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What You Should Know About Lucky Bamboo: 33 Care Tips

What You Should Know About Lucky Bamboo: 33 Care Tips

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An easy-to-care-for plant that can contribute to the look and feel of any space is the Lucky Bamboo. Its distinct characteristics make it well-loved by indoor gardeners and professional growers.

In this comprehensive post, we will tackle the best way to keep your Lucky Bamboo looking healthy! We also have a few recommendations if you are interested in buying this plant.

What Is Lucky Bamboo?

The Lucky Bamboo is also known as Friendship Bamboo, ribbon Bamboo, and Chinese Water Bamboo. This perennial from the asparagus family is well-known in Feng Shui because it is believed to bring prosperity and counter bad luck. It has lanceolate-shaped and bright green-colored leaves.

We will mainly talk about the ideal conditions when caring for the Lucky Bamboo indoors, but it can also flourish outdoors in hardiness zones 10-11.

Origin And Family

Friendship Bamboo is a member of the Dracaena family. It is indigenous to Central Africa and Southeast Asia. Originally discovered by Henry Frederick Conrad Sander, the Friendship Bamboo has become popular among plant collectors in recent times.

Where To Buy

Lucky Bamboo is a lovely addition to any garden, and we’ve had a terrific experience purchasing one online. You may start by visiting your local nursery, but if you want to pick and purchase plants from your own home, be sure to check out Etsy. The price tags for a Lucky Bamboo are usually fairly affordable, ranging between $14 to $60.

Lucky Bamboo Plant Size

As a houseplant, the Lucky Bamboo reaches between 1 to 3 ft tall and 1 to 2ft wide when mature. This plant will look good in any part of the house that has low-light and indirect sunlight.

Lucky Bamboo Care Needs

When properly cared for, Lucky Bamboo, like any other popular houseplant, will thrive. This plant, believed in Feng Shui to bring good fortune and prosperity, adores water and needs reasonably moist soil all year.

For the majority of growers, you’ll want to water your dracaena at least once a week. Allow a great deal of time for the water to flow through the pot’s drainage hole. In terms of lighting, Lucky Bamboo or ribbon plants need low light to thrive.

Read our thorough care guide below for more specific advice!

Care Difficulty

This ribbon bamboo is generally easy-to-care-for. The amount of light and amount of water are the most important considerations for this beauty.

Growth Rate

Ribbon Dracaena’s growth rate is typically moderate to fast. As it thrives indoors, it should reach about 1 to 3ft in height.

Potting

This tropical plant has adjusted well to indoor living and can thrive in almost any type of potting material. In terms of sizing, you’d typically want to use a larger container or pot. Considering your pot has good drainage holes at the bottom, your plant should be generally safe against root rot.

Repotting

To maintain your plant’s health, move it to a larger container after it reaches a particular size.

On average, Lucky Bamboo grows at a moderate-to-fast pace. Over time, soil loses its inherent nutritional components, so it’s better to add some moist but well-drained soil when you’re repotting.

Soil

A moist but well-drained soil is best for ribbon bamboo. Aeration and drainage are a must for this plant.

Here are some excellent growing medium options to choose from:

Photo Title Price Buy
Miracle-Gro Indoor Potting...image Miracle-Gro Indoor Potting Mix 6 qt., Grows beautiful Houseplants, 2-Pack $12.96
Burpee, 9 Quarts...image Burpee, 9 Quarts | Premium Organic Potting Natural Soil Mix Food Ideal for Container Garden-Vegetable, Flower & Herb Use for Indoor Outdoor Plant $12.99
Sun Gro Horticulture...image Sun Gro Horticulture Black Gold 1310102 8-Quart All Purpose Potting Soil With Control, Brown/A $18.06
Miracle-Gro Potting Mix Miracle-Gro Potting Mix $16.99
FoxFarm Ocean Forest...image FoxFarm Ocean Forest Potting Soil Mix Indoor Outdoor for Garden and Plants | Plant Fertilizer | 12 Quart + THCity Stake $19.99

pH

For the Chinese Bamboo, you’ll want your soil to have an acidic pH. A moist but well-drained soil most likely has an acidic pH level, so you won’t need to be overly concerned. If you need to raise the pH of your soil, you can add a bit of wood ash, calcitic lime or dolomitic lime, or baking soda. Meanwhile, if you’re worried that the pH is too high, you can lower the pH by adding sulfur or aluminum sulfate.

