How to Take Care of Lucky Bamboo Plant

Read below to learn how to plant, grow and care for a lucky bamboo plant in easy steps. Know the benefits and meanings of lucky bamboo plants and how to curl them. Bamboo plant (Botanical name: Dracaena sanderiana) is also known as lucky bamboo, curly bamboo, Chinese water bamboo, ribbon plant, ribbon dracaena, Sander's dracaena, friendship bamboo, Goddess of Mercy plant and Belgian evergreen. Caring for a Lucky Bamboo plant is quite easy.

However, unhealthy bamboo plant may die if not properly taken care of. Lucky bamboo plant can be grown in water and soil as well.
Picture of  Lucky Bamboo Plant
Lucky Bamboo Plant.
Picture Toby Lee Spiegel
The bamboo trees growing in gardens are not lucky bamboo plants which grow very rapidly. On the other hand, the Lucky bamboo grows very slowly, producing only a few inches long roots.

The Lucky bamboo, in Asian culture,  is capable of Feng Shui cures, bringing good fortune and prosperity to the people living in the environment where it is grown. The plant is the most popular indoor plant in India, China and elsewhere.

One thing you should know that a lucky bamboo plant is considered to be toxic to cats. So if you have a cat at home, you may not have this plant.

The Lucky Bamboo Meanings

This plant is one of the most recognizable and popular feng shui cures. It's an easy care plant that can survive in any kind of light.

The use of lucky bamboo is to create Fu (happiness), Lu (wealth) and Soh (long life). According to the Chinese tradition, the meaning of lucky bamboo depends on how many stalks you have tied. It can be good for health, love, Fu (happiness), Lu (wealth), and Soh (long life).

The Feng shui principles say that bamboo attracts auspicious chi energy. Tie the plants with a golden or red ribbon.

Here are some of the meanings associated with different lucky bamboo arrangements:

2 Bamboo Stalks - love
3 Bamboo Stalks - happiness, wealth and long life.
4 Bamboo Stalks - very unlucky, so do not present four bamboo stalks to anybody.
5 Bamboo stalks - to attract wealth
6 Bamboo Stalks - attracts prosperity and greater wealth.
7 Bamboo Stalks - good health
8 Bamboo Stalks - improves fertility
9 Bamboo Stalks - good luck
10 Bamboo Stalks - make your life to be perfect, having everything in life as you desire.
21 Bamboo Stalks - powerful overall blessing for great wealth and enduring health.

If you wish to send someone very powerful blessing, then 21 lucky bamboo plants tied together is ideal. Never give a 4 bamboo stalk to anyone, it represents a negative energy, even death.

One thing you should know that a lucky bamboo plant is considered to be toxic to cats. So if you have a cat at home, you may not have this plant at your home.

When you go for buying a bamboo plant, you should select a healthy one. A healthy bamboo plant has its stalk and leaves of uniform green color without bruises, blemishes or yellowing or browning.

Where to Place Lucky Bamboo in Home

  1. Having a lucky bamboo tree in home or office creates harmony. However, to get the full advantage of Lucky Bamboo, it is required to be placed properly in right direction in the home. Read the meanings for the number of stalks to select the best plant for your need.
  2. The best direction to place your bamboo tree is east or south or southeast corner of your home or office to activate the positive energy.
  3. Never place plants in a bedroom, even if it's a lucky bamboo. This creates too much yang energy and will have an inauspicious effect.

Lucky Bamboo Plant Care

When you go for buying a bamboo plant, you should select a healthy one. A healthy bamboo plant has its stalk and leaves of uniform green color without bruises, blemishes or yellowing or
browning. An unhealthy or sick bamboo plant has a bad odor, they won’t grow well.

