Houseplants Lucky Bamboo

The Asian lucky bamboo has been ascribed magical abilities for several centuries. He should ensure health and a long life as well as great wealth. For this reason, the Lucky Bamboo, as the lucky bamboo is also called, is a popular gift and souvenir – especially on New Year’s Eve. But even without the ascribed lucky effect, the lucky bamboo is a decorative houseplant that can thrive almost anywhere with a little care.

Lucky Bamboo – the name is deceptive.

The well-known lucky bamboo is not an actual type of bamboo, but a dragon tree. The largely leafless stem, which is divided into segments, together with the narrow leaves create an appearance that is confusingly similar to the real bamboo species.

And lucky bamboo and bamboo also share some preferences when it comes to the requirements for location and care.

Other names of the lucky bamboo

  • Lucky Bamboo
  • Maispflanze
  • Water bamboo
  • Dragon tree
  • Dracaena fragrans stedneri
  • Dracaena sanderiana

Easy-care lucky charm – the Lucky Bamboo

The lucky bamboo makes few demands on the care. The right location, regular fresh water and a little fertilizer – the Asian lucky charm doesn’t need anything else. The Lucky Bamboo can even do without substrate. If these conditions are met, the plants thank with rapid growth, longevity and constant new shoots.
So nobody really needs to have a green thumb to ensure that the lucky bamboo thrives.

Choose the right location for the lucky bamboo.

The Lucky Bamboo comes from tropical, i.e. warm and rainy areas, and grows there preferably under the canopy of higher plants. If it is also to grow in the room, conditions that are as similar as possible must therefore be created.

  • Permanently high humidity, such as in the kitchen or bathroom
  • Partially shaded or sunny location, but constant blazing sun should be avoided.
  • Temperatures over 18 ° C
Tip: It is easiest to create the necessary conditions in the bathroom and kitchen, as there is usually a higher level of humidity. If it is too dry here too, regular misting with the flower sprayer will help.

The Lucky Bamboo in the garden and on the balcony
The water bamboo can also create an exotic flair outside the house. But only if the temperatures are right. If the thermometer doesn’t drop significantly below 18 ° C at night, the lucky charm can go out into the fresh air. Of course, high humidity and regular watering should also be ensured at these locations.

Possible substrates for the small bamboo

In the trade, the maize plants are mostly offered in small containers filled with water. The lucky charm can also be found in moist plugging material. And so it can also stand in your own four walls, because the lucky bamboo does not depend on substrate. It is enough to put the plant in three to four centimeters high water. In the case of permanent substrateless husbandry, however, the maintenance effort increases somewhat while the lifespan is reduced.
In addition to storage in bare water, the lucky bamboo can also be cared for in hydroponics or in granules after the roots have formed.

The third option is to put it in commercially available green plant soil. If this is pre-fertilized, the maintenance of the maize plant is reduced to a minimum. For this, however, the plant should already have developed roots.

Plant the Lucky Bamboo correctly.

Especially at peak times, i.e. at the turn of the year and on public holidays, you will mainly find freshly cut Lucky Bamboos in stores. These young parts of the plant have not yet had time to develop a network of roots. The lucky bamboo can be placed in a substrate without roots, but it is better to wait. If the water bamboo is kept in bare water, the first roots are usually more visible than in soil or hydroponics.
If the lower end of the plant shows roots that are five to ten centimeters long, it can be planted in the substrate without any problems. A stabilizing plant aid should be used for very thin or already very tall plants.

Tip: Individual plants do not need a large pot or a lot of substrate, a small container is sufficient. If the plant becomes very tall, however, its stability suffers – a stable, heavy planter or narrow, tall vessels with a broad base can help.

Alternatively, several lucky bamboo stems can be planted close to each other or smaller pots can be used in a box filled with stones.

Lucky bamboo – change water and pour

  • The lucky bamboo needs soft water that is as free of heavy metals, pollutants and lime as possible.
  • If the Lucky Bamboo is substrateless in the water, it is sufficient to fill up the vessel if necessary. A complete water change is only necessary if the remaining water or the planter are dirty. In addition, it should be ensured, especially in summer, that the roots are never completely dry.
  • Dracaena in hydroponics or potting soil require a regular supply of water. The substrate should always be kept moist and must not dry out.
  • If the humidity is low, it is advisable to spray the plant in addition to watering
  • Use only room temperature water for watering and spraying
Tip: If yellow or brown tips appear on the leaves despite sufficient watering, the location of the plant should be changed first. The lighting conditions may not be sufficient. If this does not improve the situation either, the cause can usually be found in the irrigation water. Rainwater, stale, boiled or filtered tap water is always preferable to fresh tap water. Poor watering and the resulting putrefaction is also possible.

Lucky Bamboo – when is fertilization necessary?

If the lucky bamboo is permanently in the water without substrate, regular fertilization is necessary. The same applies to inorganic hydroponics and substrates. Because with these variants, the available nutrients are insufficient to ensure long-term growth and the health of the plant.

With pre-fertilized potting soil, however, additional fertilization is not necessary.

