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How to care for Chinese lucky bamboo

Updated February 21, 2017

Also called curly bamboo, Chinese lucky bamboo isn't actually a type of bamboo plant, but instead a Dracaena species -- Dracaena sanderana. Native to West Africa and Cameroon, lucky bamboos are popular indoor plants in homes and offices. Lucky bamboo plants grow in finger-sized canes with attractive foliage and jointed stems that resemble real bamboo. Most lucky bamboo plants are grown in decorative containers filled with just water and sometimes pebbles or rocks. Lucky bamboo plants grow up to only 90 cm (3 feet) tall and are tough plants.

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  1. Position your lucky bamboo in bright-indirect to low light. Maintain normal indoor air temperatures around your lucky bamboo of 18 to 24 degrees C (65F to 75F).

  2. Change the water in the lucky bamboo's container once every two to three weeks. Keep the water level at about 2.5 to 7.5 cm (1 to 3 inches), ensuring that the roots and bottom joints of the bamboo are submerged in the water.

  3. Feed your lucky bamboo an all-purpose liquid houseplant fertiliser once every two to three months. Simply place one drop of the diluted fertiliser in the water, following the instructions on the label.

  4. Prune back the lucky bamboo's canes if the plant's leaves begin to look tattered or its stems become leggy. Cut the canes back to their original length when you bought the curly bamboo and new, healthier growth will emerge.

  5. Add small stones, marbles or rocks to the bottom of the lucky bamboo's container to help keep the stalks upright. If you're growing the lucky bamboo in a clear glass container, you can select more decorative stones.

  6. Tip

    Use non-fluoridated water in your lucky bamboo's container. If your tap water contains fluoride, like some domestic water supplies, use rainwater or distilled bottled water. Fluoridated water can cause the curly bamboo to develop leaf-tip burn.


    Beware of spider mites infesting your curly bamboo. If you detect spider mites on your curly bamboo -- noticeable when the insects cause webbing on the canes or leaves -- rinse the leaves with water to help wash off the spider mites.

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Things You'll Need

  • Non-fluoridated water
  • All-purpose liquid houseplant fertiliser
  • Pruning shears or sharp scissors

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