Lucky Bamboo

9 Tips on How to Care for Your Lucky Bamboo (Dracaena braunii Infographic)

Lucky Bamboo (Dracaena braunii) is a very popular houseplant known to bring good luck and prosperity. Fortunately, it can tolerate very low light conditions since it is commonly seen in windowless indoor spaces in homes, offices, receptionist desks, and next to cash registers in stores. Lucky Bamboo can be grown in potting soil but it is also typically grown in a vase with water. Lucky Bamboo is one of the easiest houseplants to grow since it is almost impossible to kill! Here are tips on how to care for your Lucky Bamboo.

Lucky Bamboo Infographic
Lucky Bamboo Infographic

Tips on How to Take Care of Your Lucky Bamboo

1. Your Lucky Bamboo is Happiest in Bright Indirect Light. Can Tolerate Low Light. 

Lucky Bamboo is happiest in a bright indirect light location. It will happily grow in a north-facing window or skylight. Lucky Bamboo is a tough houseplant that can even grow in a windowless room (although this is not recommended).

2. Moderate Water is Best for Your Lucky Bamboo

Your Lucky Bamboo has moderate water requirements. Water your Lucky Bamboo when the soil feels dry. The best way to tell when it is time to water your Lucky Bamboo is to feel the soil. Stick your finger in the soil 1 inch deep. If it feels dry, it’s time to water your Lucky Bamboo. If you are growing your Lucky Bamboo in water, change the water weekly and keep the water at a 1-inch depth. Use filtered water since your Lucky Bamboo is sensitive to chlorine in tap water.  

3. Get the Soil Right for Your Lucky Bamboo

Your Lucky Bamboo needs a well-draining, organic all-purpose potting mix. 

4. Fertilize Your Lucky Bamboo

Your Lucky Bamboo Fertilize your Lucky Bamboo every other month. If your Lucky Bamboo is grown in water, add a drop of fertilizer every other month. 

5. You Don’t Need to Repot Your Lucky Bamboo Frequently

You don’t need to repot your Lucky Bamboo frequently since your Lucky Bamboo is a slow-growing plant. It can live in the same container for many years. When you repot your Lucky Bamboo, move it to a container that is 2 inches in diameter larger than the current pot.

6. Drainage is Essential for Your Lucky Bamboo

Good drainage is important, you don’t want your Lucky Bamboo to sit in soggy soil. Make sure there are drainage holes at the bottom of the pot. After watering your Lucky Bamboo and you see water draining out of the pot’s drainage holes, make sure you empty out the accumulated water in the saucer. Don’t let your Lucky Bamboo’s pot sit in this puddle of water. It will cause root rot! 

7. Get the Temperature Right for Your Lucky Bamboo

Your Lucky Bamboo needs to have a daytime temperature of 70F to 80 Fahrenheit (21-26C). The nighttime temperature should be at 60-70 Fahrenheit (15-21 C). 

8. Use Distilled Water on Your Lucky Bamboo

If your Lucky Bamboo is grown in water, use distilled water and keep the water to a depth of 1 inch. Your Lucky Bamboo is sensitive to chlorine from tap water.

9. Humidity is Vital for Your Lucky Bamboo 

Your Lucky Bamboo is a houseplant that likes humid conditions. You should increase indoor humidity. Mist your Lucky Bamboo a few times a week. 

Another way to increase humidity is to keep your Lucky Bamboo in a saucer filled with water. But make sure the pot is elevated with pot feet or pebbles so your Lucky Bamboo is not sitting directly on the water. 

3 Common Lucky Bamboo Problems

The common problems for Lucky Bamboo are mealybugs, root rot, and brown leaf tips.

Why are there Fluffy White Growth In Between the Leaves and Stems of Your Lucky Bamboo?

Problem: There are fluffy white growths in between the leaves and stems of your Lucky Bamboo. 

Mealybugs
Mealybugs

Cause: Mealybugs are causing the fluffy white growth on your Lucky Bamboo. It is a common houseplant disease. 

Solution: To get rid of mealybugs on your Lucky Bamboo, wash your plant with water. You can also use soapy water. Spraying rubbing alcohol on affected areas can also get rid of mealybugs. Horticultural oil and insecticidal soap are also effective in getting rid of mealybugs.

Check out our article on how to make your own homemade pesticides using baby shampoo: How to Make Horticultural Oil and How to Make Insecticidal Soap

Why does your Lucky Bamboo Look Wilted even if the Soil is Wet?

Problem: Your Lucky Bamboo looks wilted even if the soil is wet. Check for root rot by pulling the plant out and examining the roots. If the roots of your Lucky Bamboo plant look mushy (healthy roots are firm) and the roots are gray to black in color, these are telltale signs of root rot. 

