How to grow a lucky bamboo: 12 steps (with pictures)

How to grow a lucky bamboo: 12 steps (with pictures)
How to grow a lucky bamboo: 12 steps (with pictures)
  • Choose the appropriate bamboo.
  • Keep the plant in water or potting soil.
  • Use a pot with a diameter of 5 cm wider than the stem.
  • Add fertilizer from time to time to make it grow faster.
  • Water it sparingly and keep it away from sunlight.
  • Remove yellow or dead leaves with sterilized pruners or sharp scissors.


Part 1 of 3: choosing lucky bamboo

Take Care of Lucky Bamboo Step 1

Step 1. Find a plant you like

You don't have to pick the first bamboo you find, but you should pick a healthy one. You will usually find it in garden centers and even in some supermarkets.

It could be called "lucky bamboo", but also bear its scientific name, "dracaena sanderiana"

Take Care of Lucky Bamboo Step 2

Step 2. Choose one with a bright green color

Lucky bamboos don't require a lot of care, but if you start with an unhealthy plant it is going to be very difficult and it could die. The size of the plant doesn't really matter, as most of them are quite small.

  • It must be a homogeneous green without spots, streaks and yellow areas.
  • The stem should show a consistent color from the base to the end.
  • The tips of the leaves should not be brown.
Take Care of Lucky Bamboo Step 3

Step 3. Make sure it's been planted and doesn't smell bad

Lucky bamboos are very hardy, but if they haven't been planted properly or if they smell badly, they might be sick and they won't grow.

  • Bamboos do not have an odor like flowers, but if they have not been watered properly, bacteria could develop which will cause it to smell bad.
  • Check the water level at the time of purchase and observe the presence of soil or fertilizer. Many plants grow without soil, only with water and small stones or pebbles to hold them in place. However, some could also be planted in soil, which is why you should check if the container is at least half full with water or if the soil is moist, but not soggy.

Part 2 of 3: plant the lucky bamboo

Take Care of Lucky Bamboo Step 4

Step 1. Decide between water and land

There are benefits in both cases depending on the care you want to provide. In fact, you could kill it if you put too much soil or too much fertilizer in it. However, if you want to use tap water and it contains fluoride or other chemicals, you could use potting soil and fertilizer to avoid yellow tips on the leaves.

  • If you are growing it in standing water, you are going to need pebbles to keep it upright. If you choose potting soil, try mixing one-third sand, one-third peat moss, and one-third standard fertilizer to ensure the best drainage possible.
  • If you choose water alone, you need to make sure that the plant has enough to cover the base of the roots. You should also change the water at least once a week to prevent the plant from molding. You could also wash the vase, pebbles, and plant each time you do this.
  • If you grow it in soil, water it enough to keep it slightly moist.
Take Care of Lucky Bamboo Step 5

Step 2. Choose the right vase

Its diameter should be about 5 cm wider than the plant. Most lucky bamboos are sold in a vase, but you can also put it in another vase if you want to personalize the plant.

  • A transparent vase is a great option if you leave it in the water, as you will be able to gaze at the roots and pebbles, but you should avoid putting it in direct sunlight.
  • You can also use a ceramic vase whether you leave the bamboo in water or soil. If you are using potting soil, use a vase that has drainage holes.
Take Care of Lucky Bamboo Step 6

Step 3. Use a little fertilizer

Add a tiny bit of fertilizer every now and then to speed up plant growth. It is better not to apply fertilizer at all than to use too much, which is why you should be careful. This is especially true for potted plants, because the fertilizer will not be diluted by the rain and will not drain into the soil.

Part 3 of 3: Caring for and Customizing Bamboo

Take Care of Lucky Bamboo Step 7

Step 1. Water it in a small amount

Your lucky bamboo doesn't need a lot of water. In fact, too much water could harm it.

  • Water the plant about once a week and add only a few inches each time, just enough to cover the roots.
  • If you have put the plant in potting soil, you need to make sure that it is not too wet or too dry. Bamboo can survive very well only in water, which is why you will kill it by putting too much potting soil or too much fertilizer.
Take Care of Lucky Bamboo Step 8

Step 2. Keep it away from direct sunlight

In the wild, lucky bamboo typically protects itself from direct sunlight by growing under taller plants. You should keep yours in an open, bright room, but avoid exposing it to direct sunlight.

  • To make sure it survives for a long time, don't put it near windows that get a lot of light. Instead, put it in a room that is not too exposed.
  • Your lucky bamboo will also grow better if the temperature stays between 18 ° C and 32 ° C.
Take Care of Lucky Bamboo Step 9

Step 3. Take care of the stems

If you want to customize the bamboo, you can choose some main stems that you tie together before you display it. You can arrange the stems so that they grow around each other or in a certain direction. You just need to use stems that haven't hardened yet.

  • If you want straight stems, you can arrange them in a row or row.
  • To bend the bamboo, find a cardboard box and cut out the bottom and one of the sides. Place the box on top of the plant, keeping the open side towards the light source. The stems will start to bend in the direction of the light as they grow. Once you see it tilting, turn the plant.
  • You can also wrap wire around the younger stems to make them cross. As they grow, you can add more thread to give them more stability.
Take Care of Lucky Bamboo Step 10

Step 4. Remove any dead or yellow leaves

Sometimes the tips of the leaves might turn yellow. This could be the result of several factors: your plant is not getting enough water, there is not enough potting soil or fertilizer, or it is too exposed to the sun. You can cut off the yellow parts or you can just remove the foil.

  • To cut the yellow end of the leaves, sterilize a pair of pruning shears or sharp scissors with a little 90 degree alcohol or vinegar, then cut the yellow part following the natural shape of the leaf.
  • You can remove the entire leaf simply by pulling it off the stem.
Take Care of Lucky Bamboo Step 11

Step 5. Multiply your bamboos

When one or more stems get too long, you can cut them off and replant them. It will also help you take care of your bamboo by making sure there are not too many stems while producing new bamboo.

  • Grab the longer stem and cut off the smaller leaves at the base of the shoot.
  • Cut off the shoot with a sterile knife or scissors about 1 cm from the point where it connects to the main stem.
  • Place the sprout in a bowl with clean distilled water. Keep it in a shady place for a month or two until the roots start to grow. Once you see them, you can replant it in a pot similar to the mother plant.
Take Care of Lucky Bamboo Step 12

Step 6. Tie the stems to hold them in place with tape or wire

People often tie a red or gold ribbon around lucky bamboo stems to hold them together as well as to symbolize good luck.

  • Add pebbles to finish setting up the pot and keeping the plant in place.
  • Put your lucky bamboo somewhere where you can admire it during the day and don't forget to take care of it.

WikiHow Video: How to Grow a Lucky Bamboo

To concern


  • To make the plant grow faster and give it a nice green color, use spring water. Tap water often contains chemicals that are not found in the plant's natural habitat. If you used it, the leaves might turn yellow and the plant will die.
  • Do not overwater the bamboo. You only need to do this once a week.
  • Do not put it in direct contact with sunlight.
  • If you want to add it, add fertilizer only once every two months.
  • If you want the plant to grow faster, you can add a drop or two of aquarium plant food to it.


  • If you notice a bad smell coming from the plant, it is probably already too late to save it. Some people claim that the mold that causes the bad smell is also bad for your health. It would be better then to throw away the plant and buy a new one. You can prevent this from happening again by regularly changing the water in the vase.
  • Otherwise, if you see shoots on the main stem, it is possible to save them from mold. Just cut them and put them in cool water. It might save you from buying a new plant.

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