Dracaena sanderiana, or Lucky Bamboo, has many of the same characteristics as traditional bamboo that grows wild in warm, humid climates. However, Lucky Bamboo is not bamboo at all, and it is not even a member of the bamboo family; it is a cousin of the asparagus.
A native of West Africa, Lucky Bamboo’s unique visual appeal is one of its most endearing features. Lucky Bamboo requires heat, humidity, and partial shade, making it a fantastic option for indoor cultivation.
Although it originated in Africa, Lucky Bamboo is embraced by Asian culture, symbolizing good fortune. Lucky Bamboo is favored among houseplant enthusiasts because it represents the five feng shui elements of fire, water, earth, wood, and metal.
In addition to its design elements, Lucky Bamboo is easy to grow and propagate indoors. You can grow more branches on your Lucky Bamboo by pruning its shoots and stalk to encourage new growth.
How To Grow More Lucky Bamboo Stalks
One of the best parts of cultivating Dracaena sanderiana is that it is so easy to propagate. If you follow the right tips, you can grow more stalks from just one Lucky Bamboo and enjoy the plant for many years.
Once the stalk grows several inches tall, you can cut a piece of it off and place it in distilled water. Stabilize it with small stones so that the top of the stalk is above the water’s surface. After a few weeks, it will grow roots.
Once a root system develops, it can be transplanted into soil. Do not expose the stalk to direct sunlight while growing roots in water. Lucky Bamboo needs to be warm (not hot) and shaded (not dark) during this phase. After the roots form, the stalk can be planted in soil or kept in water and pebbles. If propagating in water, be sure to use distilled or filtered water.
If you choose to plant the stalk in soil after it grows roots, use soil with loam or sand blended in. Lucky Bamboo needs well-drained soil because water buildup at the roots can cause the roots to rot and cause discoloration in the stalk. You can also purchase a pre-mixed succulent or cactus potting soil.
Place the stalks 1 inch (2.5 cm) deep in the soil and moisten it well. Keep the room between 60-80°F (15-26°C), and make sure the new plant gets plenty of direct sunlight. Over the next few weeks, the stalks will continue to inch their way vertically and sprout upright, elongated leaves.
How To Make My Lucky Bamboo Bushy
The elongated leaves that sprout on Lucky Bamboo stalks are called shoots. If you cut back one Dracaena sanderiana shoot to around 1 to 2 inches (2.5-5 cm), two will grow back in its place. Appropriate pruning can keep new leaves popping up all over the stalk.
You can also use pruning to reshape your Lucky Bamboo. Since shoots tend to form over newly cut edges, you can cut your stalks to the desired height so leaves will grow on the top. Pruning and trimming Lucky Bamboo can help it grow more leaves, thus making the stalks appear more dense and bushy.
Lucky Bamboo Care Tips
Lucky Bamboo is a relatively simple plant to cultivate indoors (or outdoors in some climates). Well-maintained Dracaena sanderiana can continue growing and producing shoots for up to one year. To keep your Lucky Bamboo healthy and thriving, try to follow these tips:
1.Keep the water clean
Change Lucky Bamboo’s water every week. Also, rinse the container and clean pebbles or anything else you keep in the vase. Use filtered or distilled water, as chlorine and fluoride can burn it, causing the tips of its leaves to turn brown.
Even if you are not propagating cuttings in water, only use clean water to moisten the soil after planting the stalk.
2. Fertilize monthly
If you want to give your Lucky Bamboo a boost, consider fertilizing it. Use a gentle fertilizer with an NPK (nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium) ratio of 2-2-2 and only apply a few drops. Using a fertilizer that is too strong or fertilizing too often can damage the plant, causing it to turn yellow.
3. Provide indirect sunlight
Lucky Bamboo needs partial shade to thrive. Provide indirect sunlight by keeping it near a window but not exposing it to too much sun.
4. Make sure temperatures stay warm
This plant needs warm temperatures to perform well. Temperatures should not drop below 55°F (12°C) so the soil can remain at the ideal temperature.
5. Keep away from cats
Lucky Bamboo is dangerous to cats. Ingesting it can cause drooling, dilated pupils, lethargy, gastrointestinal distress, lack of appetite, and incoordination. If you suspect your cat may have ingested Lucky Bamboo, contact the vet or animal poison control for advice.
FAQs About Lucky Bamboo
If I Cut Lucky Bamboo, Will It Grow More Roots?
Yes, cuttings from Lucky Bamboo can grow roots and produce new stalks. To prune a piece of your stalk, use a sharp knife or gardening scissors to make a clean cut just above a node– the ridges engraved around the stalk.
After cutting the stalk, place it in 1 to 3 inches (2.5 to 7.5 cm) of filtered or distilled water, replacing the water every week. Use pebbles to secure the stalk. As it grows taller above the water’s surface, it will also grow roots under the water. After the stalk grows roots, you can place it in sandy soil or keep it in clean water.
How To Make Lucky Bamboo Grow Faster in Water?
The most important factor when propagating Lucky Bamboo in water is to ensure that the water is clean. Tap water from the sink or garden hose can contain chlorine or fluoride.
These chemicals burn the plant or cause the stalk to turn brown or yellow. To ensure the water stays fresh, replace it weekly and keep it at room temperature.
Ensure that the stalk receives plenty of indirect sunlight. Dracaena sanderiana needs a bright room to soak up the sun’s vitamins. The correct amount of water and sunlight care can help Lucky Bamboo grow faster in water.
Why Is My Lucky Bamboo Plant Not Growing?
One of the main reasons for the lack of growth could be the lack of light. While Dracaena sanderiana can live in the shade, they do not grow in the shade.
Photosynthesis is necessary for Lucky Bamboo’s stalk to grow. Without nutrients and vitamins from the sun, the plant cannot expand its roots, increase in height, or produce new shoots.
Lucky Bamboo, though not part of the bamboo family, are visually interesting stalks that grow upright shoots. Although native to Africa, the Dracaena sanderiana symbolizes good fortune.
Lucky Bamboo’s care requirements of warmth, humidity and indirect light make it an excellent house plant to cultivate indoors. You can grow more branches on your Lucky Bamboo by pruning its shoots and stalk to encourage new growth.
Be sure to use clean water when irrigating or propagating a Dracaena sanderiana. Lucky Bamboos also require well-drained, sandy soil. To grow more stalks, prune away part of the stalk and cover it in water until it grows roots. Then, plant it in suitable soil and let it grow over the next few weeks. With proper care, Lucky Bamboo can last for up to one year.