Always wanted an indoor plant but having a hard time keeping them alive? Well, this low care houseplant is definitely the one for you.
Perfect for your office desk or kitchen counter, lucky bamboo is native to central America and belongs to the family of Asparagaceae. Also known as Chinese water bamboo, ribbon plant or Goddess of Mercy’s plant, lucky bamboo is not actually bamboo but a tropical water lily instead.
Considered to bring good fortune in Feng Shui and many Asian countries, lucky bamboo can be grown both in water and soil.
These are things you need to know to grow this beautiful plant:
- Can be grown in small decorative pots and vases
- But very shallow containers won’t be able to support the plant
- Tall container covering 1/2 or 1/3 height of lucky bamboo is advisable
- Can be glass vase or ceramic pots—glass vase is convenient to check on water level
Growing lucky bamboo in soil
- Location – The plant will do best in bright indirect sunlight, keep it on the window sill or lower lighting condition to avoid exposure to direct light as it can scorch the leaves.
- Soil – Choose a light well-draining potting medium or potting soil you use for houseplants or succulents.
- Water – Keep the soil moist but not overwater or soggy, overwatering can rot the plant and make it die
- Fertilizing – You don’t need to fertilize often, a dose of very low strength balanced liquid fertilizer once every 2 months is enough. Adjust the dose and interval according to the growth of your plant.
- Temperature – This plant prefers warm growing condition, the surrounding temperature from 55°F to 90°F (12°C to 33°C). So make sure to keep the plant away from direct path of vents or air conditioners.
Growing lucky bamboo in water
- Fill the container with pebbles to keep the stem embedded, especially if the pot is small.
- Water should remain 1 to 3 inches deep covering the roots for the plant to grow.
- The most important rule is simply to keep the vase half full of water.
- Avoid using tap water as it might be treated with chlorine and can harm the plant.
- Use spring water, well or bore water, and distilled water instead.
- Add a pinch of powdered liquid fertilizer in every 4-6 weeks during the growing season.
- You can also use aquarium water once a while as it’ll work as fertilizer too.
- Change water weekly to keep oxygen level in check, change the water and rinse vase when it starts to look mushy and less transparent.
Clean the container and pebbles as well while you’re at it.
How to shape lucky bamboo
- Lucky bamboos are not shaped by precise trimmings and plant wires like bonsai plants.
- The different shapes of lucky bamboo are the result of the plant’s tendency to grow towards a light source.
- Professional growers will rotate plant in front of a light source in order to get the desired shape.
You can also braid and curl the stalks into intricate shapes, but it’s a long process and quite tedious.
- Give regular trim to keep the plant healthy.
- Avoid cutting stem—it’s not good for the plant’s shape and overall health.
- Cut back the side stalks and offshoots with sterile and sharp snippers instead.
- Regularly removes the dead and yellowing leaves.
Apply paraffin on the cut end to avoid the plant from turning bushier with the new growth.
Overall, lucky bamboo care is super easy and it’s cute too!
Credit: Balcony Garden Web