Known botanically as Dracaena sanderiana, lucky bamboo is not a type of bamboo at all, but rather a member of the lily family. Nonetheless, it is easy to care for and makes an attractive houseplant. Although named for the luck it is believed to bring among the people of Southeast Asia, it is know by several other common names including friendship bamboo, ribbon plant and water bamboo.
Select a young, healthy plant from a local garden center or nursery. Strong plants will have a uniform bright green color without brown spots or patches on the leaves.
Fill a 6-inch diameter planting container with sterile potting soil to within 1 inch of the top. Make sure the container has several drainage holes in the bottom.
Transplant the young lucky bamboo by carefully sliding it out of the store-bought container and making a shallow hole in the potting soil to accommodate the roots and soil. Place the plant in the hole and tamp down gently to keep it firmly in position. If the plant you purchase is already in a larger container, you can skip this step.
Water the lucky bamboo thoroughly once a week with filtered or distilled water. These plants are sensitive to chemicals in tap water, especially fluoride, which can cause the leaves to turn yellow.
Place the plant in a brightly lit area but avoid direct sunlight, which can scald the leaves. The lucky bamboo needs little attention other than regular watering.
Put the medium sized stones in the bottom of the vase or bowl and add enough filtered or distilled water to cover them.
Remove the lucky bamboo from the planting container, if soil grown, and gently rinse off the roots and stem with filtered water. Position the plant in the center of the vase or bowl and use the stones to anchor the stems into place.
Place the plant in a well-lit area out of direct sunlight. Change the water completely every 10 to 14 days, always using distilled or filtered water.