Lucky Bamboo History, Meaning and Care

It is estimated that bamboo has been a symbol of good fortune in the Asian culture more than 4000 years. In ancient Asia, this plant was considered a member of the bamboo family, however, modern science classifies it as Dracaena Sanderiana

Lucky bamboo is one of the plants recommended by Feng Shui masters to improve Feng Shui and create a space where you feel safe and more energized. Feng Shui is the ancient practice of bringing the natural elements of water, fire, earth, wood and metal into balance in our surroundings. This is believed to produce greater harmony and a more positive life experience.

Because lucky bamboo is able to thrive in many areas of the home or workplace where other plants would not, it is valued as a means to enhance the positive flow of energy or "chi" in these areas.

The bamboo stalk is valued as a perfect symbol of the wood element. A red ribbon tied around the stalks symbolized the element of fire. The addition of a little fire assists enhancing or "igniting" the positive result that is desired.

What do the various numbers of stalks mean?
3 stalks = attracts happiness
5 stalks = attracts wealth
7 stalks = result in good health
21 stalks = offer a very powerful all-purpose blessing

A few simple rules:

First avoid too much sunlight. Lucky bamboo grows naturally under the canopy of wet tropical rain forests. It needs very little sunlight to thrive. In general, the more indirect, the better. If you see burning or browning on the tips of the leaves, the location may receive too much sunlight. Lucky Bamboo must be kept moist all the time. It prefers a few inches of fresh, or filtered water. It will also thrive in a soil mixture as long as this soil holds a lot of water. Since neither water nor soil contains the vitamins, minerals and hormones that are found in Lucky Bamboo's natural growing environment, supplementation is recommended.

What causes leaves or stalks to turn yellow?
After considering the possibility of too much light, the next element to consider is the source of the water you are using. If you live in a city where fluoride is added to the water, or has high chlorine or salt content, or a combination of these factors will cause this problem. Yellowing is first seen at the tips of the leaves and then spreads throughout the whole stalk until it dies. It is vital to provide pure, clean water, either by adding an effective filtering system to your tap, or by purchasing water for this purpose. If you suspect this is your problem, and you improve the quality of your water, allow time for healthy, new foliage to form before concluding that something else must be wrong.

Can lucky bamboo be planted outdoors?
No, unless you live in a tropical rain forest. This plant does not respond well to temberatures below 16c, and must be kept very moist at all times.

Is lucky bamboo safe for children and pets?
It is completely non-toxic and safe.

Can propagation be done from original stalks?
To grow new stalks from your original ones, make a clean cut through the stalk, seal the top end with some wax. Place the cutting in fresh, clean water with some rooting hormone (use directions on rooting hormone package). Refresh this mixture at least once a week.

What type of ailments affect lucky bamboo?
Lucky bamboo is susceptible to many of the same ailments as conventional houseplants. Treatment is easily achieved by using products available at your local home and garden center. We recommend treating pests with organic or environmentally safe products like "Safer" as they are safer for humans, animals and the environment.

How Long Does Bamboo Last?
Lucky Bamboo is native to much warmer, humid climates than Winnipeg. Depending on the humidity and temperature of your home it can last from a couple weeks to several months. There is really not much you can do if bamboo doesn't like the environment in your home, so enjoy the time you do have with it.