Lucky Bamboo plants are one of the easiest plants to take care of. When you take good care of your lucky bamboo plant, you are rewarded with a plant that attracts positive energy and adds beauty to your home. If you care for your lucky bamboo plant properly, it can live a very long time.
Usually, lucky bamboo is grown in water but also grows well in soil. When growing a plant in water, place small marbles, pebbles, or stones in the container to give the stalks added stability.
Let’s start with the basic instructions for caring for a lucky bamboo plant alive and healthy;
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Lucky Bamboo will do best with moderate levels of indirect light. Do not expose the plant to direct sunlight, such as a sunny windowsill. Be sure to avoid putting it in direct, hot sun rays as it’ll burn. The direct sunlight is too strong for the plant and causes the leaves to warp and the leaves to turn brown. You may need to rotate your plant so it gets light evenly on all sides. Lucky Bamboo should always be kept indoors. Keep your plant out of direct sunlight. Lucky Bamboo in the wild is usually shaded from direct sunlight by other, taller plants. You should keep your plant in an open, and bright area, but one that isn’t exposed to direct sunlight all day.
To best care for your Lucky Bamboo, keep it away from windows that get a lot of light. Instead, place it in a part of your room that is not so exposed. Your Lucky Bamboo plant will also grow best in temperatures between 65°F and 90°F.
Water sparingly. Your lucky bamboo plant doesn’t need a lot of water. In fact, too much is bad for it. Water your plant about once a week and ensure that there are a few inches of water at all times, enough to cover the roots. If you have soil in your pot, make sure that it’s not too moist or dry. Your bamboo plant can live well in just water, so over soiling or fertilizing can actually harm it. We highly recommend bottled water or filtered water. Tap water contains fluoride that will cause the tip of the leaves to turn brown. If you must use tap water, you can eliminate most of the fluorides and chemicals by letting it sit 24 hours before adding it to the plant.
To prevent the roots from drying, always keep the water level at least 1″ high. Do not submerge the plants completely underneath the water. The top of the stalk much be exposed to air so that it can breathe properly. Change the water every 14 days to prevent the roots from rotting. It is important to keep several inches of water in the container, making sure to keep the roots of the plant wet.
Arrange your stalks.
If you wish to style the Lucky Bamboo plant, choose a few prime stalks to make a linked arrangement and put it on display. You can manipulate the stalks to grow around each other or curl with a bit of work; to do this you have to use younger stalks that haven’t grown a lot and hardened yet. You can simply plant your stalks in a line or rows if you want straight stalks.
You can also wrap some wire around younger stalks crisscrossing them. As they grow you will have to add more wire to keep them stable as they intertwine.
Remove dead or yellow leaves.
Sometimes the ends of your leaves might turn yellow. This could be caused by a few factors: your plant isn’t getting enough water, there’s too much soil or fertilizer, or, there’s too much direct sunlight. You can trim off the yellow parts, or remove the whole leaf.
To remove the yellowed tips of your leaves, sterilize a pair of pruning shears or sharp scissors with light rubbing alcohol or vinegar, then cut the yellow part off, following the natural shape of the leaf.
You can remove whole leaves by simply pulling them down off the stalk at the base of the leaf.
Propagate your plant.
When one or two of your stalks get too tall you can cut them and replant them. This will help you care for your Lucky Bamboo plant by ensuring that it doesn’t get too crowded and can produce new plants. Take your longest stalk and remove the smaller leaves at the top of the shoot.
With a sterile knife or scissors, cut the shoot so at least two nodes, which are the raised part of the stem, are on the new cutting. Place the shoot in a bowl of clean, distilled water. Keep it in a shady area for about one to two months until it begins to sprout roots. Once you see roots, you can replant it the same pot as your bamboo plant.
Tie the stalks in place with ribbon wire or any other ribbon. People often tie a gold or red ribbon around the stalks of Lucky Bamboo plants to hold them together, and as an extra symbol of good fortune.
Add pebbles to finish off the look and hold the arrangement in place.
Place your Lucky Bamboo plant somewhere where you will enjoy it and remind you to care for it.
