Intro: The lucky bamboo plant is an integral part of Feng Shui and is said to bring fortune and good luck. They do well in just about any garden space, whether it is light or shady, in potting soil or in pure water. Lucky bamboo comes in many different shapes, often twisted and braided into different shapes, but the cheapest and most common lucky bamboo is the straight stalk with a few leaves. These indestructible beauties are slow-growing and bring an Asian flair to a themed balcony garden or indoor garden.
Scientific Name: Dracaena sanderiana
Plant Type: Succulent shrub
Light: This container plant does well in bright filtered light as well as shady spots. It is mostly used as a container plant for indoor gardens, as bright direct light will scorch its leaves.
Water: The most common way to grow lucky bamboo is in a glass jar with a rock or marble substrate, (even though it grows better in potting soil). Keep the jar filled with water at all times to keep its roots wet. Hard tap water will leave calcium deposits on the jar and chlorine in tap water will harm the lucky bamboo plant over time. To combat these problems, use distilled water. Cleaning the calcium off is difficult with established roots. To keep the lucky bamboo's roots healthy, change the water every week.
Propagation: To propagate your lucky bamboo, cut offshoots off the plant and use the cuttings to start new plants. Plant cuttings should have at least one leaf joint, but preferably more. Take the leaves off the bottom leaf joint to expose the root node. Place the lucky bamboo cutting in water and wait for roots to grow. After the root emerges, you can plant the new lucky bamboo plant in a glass jar with pebbles. The baby plants will not have the same shape as the mother bamboo plant unless you grow it like the professional growers do. It takes time to grow spirals and braids, and if you want to do this, grow the lucky bamboo on its side. The stalk will grow toward the light, so turn it as needed to keep it growing in a symmetrical pattern. It is very difficult and time-consuming to grow lucky bamboo in this way, but it can be done.
Misc. Info: Lucky bamboo is actually not a bamboo at all – it is one of the species in the Dracaena genus (which includes many popular houseplants, such as Dracaena 'Janet Craig'). Don’t keep this plant in too hot or too cold temperatures (it does best between 65 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit), and keep lucky bamboo away from heating vents. Cut off offshoots about an inch away from the stem to make the plant bushier and to keep its original shape. Never cut the plant's main stalk. If your garden's lucky bamboo plant develops yellow leaves, it may be getting too much fertilizer or too much sun. These plants are usually seen as short office plants, but they can actually grow to 5 feet.
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