How to Grow Bamboo Plants in Water

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Things You'll Need

  • Container

  • Dish soap

  • Sponge

  • Gravel or stones

  • Liquid houseplant fertilizer

Water-grown lucky bamboo is a low-maintenance houseplant.

That iconic "bamboo" plant that grows in water and seems to be in every store and office isn't a true bamboo, but a member of the genus Dracaena. This bamboo look-alike goes by the name "lucky bamboo," and is supposed to bring luck, prosperity and health to its owner. Caring for the plant could not be easier, and once established, your lucky bamboo can thrive for many years. In the Chinese practice of feng shui, lucky bamboo creates a safe and energizing space, so spruce up your office or home with a few stalks.


Step 1

Wash your container in warm soapy water. Rinse it thoroughly.

Step 2

Fill the container with 1 to 2 inches of gravel or stones. This secures your lucky bamboo and prevents it from tipping over. The gravel also allows the plant's roots to cling onto something, since you're not using soil.

Step 3

Place the bamboo stalks in the gravel. Add as many stalks to your container as you'd like. Traditionally, three stalks signify happiness, five denote wealth and four should be avoided -- it means death.


Step 4

Add 2 to 3 inches of water to the container. Lucky bamboo plants don't need a lot of water, and they will sprout roots wherever there's water -- if you fill the container all the way, roots will sprout all along the bamboo's stalk.

Step 5

Place the lucky bamboo in a draft-free location where it receives indirect or low sunlight. Placing the plant in bright light can cause the leaves to burn and turn yellow. Since lucky bamboo is a tropical native, it prefers warm rooms to drafty or cold areas.

Step 6

Change the water in the container every two to three weeks. In between water changes, top off the water level to ensure there's always the same amount of water in the container.

Step 7

Fertilize the bamboo every three months by putting one drop of liquid houseplant fertilizer into the water in your container.


The size and shape of the container is up to you, so find a container that expresses your personal taste and accommodates as many stalks as you want to grow.

Bamboo can be clumped together, so don't be afraid to press the stalks up against each other in your container.



Elton Dunn

A successful website writer since 1998, Elton Dunn has demonstrated experience with technology, information retrieval, usability and user experience, social media, cloud computing, and small business needs. Dunn holds a degree from UCSF and formerly worked as professional chef. Dunn has ghostwritten thousands of blog posts, newsletter articles, website copy, press releases and product descriptions. He specializes in developing informational articles on topics including food, nutrition, fitness, health and pets.