"Lucky Bamboo" Care
“Lucky Bamboo” is the alias of a versatile plant whose proper name is Dracaena sanderiana. It’s a popular gift plant, and it’s often found growing in vases of water but you can grow it in soil just as easily. You’ll often find arrangements of Lucky Bamboo that have been grown in spirals or lattice patterns, making them a real conversation piece.
Lucky bamboo can tolerate almost any level of light – just do not place these plants in direct sun because they will definitely burn. If you’re growing it in water, make sure you keep an eye on the container; the more light it gets the more it will be prone to algae growth and need cleaning and fresh water.
If you choose to plant your lucky bamboo in soil a chunky, well-draining mix will serve you well. Mine is potted in a mix of orchid bark, perlite, charcoal, and a little bit of organic potting soil. If you keep yours in water, just be sure to change the water every few weeks and clean the vase, bowl, or whatever it is your plant lives in.
For a potted Dracaena sanderiana, water when the top inch or so of soil feels dry. I try (and sometimes fail) not to let mine get too dried out, because they prefer to be on the moist side.
If you notice browning leaf tips on your lucky bamboo and you’ve been using tap water, try switching to distilled or even rain water. Dracaena sanderiana can be quite sensitive to salt and to chemicals found in tap water.
Temperature & Humidity
Dracaena sanderiana will tolerate normal household temperatures, but don’t place them in the path of your heat vents, AC, or any other spots where the temperature might change rapidly. It also tolerates normal household humidity, but if it’s not getting enough you may notice browning, crunchy leaf tips or leaves. In that case, try a pebble tray, grouping it with other plants, or placing it near a humidifier.
Be careful with your fertilizer! If you’re using a general purpose indoor plant fertilizer, make sure it is properly diluted because these plants are prone to fertilizer burn. There are also specially formulated fertilizers just for lucky bamboo, if you’re nervous about getting it wrong with an all-purpose formula.
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