Lucky Bamboo (Dracaena sanderiana), also commonly known as Chinese water bamboo, is a perennial plant native to Central Africa. It has seen an increase in popularity over the last few years. The term “Lucky” comes from the fact that it is believed to bring good fortune to those who grow it.
The most common variety of Lucky bamboo is bamboo-like plants with solid green leaves on an upright or twisted stem. They can be found for purchase online or at your local garden center, but they are also rather easy to start growing yourself!
- Lucky Bamboo Main Characteristics
- Lucky Bamboo Plant Care
- Lucky Bamboo Propagation
- Potting and Repotting Lucky Bamboo
- Common Pests
- Common Problems
- How To Take Care of Lucky Bamboo (Dracaena Sanderiana) Indoors (Video)
Lucky Bamboo Main Characteristics
|Common Name||Fortune plant, Sander’s dracaena, Ribbon plant, Lucky bamboo, Curly bamboo, Chinese water bamboo, Friendship bamboo|
|Botanical Name||Dracaena sanderiana|
|Synonyms||Dracaena braunii, Pleomele braunii, Pleomele sanderiana|
|Native Range||West Central Tropical Africa to North East Angola|
|USDA Hardiness Zones||10 to 12|
|Mature Size||Height: 3-5 feet; Spread: 3-5 feet|
|Bloom Time||Rarely flowers indoors|
|Propagation methods||by stem cuttings|
|Sun||Partial shade to Full shade|
Lucky Bamboo Plant Care
Dracaena sanderiana is a plant that has been associated with good luck and prosperity for centuries. This is likely due to its easy-care properties and the fact that it thrives in various environments. It is often used as an element of Feng Shui design, as many still adhere to their century-old beliefs about its fortune bringing properties.
Light and Location
Lucky bamboo prefers indirect light that’s quite bright. It also likes moist air so keep your plant away from heating vents, dryers, or a windowsill in a drafty room. A bedside table or a windowsill is the perfect spot for most Lucky bamboo plants, provided they are not in direct sunlight.
It would be best if you watered these plants as often as is needed to keep the soil moist. Don’t let it dry out, but keep it well-drained regardless.
Alternatively, you can grow this plant directly in water. Use a pot at least two inches deep with a bed of pebbles to serve as a substrate. Make sure to change the water every week. Try to use tepid, chlorine-free water, which usually has the best results.
Lucky bamboo plants thrive in warm environments with 60-75 degrees Fahrenheit (16–24°C). If you live in a region where the temperature falls below 50 degrees Fahrenheit, you will need to move your plant inside to a warmer environment.
Dracaena sanderiana plants need plenty of fresh air circulation and moderate humidity to thrive. Therefore, they will do best in an environment with a 50-60% humidity level. If you’re worried that the air is too dry, you can use an air humidifier or mist regularly.
These plants can survive on neglect, but they will thrive if you fertilize them every month with a weak liquid fertilizer diluted according to package instructions.
Did you know?
Both Chlorophytum comosum and Dracaena sanderiana are referred to as “Ribbon Plant.”
Lucky Bamboo Propagation
The way to propagate Lucky bamboo plants is by taking a stem cutting and replanting them in fresh compost. These stem cuttings can be taken year-round. The height should be 10 inches or more, with at least one leaf above the last node.
The soil must be damp but not soaked. Keep it constantly moist, though keep the drainage channels open. Once the root has taken shape, you’re done. You can move it to a different pot at this point without issue.
Potting and Repotting Lucky Bamboo
Potting the Dracaena sanderiana is relatively straightforward. Simply pot your plant in a well-drained soil mix such as perlite or peat moss. If you have a drainage hole drilled into your pot, you can even use a regular potting mix.
Alternatively, you can plant it directly into a tray of water. Use distilled or rainwater as this plant is sensitive to the chlorine present in regular tap water. Fill the tray with about 2-3 inches of water. Lay down a bed of pebbles to serve as the substrate; otherwise, the roots won’t take hold.