Use standard soil moisture meters that also function as pH testers to identify the soil’s pH value.

Water

When watering Friendship Bamboo, you should try to keep your soil somewhat wet. Stick your finger into the pot to check the moisture level, or buy a soil moisture meter. You’ll know it’s time to water your dracaena if you notice the soil is drying out.

Overwatering is one of the most frequent killers of indoor plants. When in doubt, keep in mind that it’s safer to underwater than overwater the Friendship Bamboo. Also, make sure you have a fast-draining soil and a pot with drainage holes.

Light

This houseplant prefers low light for approximately 6-8 hours a day. If there’s excessive light, its green leaves will scorch and turn into brown leaves. With inefficient light, it will look pale.

If your Lucky Bamboo isn’t receiving enough light, try moving it near to a window or installing LED grow lights. Here are suggested products for you to choose from:

Fertilizer

Feed your ribbon Bamboo if you want to give it some extra nutrient boost. Use a water-soluble houseplant fertilizer during its growing season in the fall and winter.

Propagating Lucky Bamboo

There are different ways to propagate a Lucky Bamboo. For higher chances of getting a positive result, follow the steps we’ve laid out below for each unique method. 

Stem Cuttings In Soil

The majority of plant enthusiasts thought that the simplest technique of propagation for Friendship Bamboo is directly planting stem cuttings into soil. This plant’s growing season is in the fall and winter, so it’s best to take cuttings during this period.

1. Cut. Remove a section of the stem that has new leaves and at least one node. Your cutting will not be able to grow new leaves unless it has a node.

2. Disinfect. Soak the cutting in cinnamon or rooting powder to sterilize the wound and promote rapid roots.

3. Plant. Insert the disinfected cutting into the potting soil. Make certain that the nodes are buried.

4. Water. Water the soil and keep it wet all the time (but not soggy).

5. Maintain. The roots of the Lucky Bamboo sprout in 2-3 weeks. We recommend that you place your new plant in a bright, shaded spot with plenty of ventilation.

Stem Cuttings In Water

Your ribbon Bamboo can also be rooted in water with these easy steps:

1. Cut. Take some fresh leaf cuttings with around 2-3 nodes.

2. Submerge. Submerge your cutting in water using a mason jar or other clear container. Remove any bottom leaves that are below the water’s surface.

3. Maintain. Place your propagation jar in a well-lit place with a room temperature of 68°F on average.

4. Refill. Discard and replace the water every few days to avoid bacterial growth.

5.Transplant. When the cutting’s roots are at least one inch long, place it in wet, sterile potting soil.

Air Layering Technique

Air-layering stimulates root growth before the chosen section is cut off from the mother plant. It’s said to have higher success rates than other propagation methods.

Follow these steps to air-layer your Chinese Bamboo:

1. Choose a healthy section. Find the section of the stem with at least one node you want to propagate.

2. Wrap the stem. Wrap the node in sphagnum peat moss. Coco coir is a good alternative too. Use cling wrap and tape to secure the substrate.

3. Wait for roots. Keep the substrate moist until you see roots poking through. You may have to wait a few more weeks to let the roots develop.

4. Cut and plant. When you are confident with the root growth, cut off the propagated section below the wrapped node. Don’t forget to remove the clingwrap before planting into the soil!

Division

A Chinese Bamboo can also be propagated by dividing the clusters of stems with entangled root systems.

1. Dig up. Tap the edges of the pot with your tiny shovel to loosen the soil. Pull gently on the plant until it comes out.

