Do you need a little more luck in your life? The charming lucky bamboo plant is a houseplant that is (almost) impossible to kill! It’s actually not bamboo at all, but sugar cane cuttings from Dracaena sanderiana, a deciduous plant native to tropical Africa. The leaves have been stripped to resemble bamboo, and they actually belong to the asparagus family! These plants grow to be several feet tall in the wild, but they are usually sold in a vase with water and pebbles to keep the plant upright. The stems can be trained into braids, spirals, hearts, and bows.

Here’s another thing you need to know about happy bamboo care.

How do I care for my happy bamboo plant?

Indoors, give happy bamboo little or medium indirect light, not direct sunlight, which can burn the leaves. The sticks are typically submerged in clear water, but can also be potted in soil. Lucky bamboo dislikes chemicals in tap water, such as chlorine and fluoride, that cause browning. Let the water sit overnight before using it to allow the chlorine to evaporate. If there is fluoride in your tap water, use filtered water. Change the water every week and make sure it completely covers the roots. If algae form, clean the container well before adding new water. If your lucky bamboo is planted in soil, keep it slightly damp.

Should I fertilize my happy bamboo plant?

It’s not strictly necessary, but it can help you stay healthy. If you want to feed it, add a ¼ strength liquid fertilizer. However, if you notice yellow leaves, stop fertilizing. Replace the water with distilled water. If the stems turn yellow, it is likely too late for your plant to recover.

Can I build a new happy bamboo plant?

As it gets older, your lucky bamboo plant may become leggy or shaggy. You can try to taper it by cutting the sticks back to their original length. Or, cut a 1½ to 2 inch long piece from a healthy stem and make sure it has at least one growth bud, a slight swelling under the soft bark of the stem. Place in water with pebbles or press directly into moist potting soil.

Lucky bamboo is poisonous to pets.

Unfortunately, this cute little plant contains saponins, which are toxic to pets. When your cat or dog nibbles, they may vomit (with blood), drool, become depressed, and salivate excessively. If you suspect your pet may have taken a bite, call your veterinarian as soon as possible.

Where to buy Lucky Bamboo Plant, Dracaena sanderiana

Happy bamboo tower

Heart-shaped bamboo

Braided colorful bamboo

Braided colorful bamboo


Arricca SanSone has written on health and lifestyle topics for prevention, country living, womens day and more.

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