Need a little more good luck in your life? The charming lucky bamboo plant is a houseplant you (almost) can’t kill! It’s actually not a bamboo at all but rather cane cuttings of Dracaena sanderiana, a foliage plant that’s native to tropical Africa. The leaves have been stripped off so that it resembles bamboo, and it’s actually in the asparagus family! These plants get several feet tall in the wild, but they’re usually sold about 8 to 10 inches tall in a vase with water and pebbles to keep the plant upright. The stems can be trained into braids, spirals, hearts and loops.
Here’s what else you need to know about lucky bamboo care.
How do I care for my lucky bamboo plant?
Indoors, give lucky bamboo low or medium indirect light, not direct sunlight, which can burn the leaves. The canes typically are submerged in plain water but also may be potted in soil. Lucky bamboo doesn’t like chemicals in tap water such as chlorine and fluoride, which will cause browning. Leave the water out overnight before using so the chlorine will evaporate. If there’s fluoride in your tap water, use filtered water. Change the water every week, and make sure it covers the roots completely. If algae forms, clean the container well before adding new water. If your lucky bamboo is planted in soil, keep it slightly moist.
Should I fertilize my lucky bamboo plant?
It’s not totally necessary, but it may help it stay healthy. If you’d like to feed it, add a liquid fertilizer at ¼ strength. But if you notice yellow leaves, stop fertilizing. Replace the water with distilled water. Sadly, if the stalks turn yellow, it’s probably too late for your plant to recover.
Can I make a new lucky bamboo plant?
As it gets older, your lucky bamboo plant may get leggy or scraggly. You can attempt to rejuvenate it by cutting the canes back to their original lengths. Or cut a piece 1 ½ to 2 inches long 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 push directly into moist potting soil.
Lucky bamboo is toxic to pets.
Unfortunately, this cute little plant contains saponins, which are toxic to pets. If your cat or dog takes a nibble, they may experience vomiting (with blood), drooling, depression, and excess salivation. If you suspect your pet has taken a bite, call your vet ASAP.
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