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Lucky Bamboo Care

I bought a lucky bamboo plant and I need to know how to care for it. It is in a vase with stones and water. Thank you.

Lucky bamboo (Dracaena sanderiana) is a popular houseplant because of its ease of care, interesting form and it is believed to bring good fortune, especially if given as a gift. I cannot vouch for the more mystical qualities, but I do know that it is a very low maintenance plant.

Lucky bamboo is not a bamboo, but a dracaena native to the tropical rainforests of Southeast Asia and Africa. If you have ever grown any of this plant’s cousins then you know that dracaenas are practically foolproof. I think what stumps most people about lucky bamboo is that it is often presented growing in water; no soil. These plants will continue to thrive in just water if you follow a few simple tips.

Water
Change the water once a week. The water level should be just high enough to cover the roots. Lucky bamboo is sensitive to chlorine and fluoride in tap water so use filtered water, spring water or rain water. You can use tap water if you allow it to sit, uncovered, for 24 hours to disperse the chemicals.

Light
Place your lucky bamboo in a location where it will receive bright, but indirect light. If the room has no natural light, move the plant into indirect light every few weeks and leave it there for four to five days. You can then move it back to its original location.

Temperature
Room temperature between 65 to 70 degrees F is best.

Fertilizer
Lucky bamboo does not need fertilizer on a regular basis. However, if it begins to look weak you can feed it with an organic liquid fertilizer diluted to 1/10 strength.

Yellowing Leaves
One common problem with lucky bamboo is that the leaves sometimes turn yellow. This can be caused by lack of light, chemicals in the water or too much fertilizer. Change out the water to remedy the latter two problems.

Pets
Lucky bamboo is not so lucky for curious pets. It is poisonous if ingested.