To give a Lucky bamboo plant a fresh start, you should first remove all the water from its pot. Once you’re done with that, gently brush away any soil from the roots and then carefully cut them off with clean scissors. Rinse the roots off thoroughly to remove any remaining dirt or debris. Next, fill up your new pot with fresh soil and repot your plant in it, so the top of its leaves is just about level with the soil’s surface. Water the newly planted Lucky bamboo well after this process. These plants usually need repotting every two years.
Lucky Bamboo generates a low severity toxin, called Saponins, that’s mildly toxic to humans, cats, and dogs. Symptoms include vomiting, depression, anorexia, hypersalivation. If ingested in large amounts, contact the doctor immediately.
Dracaena Sanderianas rarely get infected with pests. But if they do, mealybugs are the prime suspect. Check regularly for the typical white fluff left behind by mealybugs. Look between the crevices, as that’s where they usually take root. If an infestation occurs, wipe off the white residue using rubbing alcohol on a cotton swab.
Brown leaf tips?
Either you’re using tap water, or the air around the plant is too dry. Tap water is not as good at watering plants because it often contains chlorine, while rainwater holds more minerals. Distilled or purified waters will give you better results! This holds true for both potting conditions; water planted and soil planted. And keep the humidity levels high.
Algae in the water?
If you’ve grown your Fortune plant in water, then this is a potential problem. It’s caused by either using tap water or giving it too much light. Either way, the fix is simple. Move it to a shadier spot if you feel the area it is in right now is too bright. Or change the water to distilled or rainwater if the water is the root cause.
Is your Lucky bamboo turning yellow?
First things first, check where the yellowing occurs. If the leaves turn yellow, you could have the following potential problems on your hands.
- Sudden Change in Temperature – Move it back to its previous spot and acclimate it slowly to the new location.
- Too much sunlight – More shade!
- Too much fertilizer – Change the feeding routine, or switch to a lighter strength fertilizer.
- Too little water – Check if it’s any of the other things first before adding in more water, as overwatering is also a cause for concern.
On the other hand, if it’s the stems that are turning yellow, then it could be
- Stagnant water
- Too much feed
- Sudden temperature shifts
- Too much light
- Too little light
Unfortunately, even if you figure out why your stems are turning yellow, unlike leaves, you can’t save a stem that’s already turned. It’s better to simply cut it off at the base and be more careful next time.
How To Take Care of Lucky Bamboo (Dracaena Sanderiana) Indoors (Video)
How to propagate Lucky bamboo?
The most effective way to propagate Lucky bamboo is by stem cuttings. These can be done by taking a cutting from an existing stalk of the plant and replanting it in water or soil. Water thoroughly and wait for the cuttings to take root.
Why is my Lucky bamboo turning yellow?
If you find out that your Lucky bamboo is turning yellow, find out where the yellowing occurs. If it’s the leaves, you can save them. If it’s the stems, you can’t. In the case of leaves, either sudden temperature fluctuations, too much sun, overfeeding, or underwatering can cause yellowing. Take the appropriate steps, and your plant should recover.
Where to put Lucky bamboo in the home?
When it comes to the placement of your Lucky bamboo, there are a few things you should keep in mind. In general, it is best to place your plant near a window so that it can get plenty of indirect, bright light. You should also avoid placing your plant near heat sources, as this can dry out the soil quickly.
How to grow Lucky bamboo from cuttings?
To propagate this plant, start by finding a healthy shoot. You want to make sure that the shoot has at least three nodes. Remove any leaves from the lower section of the shoot so you can see where the nodes are. The nodes are located at intervals along the length of the shoot. They look like little bumps on either side of the stem.
Take a sharp cutting utensil – like a knife or razor – to help you make a clean cut. Once you have your cutting, allow the end of the shoot to sit in the soiling mix for however long it takes for roots to form.
“Lucky bamboo” by michaelmccomb is licensed under CC BY 2.0