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How to Care for Lucky Bamboo?

How to Care for Lucky Bamboo?

Lucky bamboo has been an important element and symbol of good luck, happiness and prosperity in Feng Shui culture for about 5,000 years. This houseplant is very easy to maintain and can grow in water or soil. In other words, lucky bamboo can grow in pots full of water, and also pots that are filled with suitable soil. So, it depends on you whether you want to keep this plant in the soil or pots full of water. Continue reading this article in TooPlant in order to learn more about how to grow and care for lucky bamboo.

Introduction of Lucky Bamboo (Dracaena sanderiana)

Before addressing how to care for lucky bamboo, please allow us to give you a brief introduction about this houseplant.

Introduction of Lucky Bamboo

Name Lucky bamboo
Botanical Name Dracaena sanderiana
Common Name(s) Lucky bamboo, ribbon plant, friendship bamboo, Sander’s dracaena, ribbon dracaena, curly bamboo, Chinese water bamboo, Goddess of Mercy’s plant, Belgian evergreen
Plant Type Perennial shrub
Family Asparagaceae 
Mature Size Height: 1 to 3 feet; Spread: 1 to 2 feet (indoors)
Sun Exposure Partial shade
Soil Conditions Rich, well-drained soil
Bloom Time Fall, winter (does not bloom indoors)
Toxicity Toxic to animals such as dogs or cats
Native Central Africa
Hardiness Zones 10–11 (USDA), but typically used indoors

Lucky bamboo is a plant of the asparagus family and native to Central Africa. Dracaena sanderiana (Lucky bamboo) is a shade-loving plant and can survive in low light conditions. With this in mind, if you are going to buy shade-loving plants, or in other words, light-resistant plants, then choose lucky bamboo for sure.

In this article, we want to provide you with information about how to care for lucky bamboo, so stay tuned with Tooplant.

Care for Lucky Bamboo

In short, about the maintenance and care of the lucky bamboo, we must say that this houseplant is easy to maintain both at home and at work. It is true that lucky bamboo can grow in water, but you should keep in mind that this plant will live longer in the soil. If you keep this plant in water, you should change its water every week and put stones or pebbles in it so that the pot can bear the weight of the plant and does not fall down. Also, if you put it in the soil, you should keep the soil moist and avoid keeping the soil dry or submerged. To have a lucky bamboo that is always beautiful and fresh, it is necessary to observe and consider the vital items such as light, watering and other items that we have mentioned in detail below.

In this part, we will focus on the most important aspects which you need to take into consideration while treating this houseplant. The best methods of how to care for lucky bamboo include as follows:

Lucky Bamboo Light Requirements: What light is best for lucky bamboo?

Light is among the first important issues to care for lucky bamboo. Lucky bamboo needs managed and indirect light. The leaves of this plant burn if left in direct light and its edges turn brown. Therefore, during the maintenance of lucky bamboo, if you see signs of burns on the leaves, move the plant to a dimmer place.

So, as shown above, light plays a significant role to care for lucky bamboo.

Lucky Bamboo Watering: How often should you water a lucky bamboo?

In the rest, concerning the tips of caring for a lucky bamboo, it is better to know that if you prefer to keep the plant in water, be careful that all the roots are in the water and do not come out. Also, change the water every 7 to 10 days to keep your plant happy and healthy. When the water settles, algae may appear, so clean the pot every time you change the water to prevent algae from forming.

You can use the same tap water for lucky bamboo, as long as the chlorine level of the water is not high. You can also keep the water in a separate container for twelve hours until the chlorine settles. Keep in mind that some waters are high in fluoride, which can be toxic to lucky bamboo and damage the plant, so it is best to use mineral water instead.

In this way, to care for lucky bamboo, watering is considered to be of great significance.

Lucky Bamboo Soil: What is the best soil for a Dracaena sanderiana (Lucky bamboo)?

Intending to care for lucky bamboo, the other crucial matter is soil. If you prefer to put your lucky bamboo in the soil, you should buy rich, well-drained soil and keep the soil moist at all times. By keeping the soil moist, we mean watering the plant again when it dries. Therefore, avoid overwatering and flooding the soil, as this will cause the roots to rot and your plant to die.

Thus, it can be said that, soil is another basic and important issue so as to care for lucky bamboo.

Lucky Bamboo Temperature Tolerance

Now, we come to temperature which is assumed to be principal to care for lucky bamboo in addition to light, watering and soil that are mentioned above.

The lucky bamboo is lush when it lives in an environment with a temperature of 18 to 35 degrees Celsius. In cold months, it should not be placed next to a window or door through which cold weather can penetrate.

Lucky Bamboo Humidity: Does lucky bamboo like humidity?

