Lucky Bamboo Houseplant
Have you ever noticed how some people give lucky bamboo plants as housewarming gifts during celebrations and religious festivities? You can probably find one of them in most Asian households, placed in a corner or around the house or workplace.
There’s a reason for that!
For the last 5000 years, lucky bamboo plants have been considered to be auspicious to have around the house. As a result, mentions of this plant has been in both Vaastu Shastra and Feng Shui for years.. This makes lucky bamboo plants one of the most popular and well-loved plants kept indoors.
Plant lovers keep this houseplant both at home and work. It is said to bring good luck, prosperity and wealth. Considering your space around the house, they can be huge or modified to fit your corners and tabletops.
History and Significance
Lucky bamboo plants were originally grown in Southeast Asia. It has for years, been known to symbolize health, love, and luck to whoever possesses them. According to Feng Shui, this plant is said to bring positive energy into a place or corner of a home or workplace.
Lucky bamboo plants is a ribbon plant as red ribbon can be seen tied around their stems which symbolises fire. This is not just done for decorative purposes. It also represents the combined forces of fire and wood and symbolizes good fortune. The plants represent wood, the red ribbon represents fire, creating a sense of balance in a house. It is also known as Chinese water bamboo.
A unique aspect of the lucky bamboo plant is that the number of stalks in a plant represents different meaning. For example, while two stalks mean luck in love, three means wealth, long life, and happiness. In the same way, gifting a plant with five stalks means to wish someone luck and growth in business and also to bring good fortune.
Propagation of Lucky Bamboo Plants
It is extremely easy to grow or propagate Lucky bamboo plants, or Dracaena sanderiana. We have compiled a growing guide to help you grow Lucky Bamboo Plants in your garden.
Cut off a stalk from an existing plant. This plant grows in water and soil under the right conditions.
Take the wires apart from an existing lucky bamboo plant holding the stalks together.
You must comb through the roots gently, so they are all separated. Lucky bamboo plants come in groups of multiple stalks wired together. Their roots are often intertwined, so you must be very careful in this step.
Separate all the stalks and choose the one among them that has at least two nodes, i.e., the lines that separate the stalk into multiple segments. They usually come with a good offshoot at least 4 to 6 inches long and dark green.
Use a sharp pair of pruning shears to cut off the offshoot from the stalk as close to the body as possible.
Remove the bottom leaves and keep only the younger set of leaves on the top, and then place the cutting in a jar filled with distilled water. The cutting shouldn’t be completely submerged in water; only the bottom part should be underwater.
The offshoots will grow roots in about a month under direct sunlight. When that happens, you can transfer the offshoot – or a few of them together in a glass vase or a larger container. The container should be filled with 1 inch of pebbles, gravel, or marbles and around 4 inches of filtered water.
Lucky bamboo plants can grow in water well although there is a need to change the water every two weeks(at most), but alternatively, they can be transferred to soil.
It is time to repot your lucky bamboo plant once you notice that the roots become too tight in the container.
Cultivars to Select for Growing Lucky Bamboo Plant
While growing these plants from existing ones in your home is not hard, the process becomes easier when the right cultivators are selected.
Here are some points to notice when you want to cultivate your lucky bamboo plants:
- You should look for stalks with bright green leaves instead of yellow, brown, or dark green ones. The bright green color is an indication that the stalk is healthy and young and would make a better cultivator.
- Some lucky bamboo plants are better for cultivating than others, such as Dracaena Sanderiana ‘Victory’, which can be recognized by their stripy stem and bright green leaves with contrasting creamy-yellowish stripes. There’s also Dracaena Sanderiana ‘Gold’, which has leaves and stems that are lime green in color.
- Stalks that are unblemished and come with robust stems are the healthiest ones. They are better cultivators than stalks that seem to be wilting, dry, or discolored.
Growing guide and Care for Lucky Bamboo
Lucky Bamboo plants are usually given as gifts, but they can be kept at home to grow into larger plants. They can also be used to grow more plants from a single one.
Fortunately, these plants are known to be easy to care for which makes them almost indestructible. Under the right conditions, they are effortless to maintain at home, even with very little care. Proper light, potting soil, temperature, water, and fertilizer – that’s all these plants need to thrive, and there’s little that you can do to damage them. The container must be filled with inches of water that will cover the roots of the plant. This plant also requires low light therefore it must not be positioned in locations that have direct sunlight.
Pruning and Maintenance
These plants need to be pruned regularly, whether you want to keep them in shape or cultivate more plants from them. A pair of sharp pruning shears is what you are going to need for the maintenance process that can cut through any of the offshoots – old or new.
Now and then, you need to use the pruning shears to cut back any of the offshoots that seem overly long, brownish, or growing crookedly. When an offshoot with leaves on them has been pruned 1 or 2 inches away from the stalk, healthier and greener offshoots will grow from the exact location and create denser foliage above your plant.
On the other hand, if you want to keep your plantclearer, the offshoots need to be pruned close to the stalk. This will discourage more shoots from growing in the exact location, and you can reshape the stalk or keep it bare.
To maintain a low height for your lucky bamboo plants, the main stalks can be cut as you desire. When the stalks are cut, they will not grow any further, but only the offshoots will keep growing and increasing.
Finally, pruning or cutting off the stalks should be done right above the node of the stalks to minimize the chance of infection.
Lucky bamboo plants require bright sunlight, but not directly. Therefore, they should be ideally placed on a windowsill that gets indirect light through glass panes for few hours a day.
Direct sunlight will end up scorching the leaves and browning them. When it comes to sunlight, keep your lucky bamboo indoors where there is little light. If the leaves start to fade and lose color, the plants should ideally be moved to a location that gets more sunlight for a few days for it to grow well before returning to the original location.