Root Rot
Root Rot

Cause: Root rot is caused by fungus and is a serious problem for your Lucky Bamboo. Root rot is a result of wet soil due to overwatering or poor drainage. 

Solution: When your Lucky Bamboo is afflicted with root rot the chance of survival is slim. Your best course of action is to throw your Lucky Bamboo out and start over with a new plant. This time don’t overwater your Lucky Bamboo and make sure there is good drainage in the pot.

Why are the Tip of Leaves of Your Lucky Bamboo Turning Brown?

Problem: The tips of the leaves of your Lucky Bamboo plant are turning brown. 

Cause: When the tips of the leaves of your Lucky Bamboo turn brown that is a result of not enough water or humidity. The tips of the leaves are turning brown because they are dying.

Solution: Water your Lucky Bamboo and increase humidity by watering your Lucky Bamboo. Another reason for the brown leaf tips is that you may be using tap water. Lucky Bamboo is very sensitive to the chlorine in tap water.  Use distilled water or rainwater and hopefully that resolves the issue.

Lucky Bamboo Houseplant Facts

NameLucky Bamboo
Scientific NameDracaena braunii
LightBright Indirect Light. Can Tolerate Low Light.
Daytime Temperature70 to 80 F (21-26C)
Night Time Temperature60 to 70 F (15-21C)
WaterModerate Water
HumidityHigh Humidity
PottingWell-draining, organic, all-purpose potting mix
FertilizerFertilize every other month
Lucky Bamboo Facts

Lucky Bamboo: Frequently Asked Questions

What are Common Names of Lucky Bamboo?

Lucky Bamboo (Dracaena braunii) is also called Belgian Evergreen, Chinese Water Bamboo, Friendship Bamboo, Ribbon Dracaena, Ribbon Plant, Curly Bamboo, Goddess of Mercy Plant, and Sander’s Dracaena.

How Can You Tell When It’s Time to Water Your Lucky Bamboo?

Water your Lucky Bamboo when the soil feels dry. The best way to tell when it’s time to water is by sticking your finger into the soil. Stick your finger in the soil 1 inch deep. If the soil feels dry, then it’s time to water your Lucky Bamboo. 

If your Lucky Bamboo is grown in water, change the water weekly.

Can You Use Tap Water on Your Lucky Bamboo?

Lucky Bamboo can be watered with tap water but filtered water is preferred since it is sensitive to the chlorine in tap water. Be mindful of the water temperature that you are using to water your Lucky Bamboo. Don’t use straight cold water from the tap to water your Lucky Bamboo. 

Lucky Bamboo prefers cool water that is not hot and not cold. When you turn on the cold water from the faucet add a little bit of warm water. You can also get to this ideal temperature by filling a watering can or pitcher with water and leaving it out overnight until the water is at room temperature.

 If you are growing your Lucky Bamboo in water, use distilled water, don’t use tap water.

What Fertilizer Should You Use for Your Lucky Bamboo?

If your Lucky Bamboo is grown in a potting mix, use liquid or powder, organic fertilizer with a higher ratio of nitrogen. If your Lucky Bamboo is grown in water, use liquid fertilizer with a higher ratio of nitrogen. 

How Big Does Your Lucky Bamboo Get?

Your Lucky Bamboo can grow 1 to 3 feet tall as houseplants.

How Do You Propagate Your Lucky Bamboo?

Lucky Bamboo Plant is easy to propagate. You can propagate your  Lucky Bamboo plant by stem tip cutting. Below are steps on how to propagate Lucky Bamboo Plant by stem tip cutting:

1. Take a Stem Tip Cutting of Lucky Bamboo Plant (include a node)

Pick a stem with a node. Cut below the node. 

2. Place Lucky Bamboo Stem in Jar of Water

Place the Lucky Bamboo stem into a jar of water and wait for it to grow roots. To help it focus its energy on growing roots, make sure your stem has a maximum of 2 leaves. Cut off extra leaves as needed.
Know that not all stem cuttings of Lucky Bamboo will grow roots, so to be safe, cut a few stem cuttings so you will at least get one with roots. 

3. Plant Stem Cutting in New Pot

Once the roots grow, plant these stem cuttings into a new pot or keep it in water in a vase. Water the new plant immediately after planting. Then water every 2-3 days until the roots are established. Use distilled water.

4. Place New Lucky Bamboo Plant in a Spot with Bright Indirect Sun

Place your new Lucky Bamboo plant in a spot with bright indirect sunlight. Don’t put it in direct sunlight.

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