Moisture is another thing which we need to inevitably pay attention to when talking about how to care for lucky bamboo. This houseplant belongs to Africa and grows as expected at warmer temperatures. However, you should never put it in a place that is too hot or too cold. Avoid placing the Lucky bamboo in front of the air conditioner or heating valve or even next to the window. Lucky bamboo is very interested in moisture and this can help the plant to grow a lot.

Therefore, please do not forget to take humidity into consideration in order to care for lucky bamboo in the best way.

Lucky Bamboo Fertilizer: What is the best fertilizer for a lucky bamboo?

When you want to care for lucky bamboo, one of the important questions that may come to your mind is “what is the best fertilizer?” In what follows, we will address how to fertilize this plant:

When buying lucky bamboo, be sure to ask the seller about the last time the plant was fertilized. Most plants are sufficiently fertilized in greenhouses. Therefore, they will not need fertilizing until 6 months after purchase. After this time, you can use a balanced fertilizer such as 16-16-16 fertilizer at the beginning of the growing season of lucky bamboo. Be aware that too much fertilization will destroy your plant.

As a result, we could say that fertilizer is regarded as one of the fundamental issues when someone wants to care for lucky bamboo.

Lucky Bamboo Toxicity: Are lucky bamboo plants poisonous to humans and pets?

In order to care for lucky bamboo, toxicity is considered to be a major issue because it directly relates to your health especially children and pets.

Lucky bamboo is a poisonous plant and is toxic to pets such as dogs or cats. If this plant is eaten by these animals, it may cause diarrhea, pain, runny mouth, weakness or dilation of the pupil in them.

Lucky Bamboo Repotting: How to repot lucky bamboo?

If the roots of the lucky bamboo are too large for the pot, it is time to repot the plant. At this time, move the plant to a larger pot or provide a larger container if it lives in water. Remember that when changing pots or containers, you should throw away the old rock or soil that you used to keep the plant and use new rock or soil.

Lucky Bamboo Pruning: How to prune lucky bamboo?

Another thing to keep in mind when caring for a lucky bamboo is pruning it. Over time, lucky bamboo may become too heavy and out of shape. Pruning is an important part of maintaining this houseplant. It is generally wrong to prune the main branch of the lucky bamboo, instead it is better to cut the branches that have divided from the main branch. To prune lucky bamboo, you can follow the below steps:

¤¤ Cut the lateral stem in a way that 3 to 5 cm of it is left.

¤¤ To protect the cut stem, cover it with paraffin to prevent bacteria from entering.

¤¤ If you want to change the overall shape of the plant, you can cut the side branch from the end. A bronze color develops at the site of the cut, from which a new stem may grow, which means that you have a chance to change the overall shape of the plant.

¤¤ We recommend that you do not discard the cut stems after pruning the lucky bamboo, because you can use them as cuttings for growing a new plant.

¤¤ As a final point, if for any reason you need to cut the main stem, you should know that new branches will grow from under the cutting site.

Propagating Lucky Bamboo: How to propagate lucky bamboo?

When you want to care for lucky bamboo, another important question that may come to your mind is “how to propagate it” and specially “how to grow lucky bamboo from cuttings“.

During the maintenance of Lucky bamboo, its propagation is usually done by cuttings. The first step is to choose a healthy cutting. To propagate lucky bamboo, it is best to choose cuttings that have at least one leaf or more. Then remove the extra leaves from the plant to see the growth node of the plant. Under normal circumstances, the plant does not need growth hormone and can take root alone and quickly, but if you have had unsuccessful experiences, you can use growth hormone.

How to grow lucky bamboo from cuttings

In continuation of the explanations related to how to grow lucky bamboo from cuttings, you need to know that after selecting the cuttings, there are two ways in front of you:

Rooting lucky bamboo in water

This method is more common and better. To do this, place a cut stem that has at least one leaf in distilled water. After a while, new, red roots of the plant begin to grow from the bottom of the stem. Keep the water as clean as possible. As soon as the roots of the plant are formed, you can transfer it to a beautiful pot or soil.

Rooting lucky bamboo in the soil

Lucky bamboo can also take root well in the soil. To do this, gently place the plant in fresh soil and make sure there is at least one knot in the soil. Then move the pot to a relatively warm place with adequate light and keep the soil moist.

Remember not to flood the pot and do not expect much from the new plant. This plant cannot grow like its mother and have the same growth habit. Your young lucky bamboo may be smooth and lush, but it may not look as strong and fast-growing as its mother.

Common Pests and Diseases

Lucky Bamboo, like any other plant, can be exposed to disease or pests.

Common Pests

Pests that attack lucky bamboo usually include fungi, bugs and mites. If you see signs of brown spots on the plant, it is the fungus.

Treatment: To treat, you need to remove the deformed part, keep the stems and leaves dry, and modify the location of the plant for better airflow.

