Learn which plants thrive in your Hardiness Zone with our new interactive map!

How to Look After a Japanese Lucky Bamboo

By Kristi Roddey ; Updated September 21, 2017
Japanese lucky bamboo is a low-maintenance plant.
Thinkstock Images/Comstock/Getty Images

Japanese lucky bamboo is not a real bamboo plant. It sells in garden shops as lucky bamboo, ribbon plant or by its scientific name, Dracaena sanderiana. Thought to bring good fortune, it is a suitable plant for homes and offices because it is so easy to maintain, generally only growing in water and pebbles, though it can also grow in soil. With proper care, Japanese lucky bamboo can grow between 1 and 3 inches every year.

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.


Things You Will Need

  • Flower pot or vase
  • Pebbles
  • Distilled water


  • Lucky bamboo requires minimal sunlight. As long as the plant receives a little light from a nearby window, it will grow well.
  • Distilled water does not contain the chemicals that tap water often has and is healthier for the plant.


  • If you notice a foul odor coming from the plant, discard it. Once the plant rots to that extent, it is too late to save it.

About the Author


A professional writer and editor, Kristi Roddey began freelancing in 1999. She has worked on books, magazines, websites and computer-based training modules, including South Carolina Educational Television's NatureScene Interactive, "Planted Aquaria," "Xtreme RC Cars" and online courses for Education To Go, Inc. Roddey holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from the University of South Carolina.