- Lucky Bamboo Facts
- How Much Green Food Do I Give My Lucky Bamboo?
- How to Trim a Lucky Bamboo Plant
- How to Cut a Lucky Bamboo Stalk
- How to Care for Double Lucky Pyramid Bamboo
- How Fast Does Lucky Bamboo Grow?
- Plant Food for a Lucky Bamboo
- How to Curl Lucky Bamboo
- Lucky Bamboo Meanings & Benefits
- How to Grow a Twisted Bamboo Plant
- How to Look After a Japanese Lucky Bamboo
Extremely popular as a decorative novelty, Lucky Bamboo is available in countless gift shops and garden centers. Lucky Bamboo flourishes in vases filled with water and requires indirect light, making it an ideal, low-maintenance indoor plant.
Most Lucky Bamboos are a uniform shade of medium green, though the leaves of some varieties have pale green or white stripes. Flowers, which are rarely produced in captivity, resemble sprays of delicate, white filaments.
Lucky Bamboo grows thick, segmented stalks that may be trained by retailers to twist in unique patterns or shapes. Shoots form on these stalks which sprout narrow, ribbon-like leaves seldom exceeding 12 inches in length.
The longevity of Lucky Bamboo depends largely on the care it is shown. When provided with pure water and kept out of direct sunlight, it can live for nearly a decade. Ordinarily, though, most Lucky Bamboo plants persist for one to five years.
Lucky Bamboo is native only to the tropical regions of western Africa, though it is often mistakenly said to originate in Asia.
Retailers of Lucky Bamboo advertise it as being prized in the ancient Chinese art of Feng Shui, though this claim has been challenged as little more than a clever marketing scheme.
Despite its name, Lucky Bamboo is not actually a type of bamboo at all. More closely related to agaves or lilies, Lucky Bamboo was probably misnamed because its segmented stalk is similar to those of true bamboos.
Feed your lucky bamboo plant every three to four weeks with liquid fertilizer, like Green Green, if it’s in water. Or use time-released food pellets if it’s planted in soil. Technically, dracaena sanderiana is not a bamboo plant but a popular, easy-to-grow houseplant that prefers indirect sunlight.
Find the node. The node is an area of new growth above an area of established growth. The easiest way to find the node is to look for rings around your plant. Locate the ring closest to the area you want to remove.
Make a cut just above the node. Use sharp, clean pruning shears and try to clip the section off in one snip. The cleaner the cut, the easier it will be for your plant to heal.
Pinch back extra leaves. Take the stem in your hand between your thumb and forefinger and pinch off the leaves. Leaves usually will branch out and grow thicker in the place just below a stalk trim. Use this pruning tip if you'd like to grow more leaves.
Don't trim too much. Follow the golden rule of pruning these plants, which is never to remove more than one third of the plant at any given time. Be sure to let your plant recover for a few weeks after a particularly aggressive pruning.
Use the remaining pieces to create a new plant. Place trimmed stalk pieces in water to form their own roots. They will grow into their own bamboo plants.
Use a sharp knife or pruning shears to cut the lucky bamboo stalk to within 1/4 inch of a node. These are the rings around the stalk.
Allow the cut portion of the stalk to dry and callus over. This generally takes two to three days.
Spray the callused portion of the lucky bamboo stock with non-floridated water, such as bottled water, several times a day. This will help encourage new growth.
Place the stalks of your double lucky pyramid bamboo in a small ceramic container.
Add enough fresh water to the container so that the bottom 2 inches of the plant are submerged in water.
Fill the rest of the container with small rocks or pebbles so that the plant stands upright.
Place your double lucky pyramid bamboo plant in an area of indirect sunlight. Lucky bamboo will thrive in indirect light or under artificial light, but it does not do as well in direct sunlight. In fact, too much direct sunlight can cause the leaves of lucky bamboo to turn yellow.
Change the water in your plant each week, and rinse the stones and interior of the container thoroughly before replacing the bamboo. Check the plant throughout the week to make sure the bamboo has enough water.
