Lucky Bamboo: Care and Information
Lucky bamboo care is simple and easy.
The plant has made its way into homes around the world over the past few decades. Its simple beauty, easy care, and deep symbolism make lucky bamboo a perfect house plant.
Lucky Bamboo Background:
There are tons of interesting facts about lucky bamboo.
Species and Classification:
Lucky bamboo (Dracaena sanderiana) is not actually part of the bamboo family. In fact, it is part of the genus Dracaena.
For example, true bamboos are in the same family as grasses.
On the other hand, lucky bamboo is in the same family as a variety of drought loving trees and succulents.
Place of Origin:
Lucky bamboo has naturalized in two different parts of the world and in two very different climates.
Dracaena sanderiana can be found in parts of Central and West Africa. The plant usually grows in dry, shaded locations.
However, lucky bamboo also appears in tropical areas of Southeast Asia.
Because the plant naturally grows in both dry and damp environments, it can be grown in water or soil. Its tolerance to drought and overwatering makes it a great plant for beginners.
Lucky bamboo has been used in the practice of Feng Shui for over 5,000 years in China.
The plant promises to bring its owner luck and prosperity. Also, Feng Shui principles state that lucky bamboo gives off an aurora that harmonizes all people within its presence.
Today, lucky bamboo is a center piece for any room. It has become more of a decorative piece in room planning.
However, it still holds onto its original Feng Shui principles.
Lucky Bamboo Care:
Lucky bamboo care is relatively simple, and this in depth guide will aid in producing the healthiest plants.
Lucky bamboo has different water requirements for growing in soil and growing in water.
First, we will cover watering lucky bamboo in soil. Continue reading for lucky bamboo needs when grown in water.
Planted Lucky Bamboo Water Requirements:
Water plants once a week to ensure they do not dry out. Lucky bamboo does best when the soil is kept lightly damp.
Never let the soil become soaked as it can lead to root rot and fungal growth.
Do not let lucky bamboo fully dry out as the plants will start to lose leaves and eventually wilt.
Growing Lucky Bamboo in Water:
If growing lucky bamboo in water, make sure its placed upright in a water proof container. For example, a vase or all glass.
Keep the roots submerged under water constantly. If the water level falls below the roots, they can dry out and cause the plant to wilt.
Replace the water once a week. This prevents bacteria from taking hold in the water and making the plant sick. Also, pouring water into the container pulls oxygen into the water, which is vital for lucky bamboo to survive.
Additionally, replacing the water prevents algae from growing. Try cleaning out the lucky bamboo’s container every few weeks to remove any algae that might have clung to the container’s walls.
Do not water lucky bamboo with tap water that contains high concentrations of chlorine, chloramines, or fluoride. All of these chemicals can be dangerous to living plants. If you’re unsure about whether your tap water has these chemicals or not, check your water utility provider.
However, if your tap water does contain high levels of chlorine or chloramine, it can be removed. The chemicals will evaporate from the water if left out overnight, or chemical neutralizers, such as vitamin C, can be used to remove chlorine and chloramine.
Fluoride will not evaporate, but it can be removed with a filter.
Lucky Bamboo Light Requirements:
Lucky bamboo does best in moderate lighting. However, it will tolerate lower and slightly higher lighting conditions.
Bright, indirect sunlight is the most light that lucky bamboo can tolerate.
Direct sunlight will burn the leaves and cause them to turn brown and dry on the edges. Even worse, they can start to fall off or the plant can dry out.
Low light or dark conditions will cause lucky bamboo to grow tall and leggy. They plants need light to survive, and keeping them in a dark room will cause them to wilt.
Lucky bamboo will do best in temperatures between 65-85°F (18-24°C).
The plants can survive in temperatures as low as 55°F (13°C) but prolonged exposure will cause them to wilt. Anything below 55°F (13°C) will result in lucky bamboo dying.
They can survive in temperatures up to 100°F (38°C), but they will dry out quickly. When super hot temperatures, make sure lucky bamboo has plenty of water and shade. Bring them inside if possible.
As with most other plants, avoid placing lucky bamboo in drafty areas. Drafts cause leaves and stems to both dry out and freeze.
Lucky bamboo can survive entirely in water, however, it will grow larger and faster in proper soil.
As a general rule, lucky bamboo should be planted in well draining and nutrient dense soils.
Most potting soils will be fine for the plant. Also, peat most and perlite can be mixed in to help add drainage and nutrients.
Feel free to add a little but of sand or gravel to help keep oxygen in the soil, while also giving roots places to anchor.
Click here to view our webpage on aesthetics and potting tips.
Fertilizing Lucky Bamboo:
Proper lucky bamboo care does not require fertilizer. In fact, most plants will do well regardless if they are fertilized or not as long as the above care requirements are met.
