How To Care For Lucky Bamboo
In Asian cultures, lucky bamboo has been a symbol of good fortune for over 4,000 years. And, in recent years it’s became a very popular house plant that is widely available. Aside from being a very pretty plant, one of the main reasons for it’s growing popularity is that it’s very easy to grow.
Lucky bamboo isn’t actually a bamboo! It actually belongs to the plant family of Dracaenas. Another reason for it’s popularity is that it can be grown in decorative planters or bowls filled with rocks and water, or it can be potted into soil.
The best way to grow them is a debatable subject, some people say keep them in water and others say plant them in soil for the best results. The choice is pretty much a personal preference as the plant seems to thrive in either medium. Bamboo is generally sold in clear or decorative containers with rocks for support and water.
Bamboo will thrive in almost any area of the home where many other plants could not survive. In nature, bamboo grows in the shade of rainforest trees, so they prefer indirect, but bright sunlight. If the plant receives too much direct sunlight, the leaves will burn and turn brown. But, if it gets too little sun, it will cause hamper the plants growth.
Since the plant lives in water, there’s no guess work when it comes to watering lucky bamboo! All you need to do is to make sure that there’s always water in the container. Some people suggest that you change the water on a regular basis, but as long as clean water is used, it’s not necessary to keep changing it.
However, if the water begins to look as if it’s stagnating, it should be changed and the container washed thoroughly. The salt and chlorine found in tap water can cause damage to the plants leaves. You should either purchase spring water or place the tap water in an open container overnight to allow the salt and chlorine to evaporate.
If you removed your bamboo from the container you purchased it in, you’d most likely find that it’s been bound with a string or wrapped wire. While this will definitely hold the bamboo together, it will eventually damage the plant. As the bamboo grows, the string will cut into the stalks and can result in disease. It’s best to remove the string, or wire so the plant can grow safely.
Lucky bamboo is a tropical plant, so it prefers warm temperatures. The temperature should always be at least 60*, but the plant will thrive better in warmer temperatures. Bamboo only needs to be fertilized about every two months with a very weak solution of fertilizer. You can use a good quality plant food and mix it to one tenth of the recommended amount, or use a few drops of food that is made for aquarium plants.
When grown in potting soil, it should be kept just slightly moist and never soaking wet. And, you shouldn’t let the soil dry completely between waterings. Even thought the top of the soil may be dry, it can still be moist down in the soil. Always stick your finger into the soil to check it. When the soil is dry a full inch below the surface, it’s time to water it.
You may be interested in knowing that the number of stalks in your container has a meaning! Although, lucky bamboo is most associated with luck in love, it’s also lucky for other purposes as well. Two stalks are for love, three stalks are said to bring luck in happiness. If your container has five stalks it’s suppose to bring you wealth and six stalks are meant to keep you healthy!
Bamboo is closely associated with the ancient practice of Feng Shui, which means bringing all the natural elements into balance. Bamboo is an ideal representation of water and wood elements. The red string or wire that is wrapped around the plants is thought to fire the flow of energy in your room, red represents fire!
Written by Connie Corder for HouseplantsForYou.com, Copyright 2008 All Rights Reserved