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How to Shape Lucky Bamboo

Lucky bamboo is a popular house plant. In Asian cultures, the number of bamboo stalks in a container has different meanings for good fortune. A twisted bamboo stalk in particular is known as a “money stalk” and is believed to bring wealth. Shaping a lucky bamboo plant takes time and patience. The most common method of growing a twisted bamboo plant is forcing the plant to lean towards a light source. Depending on how you position the plant, you can create all kinds of unique shapes.

Cut a cardboard box to fit your bamboo plant and container. Cut out the bottom and one side of the cardboard box until you have three sides. You should be able to cover three sides of the bamboo plant with the box.

Place the cardboard box around the bamboo. Leave one side open to a light source such as a window or grow lamp.

Leave the plant for several days or weeks. The lucky bamboo will start to lean towards the light.

Turn the plant away from the light. Once you notice the plant beginning to lean, turn the plant slightly into the box and away from the light to continue an outward curl. You can also turn the plant towards the light to make it curl in on itself.

Continue process. Keep turning the bamboo plant in the same direction for a spiral. Vary the directions for different types of twists. Continue the process until you have the desired shape. Be patient, this process could take several months or even years.

Lucky Bamboo Alive

Lucky bamboo can live in any water-tight container. Algae growth typically doesn't harm the plant but may look unsightly. A substrate material, such as sand or gravel, helps to anchor lucky bamboo. Change the water one or two times per week. In direct sun, it can burn. In low light, it can take on a thin, yellow appearance. Try placing it on a desk, countertop or table near, but not directly in front of, a sunny window. Easy Bloom recommends a balanced liquid houseplant fertilizer, such as one with a 10-10-10 ratio of nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium, diluted to 1/10 its original strength and used in place of clear water for every third water change.


Rotate in fewer increments for a dramatic spiral.

Place in a moist, humid environment such as a greenhouse for quicker results.


Don’t forget to keep your bamboo watered.

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