant, so never place it directly in a sunny windowsill. Instead, choose a side table or desktop where the plant can avoid the hot direct rays of sunlight.

Step 6

Maintain your plant by keeping the water at a steady level. This requires eyeballing the plant once every other day or so and making sure it isn't drying out. Change the water every two to four weeks, rinsing the container, roots and anchoring medium gently during the process to clean away any algae. Fertilize no more than twice per year with one drop of liquid plant food. It's best to fertilize after a water change.

Step 7

Move your plant to a larger container if it develops a large, tight root ball. This usually occurs after about one year of growth. Trim your plant back if it grows too quickly by pinching away excess leaves and using sharp scissors to cut the stalk directly above a node or ring. The cut off stalk piece can be placed in water and grown into a new plant.

Things You'll Need

  • Container
  • Anchoring medium
  • Filtered water
  • Liquid plant food
  • Sharp scissors


  • Lucky Bamboo Shop: Lucky Bamboo FAQs
  • Fast Feng Shui: How to Choose and Care for Lucky Bamboo by Stephanie Roberts
Keywords: bamboo, lucky bamboo, bamboo houseplant

About this Author

Lillian Downey has a diverse background, including studies in English, social work, women's studies, non-profit management, political science and nursing. She's worked as an intern sex-educator, clinic manager and mental health professional. She is currently studying to be a birth doula and childbirth educator. She served as editor-in-chief of "Nexus Journal of Literature and Art" and an assistant fiction editor at the "Antioch Review."