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How to Change the Water for Bamboo Plants

lucky bamboo close up image by Trevor Goodwin from

The plant called lucky bamboo is not actually a member of the bamboo family. Rather, its Latin name is Dracaena sanderiana, and it most commonly resides in water in decorative vases. While it will thrive with very little care, provided it gets only indirect sunlight, you must change its water regularly. The water changing process depends in part on whether you have any decorative stones or decorations in the vase with the bamboo. While fertilizer is not necessary, adding some at the same time you change water is a good way to keep your lucky bamboo on a schedule.

Remove your lucky bamboo from its vase and place it in a clean drinking glass temporarily. The water changing process is quite quick, and your lucky bamboo should suffer no ill effects from temporarily being out of water.

Remove any decorative stones or other items you may have in the bottom of your lucky bamboo vase. Use a strainer and a bowl to rinse the stones in clean bottled water before replacing them in your vase.

Dump the old water in your sink. Rinse the vase with cold running water and dry it thoroughly. Drying is important to ensure that no tap water remains in the vase before you refill it.

Replace any decorative stones or other items in the bottom of your vase. Then, add your lucky bamboo plant and position it on top of the stones.

Refill your vase with bottled water. Only add water up to about an inch before the lowest leaves. If any leaves have sprouted under the water line, pluck them off before refilling the water.

Add a good all-purpose fertilizer in small amounts according to package instructions, if you want. Your lucky bamboo will not die if you do not fertilize it, as long as you change its water regularly and keep it at a moderate temperature in indirect sunlight. Fertilizer is nice, but not necessary.


For the best health of your lucky bamboo plant, change the water once a week. This prevents harmful bacteria growth, which is the same reason you should also clean any decorative stones or other materials in the vase with your lucky bamboo.

Bottled water is safe for all lucky bamboo plants. Tap water is not advised because lucky bamboo does not like fluoride and will develop unhealthy leaves with yellow tips if exposed to fluoridated water. If your locality does not put fluoride in its water, your tap water may be safe to use. If you do not want to risk the health and safety of your lucky bamboo plant, use bottled water every time you change it.

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