Only use plant food or fertilizers made specifically for Lucky Bamboo such as “Super Green Plant Food”. Lucky bamboo do not require any nutrients or fertilizers. They can last for years with just clean water. Plant food or fertilizer can, however, help aid the health of Lucky Bamboo plants. Lucky bamboo does not require any regular fertilizer and can survive for years in nothing but clean water. If you do choose to fertilize your plant, use only fertilizers made for lucky bamboo. A plant food called Green Green is popular with many growers of lucky bamboo plants. If you want to feed it a fertilizer, use a liquid houseplant fertilizer every 3-4 weeks
Temperature for Bamboo Plants
The optimum temperature for a bamboo plant is between 65°F to 90°F. Lucky bamboo plants may not survive in temperatures below 55°F and should never be placed in front of an air conditioner. Just as direct sunlight should be avoided, extreme heat should also be avoided. Never place your plant near a heat source such as a heating vent or wood stove.
If your Lucky Bamboo arrangement is growing in a low dish or bowl, them make sure it has at least 1″ of space all the way around so the roots can spread out a bit. Lucky Bamboo grows just fine & looks great in pebbles, rocks or glass chips. Just make sure those roots stay covered with water.
Mine has never gotten any. Like all dracaenas, Lucky Bamboo is subject to an infestation of spider mites, especially in the fall &/or winter when the heat comes on. Also, keep your eye open for thrips, scale & mealy bugs.
Common Problems and Solutions
High chlorine in the water.
A common problem for Lucky Bamboo plants is chlorine. Tap water contains chlorine that is not good for your plant. It can cause brown tip or cause the leaves to turn yellow. If you continue to use the water, the yellowing will continue to spread.
Try using bottled water of filtered water. If you can not afford it, you can fill a container with tap water and let it sit 24 hours. This will eliminate most of the chlorine from the water.
Plant exposed to direct sunlight.
If you have the window blinds open or have a ceiling skylight, the bamboo may be exposed to sunlight when the sun shifts while you are at work or away from the plant.
Move it to a different location you know for sure does not have any direct sunlight. Your plant does not require any light from the sun. It will be fine with the light from your light bulb and lamps.
The plant is not getting enough water.
The roots are where the plants get their water from. So let’s take a look at it. Remove the rocks or soil. Plants that have more roots will drink more water than plants with a bare root system.
Make sure you keep at least 1″ of water in the container at all times. If the bamboo is not too stress from the lack of water, it may recover and the wrinkles may disappear. Some of the leaves will turn yellow/brown from the stress. Gently peel off the yellow/brown leaves.
If your bamboo is suddenly showing yellowing leaves, this could be caused by using the wrong water. Tap water is full of things like chlorine and fluoride, which can cause your bamboo to begin to yellow or turn brown. Using distilled or filtered water will prevent this yellowing from occurring. If you must use tap water and you know it has high levels of chlorine, keep it in a container on the counter for 24 hours before using it. This allows time for the chlorine in the water to evaporate. If your water is high in fluoride levels do not use it for your plant. Fluoride will cause your lucky bamboo to turn brown and it does not evaporate.
If you already have some of these problems with your bamboo, try these solutions:
- Change the vase: If you don’t have another vase handy, simply take the bamboo out of its vase, then wash the vase with warm water and a tiny bit of mild soap. Be sure to rinse thoroughly. Then add the bamboo back to the clean vase.
- Change the water frequently: Remember to use distilled or filtered water.
- Move the plant: If the bamboo is in a spot exposed to a lot of direct sunlight, which encourages algae growth, move the plant to an area that receives indirect sunlight. If your plant is not growing well or has begun to fade in colour, move it to another source of indirect light instead.
- If the bamboo leaves are fading to a light green colour, the plant is not getting enough light. Insufficient light also causes slow plant growth. In many cases, the plant will not grow in height or produce any new leaves. To remedy these problems, simply move the plant to a location with more indirect light.
Also, Read How to Care for Air Plants Indoors
Tips for Caring for Your Bamboo Blant
- Do not place your Lucky Bamboo in direct sun.
- Do not use tap water if your water is hard. Your Lucky Bamboo will do much better with distilled or purified water.
- Never let your Lucky Bamboo dry out – keep the roots covered with water at all times.
- Do not keep the water level too high – just covering the roots is fine.
- Do not place your Lucky Bamboo near a heating or cooling vent. Also, keep it away from any cold drafts.
- Do not let dust collect on the leaves because the pores need to breathe. Periodically clean the leaves with a brush, damp rag and/or spray off with water.
- If your tap water is hard (containing a lot of minerals), then you’ll need to use distilled or purified water. All dracaenas are prone to tipping so if yours is starting to show a lot of brown tips or a build of white in the vase or dish, don’t use tap water.