Lucky bamboo (Dracaena sanderiana) has become a popular gift for the good things it signifies. This plant grows well in low-light situations such as offices and dorm rooms that would kill other houseplants. Lucky bamboo can live for years. When choosing a lucky bamboo arrangement, knowing the meaning of the stalks helps you send the right message.
Even or Odd
If your lucky bamboo contains an odd number of stalks, it is considered yang, or masculine. Arrangements with an even number of stalks are yin, or feminine. In general, masculine arrangements symbolize action, life and protection, while female arrangements symbolize nurturing and sensitivity. Most odd numbers have a higher value than even ones.
Avoid grouping four lucky bamboo stalks together; since the Chinese word for four sounds like the word for death; this is considered an ill omen, notes Chiff.
Three bamboo stalks signifies prosperity and fertility. They can also mean wealth, prosperity and longevity. Arrangements with two straight stalks and one central curly stalk in the center forecast wealth.
Five bamboo stalks clumped together signifies wealth, with one stalk representing a different channel for wealth. Esprit de Isle notes that five stalks can also mean happiness, balance and good luck.
Ten stalks of bamboo denotes completeness and perfection. This suggests fulfillment of goals and is a very lucky number.
One long stalk stands for simplicity. Two stands for double luck or good romantic partnerships. Six and eight both denote luck, with six stalks signifying financial luck and eight suggesting fertility and general good luck. Eleven stalks also suggests all-around luck. Nine stalks means good health, good love life and prosperity. Seven stalks suggests good luck in relationships and finances.
The colors and materials in your lucky bamboo arrangement also have meaning. Brown and gravel suggest earth; water in the container or blue color suggest water; the green bamboo plant represents wood; red, pink or burgundy denote fire; and coins or metallic colors like gold suggest metal.