House Plants – Lucky Bamboo, care and plant lore

A Lucky Bamboo plant adds fun and color to any room. I like to give them to friends as a fun gift or dinner decoration. FLAX likes toys
Creative Commons License photo credit: striatic

Lucky bamboo is thought to bring good fortune in Chinese culture. They have recently become very popular in the Untied States and other areas

What I like about the plant is that it is so easy to take care of and you can change the vase or pebbles and have a totally new look. Even a person who feels they have no gardening talents can care for this plant. All it needs is a little attention to stay healthy and beautiful.

The hardiness of the bamboo plant is symbolic of good health. Although it looks like a miniature bamboo plant, Lucky bamboo  is actually a species of plant called a dracaena.

Make sure that you buy a healthy Lucky Bamboo plant. When selecting the plant the plant should smell nice and fresh. If you notice a bad odor coming from the plant, the plant is not healthy.

What makes the plant unique is that you can grow the bamboo in soil or in water. Have fun choosing the vase! Its will add character to you plant. Interesting shapes add a feel of tranquility and art to the plant.

Growing lucky bamboo in water

If you choose to grow your lucky bamboo in water, fill the bottom of the vase with an 1-½ to 2 inches of decorative pebbles or stones. This will help the plant stay up right. Keep the water level about the tops of the stones. Be sure to wash the plant, stones and change the water once a week, to help keep the bamboo from rotting.

I grow my lucky bamboo in water because it gives it a unique look. My vases are either hand blown or very ornate. I usually pick them up at auction houses. I have several different vases on hand so that each week I change the vase, wash the other vase and put it away for a week or two.

I also have additional pebbles and stones on hand to give the plant a new look.

Growing bamboo in soil

If you choose to grow your plant in soil, use equal parts of sand, peat moss, and soil. This mix encourages optimal drainage and this is a must for lucky Bamboo. The soil needs to be kept damp between watering but not soggy.


Bamboo grows naturally in the shade of taller rainforest trees. The plant will prefer an indoor location with bright, indirect light. They will grow and sty healthy under artificial lighting but too much direct sun can cause the leaves to burn.

Too little light will lead to weak growth, stretching and poor coloration. You will be able to tell quickly if your bamboo is not getting enough light.

Your plant will do well in normal house temperatures. They will grow in temperatures between 50 to 90 degrees. Overall it’s a very easy plant to grow and will get many comments.

I have had several Lucky Bamboo plants for years. They are still a fun plant and look great. I enjoy changing the vases and giving them a fresh look every week or so.

Tip: The most important care you can give your bamboo is the right amount of water and to keep the plant, rocks and vases clean.

Lucky Bamboo lore

Ancient Chinese tradition teaches that the number of Lucky Bamboo stalks have different meanings and will bring different beneficial factors into your life. The ingredients for a happy life are Happiness, Wealth and Longevity.

Three (3) stalks of Lucky Bamboo:
Represent Fu (Happiness), Lu (Wealth) and Soh (Longevity)

Five (5) stalks of Lucky Bamboo:

Represent the 5 different parts of life from which wealth emanates

Six (6) stalks of Lucky Bamboo:

Represents prosperity and favorable conditions

Seven (7) stalks of Lucky Bamboo:
Represents good health.

Eight (8) stalks of Lucky Bamboo:
In the Chinese language eight sounds like “Fah” which means to grow and thrive

Ten (10) stalks of Lucky Bamboo:

Complete and perfect

Twenty-one (21) stalks of Lucky Bamboo:
Represents very powerful all-purpose blessings

Lucky Log – The lucky log keeps sprouting new leaves, which means “strong life.”

Lucky Bamboo will make a wonderful indoor plant, summer patio plant or gift. Enjoy the unique look and history.

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9 responses to “House Plants – Lucky Bamboo, care and plant lore”

  1. Fonda Fletcher

    Thanks, for the beneficial tip on changing the water & the option to plant in soil. I also did not realize the number of stalks on these plants signify different benefits. I had only read about the “Luck” one can bring your way.

  2. Ernestine Dodson

    How do I keep my Lucky Bamboo plant odor free?

  3. Denise


    If you plant has an odor the water should be changed and the container cleaned. That should take care of the problem. Good luck with the bamboo. They are fun plants

  4. Jean Gillette


    My lucky bamboo has leaves and stocks turning yellow. What do I need to do it has been growing well for over a year?

  5. Denise

    Have you cleaned the rocks and container lately. I would try that first and see if it helps. Denise

  6. Aubrey

    Hi, i have this fortune plant for three months now.. originally, i have twenty one stalks, but one turned into yellow and died.. the plant is in my office and i use gel like pebbles instead of stones.. these were part of the purchase price.. should i change them into pebbles instead? also, i noticed that the tips of the leaves of some of the stalks are either turning to brown or yellow, what should i do? I’m afraid if i don’t do anything some stalks may die.. PLEASE Help!

  7. Denise

    Hi Aubrey,

    Try cleaning your container and all the gel like pebbles. Pebbles and containers must be very clean for a healthy bamboo plant. If that doesn’t work the lighting may not be the best lighting for the plant. (I would also trim off the dead parts of the plant with scissors.)Good luck, Denise

  8. Greg

    hi, Recently about 2 weeks ago. I cut one bamboo stalk in half to try to get growth out of both. I put candle wax on the top of the rooted bamboo and stuck both in clean water. I’m just woundering if the one half will grow new roots and will the other half grow new leaves. also is there anything I could do to help this along? both sides still look good.

  9. Janice

    Hi I have a few plants that have grown real tall and the leaves are yellow. How do I prune theses without “killing them” as my husband would be very upset!!

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