Fertilize your plant once a month with a diluted houseplant food. According to the FlowerShopNetwork.com, a liquid plant food should be diluted to about a 10th of its original strength, and 2 or 3 drops should be added directly to the water in the container.
The green leaf shoots of lucky bamboo grow slowly, some 3 to 6 inches a year, but the cut stalks themselves have been treated and will not grow taller.
The best way to keep your lucky bamboo plant healthy is to provide it with clean, filtered water and plenty of indirect sunlight. Lucky bamboo can survive for months or even years without plant food. Still, since the plants don't get nutrients from soil, they'll do best and live longest when given small amounts of plant food on an occasional basis.
It is safe to fertilize your lucky bamboo plant every couple of months, according to the University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture. Use one to two drops of liquid fertilizer designed for live, fresh-water aquarium plants, or dilute liquid houseplant food at a ratio of 1 part fertilizer to 10 parts water. Add one to three drops of the fertilizer right after a water change.
Excessive fertilizer can burn the roots and shorten the lifespan of your plant. Don't fertilize more often than every six to eight weeks. If you accidentally add too much fertilizer, change the water, and fertilize again. If you use tap water for your lucky bamboo, let it sit out overnight so some of the chlorine and other chemicals escape into the air. Those chemicals may also shock or burn the roots.
Find a box that fits over your lucky bamboo with 2 to 3 inches of height to spare.
Cut out one of the sides of the box.
Place the lucky bamboo near a window and put the box over it. Turn the box so that the open side faces the window. Eventually, the tip of your bamboo plant will begin to grow toward the light.
Turn the bamboo plant once it begins to grow toward the light. Turn it roughly 1/2 inch.
Continue to turn the bamboo plant at regular intervals. One curl may take more than one year to complete.
Lucky bamboo is believed to bring and circulate qi within the area it is located. The number of stalks represents positive energies. The familiar three stalk bamboo plant usually represents the bringing of happiness, wealth and longevity. The 21 single stalks or curled stalks represent all around good fortune to all that care for the plant and live in the area. Since the lucky bamboo is believed to bring qi it is considered an ideal plant to place near someone who is sick.
The lucky bamboo plant started as a common houseplant in China. In Chinese tradition qi is the energy that animates all life but can become blocked, resulting in bad luck, sickness or misfortune. The lucky bamboo is supposed to bring environments in harmony with the universe while promoting happiness, health and prosperity. This idea has slowly spread to the Western world.
The lucky bamboo plant has been a staple in regulating qi and promoting good luck in Asian countries for more than 4,000 years. Feng shui masters have recommended the lucky bamboo promote harmony and create a better life experience.
Lucky bamboo usually grows straight up to the sun but it can be trained to grow in patterns. Most people have seen the unique decoration of a bamboo plant that has begun to curl. This does not occur naturally but is caused by directing the plant to grow toward the sun and rotating it periodically to create the curls. This time-consuming process can take up to two years. The practice is considered to provide more good luck for the owner.
The lucky bamboo is a resilient plant that does not need everyday care. Take precaution when choosing a new home for the plant. Never put it in direct sunlight or it will start to yellow. Change the water every week or refill when the water evaporates.
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 toward 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. This encourages the stalk to curl as it reaches for the light.
Continue the 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.
Place the plant in a pot or vase that is about 2 inches bigger in diameter than the plant. Your pot should have a drain hole if you are planting in soil.
Cover the base of the plant with pebbles to hold it upright in the pot, or fill the pot with soil.
Pour distilled water to a height of 1 inch above the pebbles or until the soil is saturated. Maintain the water level as it drops.
Place the plant in a room no cooler than 55 degrees Fahrenheit. Keep it away from air conditioning and heaters.
Change the water (if you planted your lucky bamboo in pebbles and water), and rinse the plant, pebbles and pot once a week to prevent the plant from rotting and the pebbles and pot from developing algae.