However, fertilizing luck bamboo can promote faster and more aggressive growth, as well as more vibrant colors.
If using fertilizer, use a 2-2-2 potassium, nitrogen, and phosphorus solution. Make sure the fertilizer is water soluble and follow the directions of the product you buy when preparing a fertilizer solution.
*An alternative fertilizer, such as house plant fertilizer, can also be used. However, other fertilizers tend to be too strong for lucky bamboo and should be diluted with more water than normal.
Fertilizing in Soil:
Fertilize lucky bamboo plants once or twice a month during the summer. This will provide the plant with enough nutrients to promote greater growth without smothering it.
Its best to fertilize the bamboo while watering it rather than directly. This helps the plant absorb the fertilizer through its roots without causing chemical burns.
For added benefits, put some heavily diluted fertilizer into a spray bottle and spray the leaves lightly. Adding fertilizer to leaves can help them perk up and take on a more rich shade of green.
Fertilizing in Water:
Fertilizing lucky bamboo in water can be tricky. Water should be changed out weekly to prevent algae and bacterial growth, but replacing water removes any fertilizer.
When fertilizing water based plants, add a very small amount of fertilizer during every water change during the summer.
Try to use one-forth of the measurement of the recommended monthly fertilizer. This allows for one month’s work or fertilizer to be divided up into four weeks.
Fertilizing lucky bamboo in water should be done sparingly to prevent chemical burns. If unsure, always use less fertilizer than recommended.
Even though fertilizing aids growth, it can also cause a plant to wilt if over done.
If at any point your lucky bamboo’s stalks or leaves turn yellow after being fertilized, stop fertilizing immediately. Make sure it has proper water and light to help it recover.
Wait until the next growing season to start fertilizing again and use less fertilizer.
If you are keen on fertilizing your lucky bamboo, try to pot it in soil. Plants grown in soil generally are more tolerant and accepting of fertilizer.
omysa.com has more information on proper lucky bamboo care.
Lucky Bamboo Meaning and Symbolism:
Lucky Bamboo has heavy significance in Feng Shui and Chinese Tradition in general.
While the plant itself brings good luck and fortune in all cultures, it has much deeper meaning.
Significance in the Number of Stalks
Lucky bamboo is often grown in groups of stalks, which are usually tied together to form one large body.
The number of stalks conveys different aurous to promote wealth, growth, and health.
It represents simplicity, meaning, and fortune for one.
If you ever feel alone, or someone you know feels lonely, one lucky bamboo stalk will help bring support.
They represent love and compassion between two souls.
Two lucky bamboo stalks are perfect for new and old couples alike. They are sure to bring endearing, endless love and understanding.
They represent happiness, wealth, and long life. The lose translations are Fu (happiness), Lu (wealth), and Sho (long life).
Three bamboo stalks is the most common and favorited presentation of lucky bamboo. Its three broad meanings give good fortune to anyone in its presence.
Four grouped stalks represent death. Presenting lucky bamboo this way is deadly omen and should never be given to someone.
Four in Chinese is pronounced “Si” and sounds a lot like dead/death, which is “Si” with a special accent over the “i”. For this reason, four is considered unlucky and dangerous.
They represent prosperity, balance, and a true connection with nature.
Each stalk represents one part of nature, which in traditional practices is: Air, Water, Fire, Earth, and Life (Wood). All five stalks transfer natural energy to its observers to help them reach their goals and find a balanced mindset.
They represent specifically wealth, however, as a multiple of three they also represent happiness and long life.
Six bamboo stalks are great for anyone starting a business or growing their income. They help to bring happiness and longer lives, but they will favor bringing wealth first.
Seven Stalks :
They represent both good mental and physical health.
Seven lucky bamboo stalks are great for those who are trying to better their health and preserve their youth. Expect faster disease recovery, better state of mind, and an overall sense of feeling good.
Eight Stalks :
They represent growth and all of its extensions.
Eight stalks will aid in physical and spiritual growth. Expect growth as a person; This includes greater understanding of others and boosted productivity.
Nine Stalks :
They represent good luck and what it can bring.
Feeling unlucky? Are things not going your way? Maybe the universe seems to be against you. Nine lucky bamboo stalks will bring fortune and luck, which will strengthen as the plant grows older.
Ten Stalks :
They represent perfection in the world.
Ten bamboo stalks will aid you in perfecting your actions. This may include your trade or job, hobbies, and even personal nature. While becoming a master at something takes time, ten grouped stalks will aid you on your journey.
Twenty One Stalks :
They represent a great and powerful blessing.
A lot of care and time is required to beautifully shape twenty one bamboo stalks. Gifts or tokens of twenty one lucky bamboo stalks will bring the recipient a live changing blessing in due time.