Bugs are also white insects that are easily seen with the naked eye and should be cleaned from the surface of the plant with an alcohol wipe. Bugs, however, are not interested in lucky bamboo by themselves and usually migrate to the plant from other plants. You can kill these insects by mixing water and detergent.

Caring for Lucky Bamboo: Common Problems With Lucky Bamboo

After a description of taking care of a lucky bamboo, we will explain the problems and their solutions:

Why Are Lucky Bamboo Leaf & Stems Turning Yellow?

As “leaves & stems turning yellow” is one of the common problems that you may face when you want to care for lucky bamboo, we will try to describe the reasons and the ways to solve it in details.

During the maintenance of lucky bamboo, its stems should remain evergreen. Lucky bamboo leaf turning yellow and also the stem are signs of a bad event that may be due to the following reasons:

Light

Lucky bamboo needs a lot of light but indirect and filtered. If you place the plant in a place with direct and warm light, it will burn and turn yellow. On the other hand, if the plant does not receive enough light, first its leaves and then its stems turn yellow. In such cases, if you move the plant to a suitable place, after one to two weeks, the plant’s health will be retrieved and its yellow color will disappear; Recovery, of course, does not involve the leaves and the yellow leaves of the plant drop and new leaves grow in their place.

Water

Although lucky bamboo is easy to maintain, it is sensitive to the water it receives. Keep in mind that tap water may contain chemicals that can damage the plant. Therefore, it is better to use purified water or cooled boiled water. If your plant lives in water, it is best to change the water every one or two weeks, as overliving in stagnant water can cause algae and bacteria and root rot.

Fertilization

If the lucky bamboo leaves and stems turn yellow and this particular problem starts from the bottom of the plant, it is a sign of excessive fertilization. Therefore, if you have just fertilized the plant, change its water and do not fertilize it again until the plant turns green again. This may take weeks to months. It is a general rule that fertilization should be done once or twice a year with a fertilizer that is 10 times diluted. This means that if one milliliter of fertilizer is to be dissolved in one liter of water, according to this rule, you must dissolve one milliliter in 10 liters of water.

Stem Damage

If the lucky bamboo stem is damaged, it may turn yellow. Hitting, breaking the stem, dropping the plant, picking the leaves, improper knotting, or even sudden heat and cold are the injuries that cause the plant stem to turn yellow. Yellowing along with the formation of fibrous and viscous tissue is a sign that your plant is too close to death and may never regain its health.

Root Rot

One of the first signs of root rot during the maintenance of lucky bamboo is the yellowing of the leaves. As the rot spreads, you will notice that the stems turn brown and roots are sticky; However, if you act in time, you can revive your plant.

Thus, if you are faced with the lucky bamboo leaf turning yellow, there is no need to worry because you can easily solve the problem with the things we have explained.

Why are Lucky bamboo leaves turning brown?

The edges of lucky bamboo leaves may sometimes turn brown during maintenance. This is sometimes a problem and sometimes just a natural plant life cycle. We will tell you in detail about each of them in the following:

The natural life cycle

Lucky bamboo is a perennial plant and can sometimes grow up to 15 meters. Some species of this plant can even grow up to 23 meters. When this plant can grow to this size, it must have a regular life cycle. That is, the old leaves must drop and be separated from the plant. When the time comes for these leaves to drop, they start to turn yellow or brown from the edge. Under such conditions, your plant is healthy and goes through its natural life cycle.

Water

Lucky bamboo is a hydrophilic plant, but not any kind of water! High levels of fluoride in water can cause the edges of the leaves to turn brown. Tap water usually has a lot of fluoride and chlorine; As a result, it is better to use cooled boiled water or purified water instead of tap water.

In addition to water salts, over and underwatering can damage the leaves. Overwatering will cause the roots to rot and cause fungus, and a damaged root will not be able to provide the plant with nutrients, eventually causing the leaves to die. In contrast, underwatering also dries the roots and eventually causes root dysfunction and leaf death.

Heat

As we have said, lucky bamboo is happy when it receives high and indirect light, because direct and warm light can burn the leaves of the plant. Therefore, this plant should never be placed next to heating devices, because these devices produce dry heat, which causes the lucky bamboo leaves to turn brown.

Insects

During the maintenance of lucky bamboo, some insects may attack it and by drinking its sap, they cause its leaves to dry out and eventually turn brown. If your plant is small and has been attacked by insects, you can remove the insects from the plant with a strong stream of water, but for more severe infections you should use industrial insecticides.

Since “leaves turning brown” is another common problem that you may face when you want to care for lucky bamboo, we tried to describe the reasons and the ways to solve it in details.

How to Shape Lucky Bamboo

One of the most exciting features of lucky bamboo is that its stems can be shaped or even woven together. The key to success is light. By manipulating the light source, you can shape the lucky bamboo into different models.

