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Lucky bamboo - Care and Tips

Lucky bamboo is an attractive, popular and easy to care for indoor plant. It is also considered an auspicious plant, which brings good luck according to the principles of the Feng shui system.

It originates from the rainforests of Africa and some parts of Southeast Asia and its botanical name is Dracaena sanderiana.

 

It is just as easy to plant both in soil and in plain water! With proper care, it can grow up to one meter in height. Let's look at the most important tips for the care of  the lucky bamboo and how we can keep it in a pot or jar in our house or office.

 

How to grow it in pot

 

Choose a well drained pot at least 15 cm in diameter, so that there is room for the plant's root system to grow. Pick topsoil with enough perlite that ensures good ventilation in the root system of bamboo along with moisture for its growth.

 

Light: Place the lucky bamboo in an indirectly bright spot. Direct contact with the sun's rays will burn it. You may need to rotate the plant at intervals so that each side gets enough light.

Temperature: Room temperature is ideal for the plant. Avoid placing it near a radiator or air conditioner.

Water: Use water that does not contain chlorine or fluoride. These chemicals can affect the colour of the leaves by making them yellow or brown. Purified or distilled water are the suggested solutions.

Fertilizer: You can periodically add a few drops of liquid fertilizer for better plant growth. For best results, use fertilizer specially formulated for lucky bamboo - but bewares of overdoing it.

Pruning: When yellow or dried leaves appear, it is good to remove them because that way you help it grow.

Toxic: It can be toxic to dogs and cats but it is safe for humans.

 

How to grow it in water

 

Fill the bottom of the pot with pebbles and add enough water until it rises 5-6 cm above the pebbles. However, they are very sensitive to chlorine and other chemicals commonly found in tap water. Remove lucky bamboo only with bottled or distilled water or tap water left for 24 hours to allow chlorine to evaporate. The roots of the plant should always be in the pebbles. Change the water every two weeks to avoid rotting the plant. The water should always look clean and smell fresh.

 

It is important that the bamboo combines all five elements of Feng Shui. 

  • Wood: the bamboo itself
  • Water: the water in the jar
  • Earth: add pebbles or stones
  • Metal: toss a metal coin into the jar
  • Fire: a red ribbon tied

 

Repotting Lucky Bamboo in Water

You can re-pot the lucky bamboo once its roots become crowded. Just take it out and move it to a larger vase. Trim back the bamboo roots and tops by one-third; replace in container with fresh water.

 

Repotting Lucky Bamboo in Soil

As lucky bamboo grows, it may become top-heavy. A larger container that is flat and heavy can counterbalance the top growth. Water the plant well; remove it from the pot. Place in the new pot at the same level and firm soil around the roots. 

 

To propagate, just look for a healthy stalk with an offshoot. Take the new stalk and then place it in a small vase or container.

 

Lucky bamboo symbolism

 

In China it is usually given as a housewarming gift or at the opening of a business, as it is considered as a plant that attracts luck and happiness.

By placing the plant eastern of your home, it is believed that it will offer all members of the family well-being and health. If you place it southeast, it is supposed to attract wealth and prosperity.

 

According to Feng shui, the Chinese ancestral art that teaches us to improve environmental conditions and to promote prosperity and balance in our spaces, tells us that according to the number of stalks we wish to have, it will affect a specific area of our life. For example:

 

1 stalk: strong life, prosperity.

2 stalks: Love, double luck.

3 stalks: Happiness, good luck, longevity.

4 stalks: Death wish. It is said to be avoided.

5 stalks: Wealth, health, creativity, enthusiasm.

6 stalks: Health, happiness, harmony.

7 stalks: good health.

8 stalks: Growth, wealth, abundance, business success.

9 stalks: good luck, fertility. 

10 stalks: achieve perfection.

21 stalks: Strong blessings, promotion.

 

Diseases and problems

 

Although it needs a little and easy care, lucky bamboo can be affected by various diseases. Below we will see one by one these diseases, and their proper treatment.

 

Brown spots on the leaves. There are several causes of the problem. For example: High content of chlorine or fluoride in water or large exposure to the sun or lack of proper nutrition.

Treatment: Proper treatment depends on the cause of the problem. 1) Do not use tap water, but distilled or purified water. 2) Do not expose your plant to direct sunlight. 3) Make sure the water or soil you have planted is clean and with the right fertilizer.

 

Oedema. The leaves acquire small blisters that turn into hard brown marks. As the disease spreads, the leaves turn yellow and fall off. Cause: Excessive water in the watering that causes swelling in the roots. Treatment: Reduce watering.

 

Small brown and red spots on the leaves. As long as the disease is not cured, the leaves rot and die. Cause: Leaf fungus. Treatment: Antifungal spray. Cut the infected leaves to prevent them from spreading.

 

Mold like dust. The leaves have a white coating like powder. Cause: Fungus seeds. When the seeds land on the leaves, they spread and cover as much surface as they can with white mold. This prevents light from reaching the surface of the leaves causing them to die. Treatment: Antifungal spray.


In Chinese culture this plant is very popular as a gift to relatives, friends, teachers and colleagues. It is given on several occasions such as birthdays, weddings, anniversaries, Father’s day and promotions at work. It brings luck not only to the recipient, but also to the donor. Find in a flower shop near you the perfect lucky bamboo arrangement and add some luck to your house or office.