2. Separate. The natural limit of each stem should be visible. Use your hands to separate them. You may need to trim the roots, but take care not to harm the major root balls.

3. Repot. Repot each area in smaller pots with the same soil they’ve used.

Humidity And Aeration

High humidity (between 50%) is best for your Lucky Bamboo.

Lack of or low humidity in houseplants is frequently characterized by browning edges and crispy leaves. Consider getting a humidifier, or move your plant to well-lit spaces that are naturally more humid (such as bathrooms, kitchens, and laundry rooms).

Temperature

Generally, warm-to-temperate temperatures are best for your Chinese Bamboo plant. This can range between 65–95°F degrees Fahrenheit.

The most important factor for this plant is consistency. Temperature fluctuations may be extremely damaging to Chinese Bamboo. Close windows and plug any openings in cold weather to protect your plant from chilly drafts. Keep it far from heat vents, which might cause the leaves to dry up.

Flowers

Albeit rarely, the Friendship Bamboo is capable of producing flowers but are usually insignificant.

Toxic

Keep an eye out if you have animals. The ribbon Bamboo is dangerous to pets, such as cats and dogs. If swallowed, the following symptoms can be expected: incoordination, weakness, vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhea, drooling, and dilated pupils. In most cases, this plant is believed to be non-life-threatening.

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Pests, Diseases, And Other Problems

The Lucky Bamboo is not a plant that’s resistant to several bugs, issues, and diseases. In the sections below, I’ll lay out some of the common issues for the Lucky Bamboo, together with some tips and tricks for treating them.

Spider Mites

Houseplants can sometimes bring in unwelcome visitors to your home in the form of common pests. One example of this is the spider mites. The larvae will not be noticeable, but adult mites can be seen quickly scampering around when disturbed.

Spraying diluted neem oil on the leaves of your plants can help eliminate spider mites in their larval stage. Organic Pyrethrin sprays are also excellent at killing adult mites. When spraying pesticides inside, pick compounds that are not dangerous to people if breathed.

Fungus Gnats

Fungus gnats can cause fungal infections to your plant. These are tiny insects that feed on the organic breakdown in soil, potting mix, and other container media. Their larvae eat fungus and organic materials in the soil, but they also devour roots, which is bad news for your Friendship Bamboo.

Hydrogen peroxide eliminates fungus gnat larvae on contact. Soak your soil in a solution with four parts water and one part hydrogen peroxide to get rid of these bugs. What’s good about hydrogen peroxide is that it is a natural component of rainwater that reoxygenates the soil and promotes healthier root growth.

Powdery Mildew

Powdery mildew is a typical fungus that can cause powdery white patches on the leaves of this lovely houseplant. The plant gets increasingly vulnerable and weak as the fungus spreads.

Powdery mildew prefers warm and humid conditions. Even though your Chinese Bamboo isn’t particularly sensitive to powdery mildew, it can still be a problem if you mist your plant too much or allow water to stay on its leaves.

Prevention is, once again, your best bet. Providing good air circulation through the use of an electric fan can keep mildew and other fungal diseases at bay. Watering directly on the soil instead of the leaves is also a good idea.

White Flies

Whiteflies are tiny airborne insects that immediately fly around when a plant is moved. They are particularly attracted to the Friendship Bamboo. They feed on leaves but rarely cause the death of plants.

If you like the taste and smell of herbs, keeping them near your pest-ridden plant has an added benefit! The aroma of mint, parsley, and cilantro are known to repel whiteflies.

Managing a heavy infestation necessitates the use of a pesticide. Here are several popular Amazon products we recommend against whiteflies:

Scale Insects

Scale insects eat plant sap. The mature scale, which distinguishes them from other bugs, will hook onto one area of the plant and remain there. Armoured scales are brownish lumps that grow on plant stems or petioles.

To dissuade scales from latching onto your Lucky Bamboo, dilute a teaspoon of neem oil in 500 mL of water and sprinkle it over its leaves.