Lucky bamboo (Dracaena sanderiana) is grown in China in such a way that it grows from the side and therefore curls. This is not easy to do at home. However, you can curl your plant with the help of a box that is closed on three sides and detecting the growth rate of the plant. You have to be very patient to do this, because it requires practice and experience.

In the following, we will describe two popular methods for shaping lucky bamboo.

How to Curl Lucky Bamboo

One of the most popular methods of shaping lucky bamboo is to curl the plant. To be able to shape your plant like this, follow these steps:

¤¤ Place the plant in a cardboard box so that light does not reach it.

¤¤ Open one of the four sides of the carton so that light enters from that side. (Top must be closed)

¤¤ Take care of the plant until you notice that the head of the plant is curled towards the light.

¤¤ Now turn the plant slightly inside the carton to deflect the plant again towards the light.

¤¤ Repeat this process over and over again to get as many curls as you need.

¤¤ Finally, it is better to prune the leaves of the curled part so as not to cause overcrowding.

How to Weave Lucky Bamboo

Weaving several plants together is a very common and popular task. If you want to weave your lucky bamboos together and make beautiful shapes, just follow the steps below, but remember that this is a very specialized job and if not done carefully, it will damage your lucky bamboo:

•• Choose a pot with 3 lucky bamboo stalks in it. These stalks should be half a centimeter thick, five centimeters apart and planted linearly or triangularly.

•• Thoroughly prune the lower leaves of the plant.

•• Gently bring the right branch to the middle branch and tilt the middle branch to the right. Now bring the left branch to the middle and move the middle branch to the left.

•• Repeat this process until 10 to 12 cm above it is empty.

•• Tie the non-woven top with yarn or rope.

•• Eventually, as the plant grows, the weaves will become stronger and more durable.

How to Revive a Dying Lucky Bamboo

It depends on how you take care of your lucky bamboo. If your plant has turned yellow, you should stop fertilizing, use filtered water and move the plant to a place with less light.

If your plant is damaged by insects or fungi, you should clean the contaminated spot with an alcohol swab, natural insecticide or insecticide soap.

How long can lucky bamboo live?

Lucky bamboo that grows in water can usually live for a year or two, but if you want the plant to live longer and for several years, you should plant it in the soil. The plant leaves may drop when it lives in the soil, but it survives and can produce new leaves as long as the plant is well maintained.

Some Interesting Points About Lucky Bamboo

  1. Lucky bamboo in Feng Shui culture is a symbol of the earth (pebbles at the base of the plant), wood (the plant itself), water (which is inside the pot), fire (red ribbons that are tied to the plant) and iron (coins that are hung on the plant).
  2. Since lucky bamboo is a hollow plant, it can pass Qi energy, as a result, wisdom and happiness flow inside it.
  3. The number of lucky bamboo stalks has different meanings; Of course, all of these meanings are positive, except for the number four, which you should avoid.

Know The Meaning Behind Its Number of Stalks

All plants, including lucky bamboo, symbolically represent the element of wood. However, lucky bamboo is considered more important in Feng Shui in terms of family and wealth. This houseplant fills the living or working place with Yang energy.

The number of lucky bamboo stalks does not need to be absolutely odd, and each number is different according to its position, which is mentioned below. You can also get help from the number and use of this plant based on your personal Feng Shui and Kua number.

In Feng Shui, lucky bamboo brings luck, but the number must be odd! The number of lucky bamboo stalks is important in Feng Shui, and each number has a different meaning:

One Stalk: It is a symbol of the uniqueness and unimpeded flow of energy.

Two stalks: It is a symbol of good luck in love and is the best number to give as a gift to your partner.

Three stalks: It is a symbol for continued growth, birth and family.

Four Stalks: It is a symbol for death! So do not give 4 stalks of lucky bamboo to anyone under any circumstances.

Five stalks: It is a symbol for prosperity, longevity, luck, happiness and bliss.

Six stalks: It is a symbol of gaining wealth through luck and opportunities and can be a great gift for the workplace.

Seven stalks: It is a symbol for personal health and growth.

Eight stalks: It is a symbol for endless energy and abundant blessings.

Nine stalks: It is a symbol of success and gratefulness.

Ten stalks: It is a symbol of represent perfection.

Twenty-one stalks: It is a symbol of powerful blessing.

Infographic Of How To Care For Lucky Bamboo

In this article, we tried to explain to you in an infographic the essential tips in the care of lucky bamboo, so that you can briefly and usefully learn the methods of caring for this plant.

In The End

In this article, we tried to provide you with the necessary information about the methods of caring for a Lucky Bamboo.

However, if you have any questions regarding this indoor plant or you need to get advice from our houseplant experts, please share your questions with us through the comments section below.

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