Lucky bamboo is a plant that is supposed to bring luck and good fortune. Many times, it is given as a house warming or wedding gift to wish the recipients good luck. Contrary to its name, Lucky Bamboo is not bamboo, it is Dracaena Sanderia and is an easy plant to grow and maintain. Training the plant to curl, however, is not as easy and takes time and patience.
Choosing Your Plant
If you are purchasing a Lucky Bamboo plant and want to train it to curl, the first order of business is to make sure the plant is healthy. Most of these plants are grown in water, and at least the roots should be covered with water. Bright green stalks are also a good sign that the plant is healthy. Don't purchase a plant that has yellow or brown leaf tips or stalks or signs of an insect infestation.
Lucky Bamboo does not like direct sunlight: Placing it on a sunny window sill will eventually kill the plant. It does well in moderate indirect light. You can even place it in a room with almost no light and it will survive. Under these conditions though the plant will need to be moved to a place with some indirect light for a few days every couple of weeks. When kept in darker places, the plant will not grow much and you will not be able to train it to curl, but it will survive. In order to train the plant, locate a place that has strong indirect sunlight coming from one side of the plant, such as a shelf next to a window.
Training the Lucky Bamboo
Lucky Bamboo stalks are not naturally curly. This can be accomplished with a manipulation technique using light and a shoe box or a box somewhat larger than the plant. Stand the box on end so the plant is shaded on top and all sides but one. Place the open side toward the light source. In time, the stalk will start to grow toward the light. Once you start to see this, turn the plant's container about an eighth of a turn. The stalks will continue to grow toward the light and each time you can turn the container. Eventually, you will end up with curly stalks and you can take off the box. Lucky Bamboo is a slow grower and this takes some time, but you will be rewarded with what's considered the luckiest of the Lucky Bamboo.