Despite its name, lucky bamboo is not actually bamboo. While traditional bamboo is technically a grass, lucky bamboo (also known by its scientific name Dracaena sanderiana) is a water-loving plant that is more at home in temperate areas with plenty of water than in an Asian field. Although lucky bamboo does not grow quickly naturally, if you don't see any growth, there could be a problem you need to troubleshoot.
Lucky bamboo will thrive when exposed to shaded or indirect sunlight all day. Though they can live under artificial or low light, they will not grow under these circumstances. Conversely, if exposed to too much light, lucky bamboo will scorch and may die. Try putting your lucky bamboo near a large window where filtered sunlight will reach the plant all day for optimum growth potential.
If your lucky bamboo is near an air vent, multiple light sources or high-use appliances, the changes in temperature could be inhibiting its growth. Lucky bamboo will thrive in temperatures between 65 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit, and these temperatures should remain constant. Rapid changes in temperature or extreme hot or cold will stop your lucky bamboo's growth in its tracks. Put your lucky bamboo in an area where the temperature is in a comfortable, constant range.
Water With Filtered Water
Watering your lucky bamboo with filtered or bottled water can actually help it grow. Tap water has many chemical additives, including fluoride and chlorine, that can harm your lucky bamboo. Since lucky bamboo is sensitive to these chemicals (and doesn't have soil to filter them out), you can use filtered or bottled water to promote growth without chemicals.
Fertilize the Plant
Because lucky bamboo is grown hydroponically, you might think it doesn't need to be fertilized. That is not the case, however. Once a month, add one to three drops of liquid fertilizer to your lucky bamboo's water to encourage growth and keep your plant healthy. The plant's roots cannot absorb granular fertilizer.
Amanda Kondolojy has been writing professionally since 2007 and currently writes full-time as a staff contributor at "Cheat Code Central." She also contributes regularly to her Disney-themed blog, Adventures in Pin Trading. Kondolojy holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism and political science from George Mason University.