Why lucky bamboo plant leaves turn yellow?
The tap water contains chlorine, which turns the leaves yellow. if the lucky bamboo plant continues to stay in chlorinated water, the yellowing of leaves will continue.
Picture of Straight Lucky Bamboo
Straight Lucky Bamboo

Planting Lucky Bamboo in Soil

Bamboo plants are grown either in soil or in water. So you decide what you want.
  1. Pot: Most Lucky Bamboo plants come in a pot, but you can transfer it in a new good looking pot. You can use any pot, a ceramic pot will look nice. The pot should have a drainage hole at the bottom. The container should be 2-3 inch larger than the plant.
  2. Mix potting mix, sand and peat moss in equal proportion and use this mix to plant your bamboo plant.
  3. Watering: The lucky Bamboo plant does not need a lot of water, so water it sparingly. The soil should be neither dry nor too moist. 
  4. Yellowing of the leaves: Remove the yellow leaves. The leaves of the lucky bamboo plant may turn yellow if the plant is water hungry, or too much direct sunlight or too much fertilizer.
  5. Feed your bamboo plant with a dilute fertilizer, better with a liquid fertilizer. A concentrate fertilizer may kill the plant.
  6. Place your bamboo plant at temperatures between 18 to 32°C (65 to  90°F).
  7. Keep your bamboo plant out of direct sunlight.

Lucky Bamboo Fertilizer

In fact, lucky bamboo does not need any fertilizer, except nitrogen, which the plant takes from water. Frequently changing the water adds new nitrogen to the plant. Adding fertilizer high in nitrogen like lawn fertilizer can promote vigorous growth and vibrant leaves. The best fertilizer for lucky bamboo is the compost which can be added on the soil when the plant is growing. A liquid fertilizer like fish and bone or seaweed is also good.

How Fast Does Lucky Bamboo Grow

The lucky bamboo can grow about 19 inches in six months, in 10 to 12 steps, according to the Floral consultants at Orchids Asia.

How Tall Does Lucky Bamboo Grow

A lucky bamboo plant growing outside in soil can reach a height of up to 5 feet (1.5 m).

  1. You can use a ceramic pot or a transparent pot or a bottle. Put some decorative pebbles at the bottom to hold the plant. 
  2. My bamboo plant had a long stalk and I had a long colorful cylinder, so i made a home at the center of its lid and inserted the plant in the hole. I put decorative marbles on top of the lid to make the pot beautiful.
  3. Enure that your plant has enough to cover the roots, or better fill the water to cover half the stem.
  4. If the water from your tap contains fluoride and other chemicals then the plant can suffer.
  5. Distilled water or bottled spring water is the best far a fast growth and a beautiful deep green color. 
  6. Change the water once a week to prevent the plant from rotting.
  7. If the stalk and/or leaves of your bamboo and leaves has turned yellow or the plant has become smelly, it means that the water is not fresh. Drain the water, wash the roots and stalk with clean water and fill the pot again. If only stalk is yellow and leaves are green, then change the water and fill the pot to more than half the stalk.
  8. You may add 1-2 drops of a diluted liquid aquarium plant fertilizer for grow faster.

How To Curl a Lucky Bamboo Plant

You may have seen some curled or wavy lucky bamboo plants. You may wonder how to curl a lucky bamboo plant.
  1. The curling is done by carefully controlling the growth of the plant.
  2. Take a cardboard box and cut off its one side and its base. Place the box over your bamboo plant and turn the open side toward a bright light source so it curls in that direction as it grow.  Once you see a bend, rotate your plant.
  3. The curling of the stalk can take more than a year.

How To Propagate a Lucky Bamboo Plant

You can grow lucky bamboo plant from cuttings easily.
  1. Propagate your plant to make new plants. When your stalks gets long enough, you can cut the shoot about half an inch from the stalk with a sterile knife.
  2. Place the shoot in distilled water in a small pot. Keep it in a shade. It will begin to sprout roots on about one to two months.
  3. When roots start to form, replant it in a pot as described above.

Video of how to Grow lucky bamboo plant

Video on How to grow lucky bamboo from cuttings


1. Meaning of Lucky Bamboo