Lucky Bamboo Plants Soil Requirements
These plants can live in both water and soil. If you are cultivating a new lucky bamboo plant from an existing one, the roots need a month to grow in filtered water before the new plants can be transferred to the soil.
The soil requirements for these plants are simple enough: well-drained and rich potting soil. The soil should ideally be moist but not soaking wet all the time. This will help in growing a healthy lucky bamboo plant.
If kept in water, lucky bamboo plants simply needs a vase or container with 1 inch of gravel or pebbles at the bottom and at least 1 inch of standing water.
Lucky Bamboo Plants Water Requirements
Although lucky bamboo plants are pretty easy to maintain, they are quite water sensitive.
These plants wither quickly when in contact with chlorine or other chemicals when using tap water. Therefore, only distilled water is safe for lucky bamboo plants both to water the soil and for the plants to stand in. If distilled water isn’t available, tap water that has been standing in a clean container for 24 hours can be used after the chlorine has evaporated.
Water needs to be changed once weekly if the plants are kept submerged. When transferred to soil, the container should have a good drainage system so that the soil doesn’t stay soaking wet.
Humidity and Temperature Requirements
Lucky bamboo plants are tropical plants native to Africa and prefer warm temperatures. The ideal temperature for these plants ranges between 65 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit under filtered sunlight. However, placed anywhere with a direct hot or cold draft, i.e., in front of an air conditioner, heating vent, or an open window, will make the leaves dry up quickly which ends up damaging the plant.
These tropical plants can withstand average to moderately high humidity. It won’t get damaged if the humidity level of your home or workplace changes slightly.
Fertilizer and Feeding
When it comes to fertilizers and feeding, there’s no plant easier to maintain than the lucky bamboo plants. All a lucky bamboo needs is a drop of liquid fertilizer mixed with water once a month when standing in water. They will only need a feeding every other month. Therefore, only mild and very weak fertilizers should be used for these plants or fertilizers diluted in distilled water.
Special fertilizer for lucky bamboo plants is available that contains all the necessary nutrition for these plants.
Common Pests and Diseases
Sometimes, lucky bamboo plants can face the same insect problems as other tropical plants if kept indoors. Mealybugs, mites, and aphids are the main culprits to fight when you have these plants at home. However, they can be manually picked off the plants when you see any.
In case of too many bugs, the entire plant can be washed with water and very mild liquid dish soap. This will remove any bugs that are hard to pick and get rid of any moldy spots on the stalks.
Wet soils for prolonged periods will result in common diseases, such as Anthracnose or Colletotrichum dracaenophilum, Botrytis Blight, aka Gray Mold; Botrytis; Leaf Spot or Phyllosticta maculicola and Root and Stem Rot, also known as Fusarium solani.
These are all different types of fungal infections that can be treated with a copper-rich fungicide.
Common Problems with Lucky Bamboo Plants
Being an easy-going plant, lucky bamboos are quite uncomplicated. However, it is still possible that these plants may have some common problems that can be easily remedied.
Black roots can be seen for several reasons, but they can be cut away with a pair of sharp scissors and returned to a container of new distilled water. The roots should ideally be red or orange in a healthy plant. When they seem black, it indicates a problem that needs to be dealt with immediately.
Browning of the Leaf Tips
If the tips of the leaves start to turn brown, it could mean that the water contains chlorine. Changing the water to distilled and removing the affected leaves with scissors can take care of the problem easily. If the brown leaves have fallen into the water, they should be taken out immediately before the water is contaminated. You can also repot your plant if the leaves start to brown
Yellowing of the Leaves
The leaves of the lucky bamboo plant can start to become yellow when the plant is getting either too much sunlight or too much fertilizer, or both. Move the plant to someplace shadier and reduce the amount of fertilizer for this problem to disappear gradually.
If the stalks begin to rot, it may mean that the plant’s roots are dying or already dead. Unfortunately, not much can be done to save the plant at this point but to remove the decaying stalks from the rest of the plant and replace the water.
Best Uses of Lucky Bamboo Plants
These plants are extremely popular as housewarming or welcoming gifts as they are supposed to bring good luck and prosperity. they are also perfect for any occasion. They are wonderfully eye-catching and decorative for any home or workplace in glass vase, or pots with colorful stones or pebbles.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do you grow and care for lucky bamboo plant?
With the right kind of sunlight, water, mild fertilizer, and soil, lucky bamboo can grow indoors. Whether at home or office, they are to be kept indoors in corners, windowsills, and even tabletops. They can be planted in soil or kept standing in water for a long time with little maintenance.
What is lucky bamboo good for?
These plants are great for decoration with very little maintenance needed. It is the perfect housewarming or welcoming gifts for anyone because of the significance of lucky bamboo is that it wishes the guests luck and prosperity.
Where is the best place to put my lucky bamboo?
The best place to put lucky bamboo plants is to switch to an opaque container and put it on windowsills for it to grow toward the light. But it should not be any kind of hot or cold draft. They can also be kept on tabletops in bright rooms with enough light available.
Is lucky bamboo a good indoor plant?
They do not grow very tall, can be pruned to stay in shape, don’t need a lot of maintenance, and look great as a decorative item.
Having a lucky bamboo indoor might just be the perfect houseplant to grow indoors, in your house or office to brighten the place up. It is an easy to care for plant. They look amazing, neat, and inviting in soil or water, a glass container, or a vase filled with pebbles. In addition, these plants have been considered to symbolize good luck for thousands of years. They bring prosperity and happiness to your home and can make the perfect addition to any room, anywhere.