You may also release ladybugs or lacewings near your affected plant to take care of the problem.

Aphids

Aphids are often discovered as a swarm of bugs on your bamboo ribbon. They might be green, black, red, brown, yellow, orange, or white in color. They reproduce exceedingly quickly and can devastate your plant in a matter of days!

Aphids are especially drawn to young shoots, flower buds, and regions of new development. As they feed on the sap, they will leave behind ugly black and white splotches.

If you see these disgusting crawlers, segregate your diseased plant from the others right away. Apply a powerful spray of water to your plant to remove the aphids, but do not forget to cover the soil with plastic to collect any falling bugs and their eggs. Place the plastic somewhere far from your garden.

Spraying horticultural oil, insecticidal soap, or neem oil can take care of the problem, but this needs to be repeated several times until you’re sure that the aphid population has been entirely exterminated.

Mealybugs

Mealybugs can potentially infest your Chinese Bamboo. They accumulate a white powdery layer on the leaves and excrete honeydew, which creates black sooty mold. Mealybug-infested plants will have yellow falling leaves.

Adult mealies can be removed using a cotton bud soaked in rubbing alcohol. On contact, they normally die and become orange. The rest of the leaves must be sprayed with diluted alcohol.

There are root mealies that will bury themselves and feed on the roots. Dehydrate them between waterings by adding Diatomaceous Earth powder to the dirt. When watering, you may also add a few drops of hydrogen peroxide.

Brown Leaf Tips

If you notice the tips of the leaves start browning, you might need to double-check on a number of components.

Check the humidity in your home and make sure it is not too low. To avoid being exposed to too much sun, use drapes to block off intense sunlight. Avoid using too much fertilizer. Allow several minutes for the water to circulate through the soil to wash away excess minerals and salts.

Drooping Leaves

If you notice drooping leaves on your Lucky Bamboo, it might be thirsty or in need of more moisture in the air. Your plant’s leaves will usually remain fresh and perky for a longer period if you keep a humidifier nearby.

Another cause of downward-curling leaves is overexposure to bright light. In this occurrence, you can simply move your plant away from the nearest source of light and heat.

Yellow Leaves

Sometimes, you may find yellow leaves on your ribbon Bamboo, which can be a sign of trouble. Moisture stress, inappropriate lighting, nutritional imbalance, variable temperatures, insect infestations, bacterial or viral infections, and other factors all contribute to this condition.

To identify the problem, you will need to consider any recent changes in the weather or in terms of how you care for your plant.

Root Rot

Root rot is a very prevalent killer of Chinese Bamboo. Some indoor gardeners may overwater their plants, or they may fail to provide proper drainage for their plants. These are the two most common causes of root rot.

Prevention is the best option because root rot is tough to treat. If you don’t have a soil meter, practice touching your soil to feel for moisture. Skip the watering for now if the top few inches do not feel dry!

Use porous pots (such as clay, unglazed ceramic, and concrete) to enable excess moisture to escape through the sides. Provide your plant with well-aerated soil to allow its roots to breathe and grow freely.

Similar Plants

Love Friendship Bamboo? Here are similar plant options you should try:

Bamboo – Bamboo is a tough plant that can thrive in a variety of environments. It is a large species of grass that is native to tropical areas and is well-liked in landscaping because of its height and toughness.

Parlor Palm – The Parlor Palm, which is regarded as a typical indoor palm, does best indoors in dim light or away from strong sunlight and confined areas. This plant, which is one of the wide varieties of palm trees, is well known for its resistance to the circumstances found inside.
Areca Palm – Areca Palm is a tropical plant that is sure to spruce up your garden. It is a tropical plant whose bamboo-like leaves have made it well-known.

Conclusion

If you’re considering a houseplant with some wow factor, the Lucky Bamboo is an excellent choice. Follow the tips we’ve provided above, and you’ll be well on your way to realizing your plant’s full potential!

Can’t get enough of Dracaena plant guides? Check out these other options from Two Peas In A Condo!

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