Type of fertilizer and spacing

  • Use special lucky bamboo or lucky bamboo fertilizers from specialist shops; this can be used for pure dewatering, hydroponics and soil
  • As an alternative to the substrate, use a liquid fertilizer that is suitable for hydroponics or in the ground for green houseplants
  • Use fertilizer only slightly diluted, but at short intervals – every one to two weeks

Repot and move the Lucky Bamboo

If the lucky bamboo is in the water, changing to a larger vessel is only necessary if the dragon tree is too high.

In hydroponics and potting soil, on the other hand, repotting is more necessary. Frequent watering tends to silt up the earth. And hydroponics and substrates also degrade. Any existing nutrients are flushed out, the residues are prone to putrefaction. An annual change of the chosen substrate is therefore necessary for the growth and health of the plant.

The roots should be completely freed from old earth and granules. Before repotting, thorough rinsing with lukewarm water is recommended.

Intersecting plants

The bamboo-like dragon tree can be pruned for three reasons:

  • Removal of dead or diseased plant parts
  • Stimulation of denser side shoots
  • Propagation of the plant

If you want to give the Lucky Bamboo a dense and attractive look, you should carefully remove thin side shoots close to the trunk with a sharp knife. This cut makes for a more abundant growth. The resulting plant parts can also be used as cuttings.

Tip: Disinfect the knife before cutting, otherwise germs can penetrate the plant and cause severe damage.

Propagate the lucky bamboo.

If you want to multiply the lucky bamboo, you can – at least in theory – choose between three variants:

  • Propagation through shoots
  • Propagation through stem division
  • Propagation by seeds

The first two methods require a little patience, because the first roots and new shoots only appear after several weeks or even months, even with successful propagation. The third variant, on the other hand, proves to be extremely difficult when extracting the seeds. Because seeds are only present if flowers have previously formed. These, in turn, only arise in relatively old plants – experience has shown that from the age of 10. Fertilization and removal of the small seeds require additional skill, which is why propagation in this way is not recommended.

Propagation by shoots
Propagating the maize plant by shoots is quite simple, but not always successful. But if you want to cut your lucky bamboo anyway, you get the raw material as a by-product – so you have nothing to lose here.

  1. Carefully cut off the side shoots directly on the trunk with a sharp, clean and, if possible, disinfected knife. For a particularly high chance of success, the shoots should be about eight to ten centimeters long.
  2. The loose shoots must be placed in a little water with the lower end.
  3. To increase the humidity and improve the climate, it is helpful to cover the young shoots either with cling film or a transparent plastic bag.
  4. If the first roots show up, the young plants can be placed in soil or another substrate.

Propagation by
division of the trunk Propagating the lucky bamboo by division of the trunk is the easiest and fastest way of propagation. For this variant it is not even necessary to wait for suitable side shoots to grow.

  1. Cut the trunk into pieces about ten centimeters long. Again, use a clean and sharp knife for this.
  2. Either place the individual pieces with the lower side in water or place them in shallow water that only covers about half of the trunk.
  3. As soon as the shoots and roots set in, the plants can be put in soil or substrate.
Tip: Even when propagating by dividing the trunk, an airtight cover with foil or a plastic bag helps to improve the humidity.


The lucky bamboo appreciates consistently high temperatures, even in winter. However, since these decrease even in the bathroom and kitchen with the onset of the cold season, care should be taken to ensure a warm and bright location. Drafty window sills must be avoided.

An additional problem in winter is the increasingly dry room air that can result from heating. Regular watering and additional spraying of the plant are then required.
Typical diseases and pests of the lucky bamboo

As a houseplant, the lucky bamboo is not susceptible to pests. Unfortunately, she is not spared to the same extent from illnesses. Lucky Bamboo is particularly prone to rot, which can affect the leaves, trunk and roots.

A typical sign of rot is a yellowish or brownish discoloration of the affected areas. If the roots are diseased, the fungus can also express itself as withered, slack leaves and overall poorer growth. In addition, with further progress a moldy, usually white, coating becomes visible.

In some cases, there is also a sudden yellowing of the trunk that appears to have no cause. The reasons for this are still unclear, but are suspected to be a creeping infection.

Lucky Bamboo Indoor Plant

What helps against rot in the lucky bamboo?

If the above-mentioned signs of rot occur in the lucky bamboo, the infected sections must be removed immediately and generously. This even applies to roots and the trunk. In addition to the yellowing areas and parts with a visible coating, the apparently healthy transitions should also be cut off. This is the only way to prevent it from spreading – at least temporarily.

In addition, the vessel must be thoroughly cleaned and the substrate completely replaced. In order to avoid a renewed infestation, a check of the location, watering and other maintenance should not be missing. Rot often occurs when the roots are too cold, the water is contaminated, or the substrate is silty.

Is the water bamboo poisonous?

The lucky bamboo promises wealth and health but is also poisonous. For children and pets, consumption of the plant parts can even be life-threatening. Therefore, the Lucky Bamboo should always be set up and placed securely out of the reach of children, cats and co. Because even if the planter itself is high enough, it could fall over unnoticed, causing it to be picked up.

The lucky bamboo is an easy-care houseplant that grows quickly with a little sunlight, water and the right location and can even be reproduced by laypeople without any problems. In addition, the Lucky Bamboos are cheap to buy, durable and not very susceptible to pests. All these advantages make the small dragon tree, which promises wealth and luck, a wonderful starter plant and a great gift for people with and without green fingers.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *