Lucky Bamboo – Dracaena sanderiana

The “Lucky Bamboo” really isn’t a bamboo even though it may resemble one – its actually Dracaena sanderiana.

Whatever you want to call this “lucky plant” it has opened up a whole new way for people afraid of or carry the “brown thumb” badge with them, along with adding some green with unusual flair to their interior space.

Numerous questions come in concerning the novelty plant – Lucky Bamboo.

There isn’t much on the net dealing directly with the care of this plant… it can still experience some pest problems but there is more on the web than you may think.

The “Lucky Bamboo” has been marketed and “grown” basically as a hydroponic plant, in a decorative container with rock, marbles, polished stones to keep the plant upright and water in the bottom… no soil.

Lucky Bamboo Plant Care

lucky bamboo 2 stems in vase

The best way to describe this one of a kind green interior houseplant care requirements – minimal.

All that’s required is regular cleaning of the leaves (you should do that on all indoor office plants) , change the water weekly, place in areas with lots of light but without direct sunlight.

Every month remove the plant from its pot, wash the plant and roots off thoroughly – and place the “bamboo plant” back in the pot after it has been itself washed and the water replaced.

Dracaena sanderiana is not a large plant like Dracaena Massangeana – the corn plant.

The canes are harvested and cut into much smaller lengths just as many Dracaenas. The tops are waxed off to help stop the entry of fungus or rot.

The plants or canes are then grouped together creating some unique looks. The “Lucky Bamboo” sort of combines the production methods of Dracaena Massangeana and the flexibility of Dracaena Marginata … it’s all in this care guide.

So what can you do specifically or what should you be aware of in caring for your Dracaena sanderiana – “Lucky Bamboo”?

Beware of Fluoride Problems

Right off we know that many Dracaenas can have fluoride problems, and where does most of the fluoride problems come from?

Our water… use good clean pure water, try to stay away from the tap water.

If you’re going to use tap water let it sit out over night to allow the chlorine to evaporate, it won’t remove the fluoride but the chlorine can also damage the plants.. 

Most of the care recommends changing the water every 3-7 days, so you can see good water is important for these plants to do well.

Next, we know that high salts can burn the leaves of Dracaenas.

Most of our salt build ups come from adding liquid fertilizers to the water. You’ll also find salts in your city water.

Stay away from fertilizing these plants all together.

Again you see the importance of a good clean water source.

From all my growing experience and observations the “Lucky Bamboo” does best in good lighting but not direct sun.

Remember it’s a novelty plant not a 6 foot specimen and doesn’t have the same demands.

How about when the plant grows too much and you want to take a cutting or cut the cane.

Handle it just the way you’re currently growing your “Lucky Bamboo”. Place the new cutting in a small pot with some rock and keep it moist until roots appear.

There are claims that the “Lucky Bamboo” can live for years and I don’t doubt it. Just about any plant can be enjoyed for years with proper care.

Just in case you’re wondering if “Lucky Bamboo” is that much different that the more familiar and commercially grown Dracaenas.

Other than being a different variety and grown or presented in an unusual way… NO. You’ll find Dracaena massangeana marketed in a similar fashion as… “Lucky Tree Logs”.

It’s really no different. Most Dracaenas could be produced this same way. Size is the real issue.

If people were really interested in buying cane of other varieties to give it a “Lucky Bamboo” drop us a line and we’ll see if some growers of traditional cane would be interested in supplying it.

You’re complete Dracaena care here.

Lucky Bamboo – Canes & Arrangement Has Meaning

The number of canes and size the plants in an arrangement is not left to chance.

The number of stairs the plants form bring unique meanings:

  • Three stairs bring happiness, health and a long life
  • Five stairs stimulate the 5th elements of life
  • Six stairs bring health
  • Eight stairs bring development and prosperity
  • Ten stairs symbolize perfection and fulfillment
  • Twenty-one stairs bring a powerful blessing

They make a wonderful gift for a home or office, everyone loves the unusual look, combined with easy care and long lasting display.

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Renee July 18, 2010 at 1:09 pm

Should I cut off all the yellowed leaves, or will they turn green again? And there is a white residue on the stalks. Should I try to clean that off, and how. My plant is in a tall vase with just water and these jell things. Thanks for your help. Renee

LAURIE HEIZMAN July 31, 2010 at 4:40 pm


Kenneth September 2, 2010 at 3:36 am

I have a couple lucky bamboo plants 1 of them already has the spirual look to it the other one is small and stright,i was wondering how you get them to start growing with the spirualing instead of just growing stright.

sinceraly yours