If you’re wondering how to care for lucky bamboo indoors, then you’ll be happy to know that this tenacious plant is not easy to destroy, and is therefore ideal for those new to indoor gardening, or those short on time.
Dracaena sanderiana or commonly known as lucky bamboo is a species of a flowering plant from the Asparagaceae family.
It originates from central Africa. However, it’s become a popular indoor plant worldwide.
Other common names for it are curly bamboo or ribbon plant.
But, despite the word bamboo being a part of its description, it’s not a true bamboo, even though they both fall under the same clade.
The plant was named after a German-English gardener, Henry Sander. It’s known to be commonly recommended in feng shui.
This perennial herb can grow up to 39 inches in height. Its leaves have a slight twist and a grey-green color and can reach a length up to 9 inches.
The fleshy stem is what helps you differentiate it from true bamboo. It can be an excellent choice for bright and ventilated home or office areas.
It’s recommendable for spaces with drier air as it can tolerate it well and doesn’t need constant misting.
For this plant to thrive in your office or home space, it needs average warmth, proper light, regular watering, and occasional misting.
In Chinese tradition, its significance is associated with the number of stalks you have- two for love, three for happiness, wealth, and longevity, six for good luck and wealth, eight for growth, ten for perfection, twenty one for a potent blessing, etc.
A lucky bamboo with 4 stalks is rarely available in stores because the word four in Chinese culture is closely linked with the word for death. So, gifting it is considered rude.
Warning: although it’s not toxic to humans, it’s toxic to cats and dogs, so place it somewhere where it’s out of their reach!
How to Care for Lucky Bamboo Indoors
A lucky bamboo will grow happy and healthy when it’s placed in a bright area. It can still tolerate lower brightness; however, it won’t grow as much.
Avoid placing it in an area where it will get too much hot and direct sun- it will burn the plant.
From time to time, you can rotate it so it gets even light everywhere.
In order to make sure your lucky bamboo is growing healthy indoors, the temperature shouldn’t be lower than 68 degrees F.
Naturally, the plant grows in temperature range between 65 and 90+ degrees F.
Water & Humidity
Lucky bamboos can grow in a vase with pebbles and at least one inch of water.
But, they can be quite sensitive to chlorine and other chemicals in tap water so if possible, opt for distilled, bottled or rain water.
Or, use tap water that’s been left out for 24 hours so that the chlorine has evaporated.
For optimal hygiene and protection, change its water regularly, preferable every week or every 5 days.
When it comes to humidity, lucky bamboo loves it- it prefers high humidity, above 50 percent!
When the temperature and humidity are right, the plant will show amazing green growth.
Lucky bamboo can grow in a well-drained and rich potting soil. Make sure it’s moist, but not soaking and adjust the watering according to this.
You can also spray the leaves to ensure optimal humidity.
Fertilizing Lucky Bamboo
If you grow your lucky bamboo in soil, opt for an organic fertilizer per month or so to ensure the plant gets all the needed nutrients.
If you grow it hydroponically (in water), you should apply diluted liquid fertilizer to the water every time you change it.
Occasional repotting may be necessary for a lucky bamboo. As the plant grows, it can outgrow its current container. It’s best to re-pot it every 3 to 5 years.
When their roots are circling in the bottom, you should divide it or place it in a bigger container.
To transplant it in a bigger container, pull it out and place it in new soil or water. If you choose to grow it in soil, make sure your pots have good drainage system to prevent root rot.
How to Propagate Lucky Bamboo
When you want to divide your bamboo, slide the plant from the pot and cut the root ball into half using sharp shears.
Be cautious not to break the stalks. Then, transplant half of it in the same pot and the other in a new pot.
Different Types of Lucky Bamboo
2-Layer Lucky Bamboo
The 2-layer lucky bamboo is usually grown in glass vases with pebbles and water, but you can also grow it in soil if you prefer.
3-Layer Lucky Bamboo
Also known as Dracaena Braunii or the friendship bamboo, this is the most common lucky bamboo you see in India, China, and Taiwan.
It’s low maintenance and grows well.
7-Layer Lucky Bamboo
This plant is elegant and often gifted during professional or other occasions as it’s believed to bring fortune and serenity in the space.
Other Lucky Bamboo Care Indoors Tips
To keep a lucky bamboo healthy, make sure you trim it. As the time goes by, most plants become heavy in the top or its shapes may diminish in form.
But, don’t cut the main stalk- go for the offshoots within an inch or two. The new shoots will appear soon and the plant will become bushy.
If you don’t want new growth, dip the cut end with some paraffin.
The pots for lucky bamboo should be wider than they’re tall. A wide container helps prevent the plant from tipping over.
If the plant begins to die, you should cut it off.
For example, if its base is becoming yellow, this means the root has rot. Cut the top of the plant and replant it; however, there are chances it won’t grow.
Trouble Shooting- Common Luck Bamboo Care Indoors Issues
Problem: Tip burn-leaves dry out and die
Cause: This usually happens when there’s too much chemicals in the water.
Solution: You may need to use bottled instead of tap water to prevent this from happening.
But, even if you do switch to a less chemical-rich water, some of it may still be in the plant so the burnt tip won’t immediately go away.
Problem: Yellow leaves
Cause: Too much sunlight or too much feeding.
Solution: Move the plant to a less sun-exposed area and/or reduce the feeding.
Problem: Brown leaves
Cause: Dry air or polluted water.
Solution: Increase the humidity the plant is getting by misting it regularly and use clean water that’s preferably free of chemicals.
I hope you’ve found this article on lucky bamboo care interesting and helpful.
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