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How to Grow and Care for Lucky Bamboo Indoors

How to Grow and Care for Lucky Bamboo Indoors

Discover how to easily grow and care for lucky bamboo as a low-maintenance indoor plant. Get tips on choosing, planting, watering, lighting and more for long-lasting lucky bamboo.

Lucky bamboo is not really bamboo at all, but is actually a type of dracaena plant. Despite the name, it’s more closely related to lilies than bamboo. But it has been considered a lucky plant in Asian cultures for many years. Lucky bamboo can live for a very long time when cared for properly – some lucky bamboo plants are over 20 years old!

Lucky bamboo makes a great low-maintenance houseplant. With just a little time and care, you can enjoy the beauty and good fortune that lucky bamboo is said to bring. Here’s everything you need to know to grow and care for lucky bamboo indoors.

Choosing Your Lucky Bamboo

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Lucky bamboo is sold in a variety of interesting shapes and styles. The stalks can be straight, woven together, curled into spirals, or made into different symbols and shapes representing things like wealth, love, or good luck.

You can find lucky bamboo for sale at many garden centers, florist shops, and even some grocery stores. When choosing your plant, look for one with green, upright stalks or canes. Avoid plants with yellowing leaves, stunted growth, or damaged canes.

The number of stalks or canes can also be important in feng shui. An odd number like 3, 5, 7 or 9 stalks is considered most auspicious.

Planting Lucky Bamboo

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Lucky bamboo doesn’t actually grow in soil – the stalks will rot if planted in regular potting soil. Instead, the stalks are typically grown in a container with pebbles or rocks and filled with distilled or filtered water.

To plant your lucky bamboo:

  1. Choose a glass container, vase or pot without any drainage holes
  2. Add 1-2 inches of pebbles, stones, marbles or pebble mix to the bottom
  3. Carefully arrange the lucky bamboo stalks in the container
  4. Add more pebbles to hold the stalks upright
  5. Fill with distilled or filtered water, leaving about 1 inch between the water and the tops of the pebbles

The pebbles help to anchor the plant stalks and allow water to evaporate slowly. Distilled or filtered water is best, as tap water contains minerals that can build up on the stalks over time.

Lucky Bamboo Care

Once planted, caring for your lucky bamboo is pretty straightforward. Here are some tips:

Water

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  • Check the water level weekly and add more distilled or filtered water as needed to keep it covering about 1/3 of the pebbles.
  • Change out all the water every 2-4 weeks to prevent bacteria buildup.
  • The water should always be room temperature – never use hot or cold water.

Light

Light How to Grow and Care for Lucky Bamboo Indoors
  • Lucky bamboo can tolerate a range of light conditions from bright, indirect light to partial shade.
  • Avoid direct sunlight as it can cause yellowing of the stalks.
  • Rotate the container every week to ensure even growth on all sides.

Temperature

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  • Lucky bamboo prefers warm temperatures between 65-90°F.
  • Avoid cold drafts or heat sources like vents or fireplaces.
  • Cooler temps below 55°F can cause growth to slow or stop.

Fertilizing

  • Use a very diluted liquid houseplant fertilizer every 6-8 weeks during spring and summer.
  • Too much fertilizer can damage the stalks, so less is better.

Pruning

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  • Prune off any yellow, dead or damaged stalks with sharp pruners.
  • Cut just above one of the horizontal bamboo segment lines.

With the right light, water and temperature, your lucky bamboo can thrive for many years! Over time, you may see new stalks sprouting from the base or roots growing along the stalks in the water.

Troubleshooting Problems

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If cared for improperly, lucky bamboo may run into a few potential problems:

Yellowing stalks/leaves: This usually indicates too much direct sunlight, water with too many minerals, or a need to change the water.

Stunted growth: Lack of nutrients may be holding back growth. Try fertilizing or refreshing the water/pebbles.

Moldy, slimy stalks: Bacteria has likely built up in the water. Change the water immediately.

Dried, shriveled stalks: Not enough water in the pebbles or container. Add more distilled/filtered water.

With a little troubleshooting, most lucky bamboo issues can be resolved so your plant can flourish!

Where to Display Lucky Bamboo

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In addition to being a low-maintenance houseplant, lucky bamboo is also used in feng shui. The number of stalks and the way they are displayed is said to bring different forms of good luck and prosperity.

Lucky bamboo with 3 stalks represents Fu (happiness), Lu (wealth), and Soh (long life). 5 stalks symbolize areas of life – wealth, health, good luck, family and nobility. Taller stalks can signify higher income or promotion at work.

The location for displaying your lucky bamboo can also have meaning:

  • East: For good health and family
  • Southeast: For wealth and prosperity
  • North: For career success and achievement
  • West: For children, fertility and creativity
  • South: For fame and acknowledgment

Whether you subscribe to the feng shui principles or not, lucky bamboo adds a unique, natural element to a home or office. With proper care, you can enjoy its beauty and good vibes for many years!

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