How to Plant Lucky Bamboo in Soil

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You can grow lucky bamboo in water or soil.
Image Credit: Olga Ostapenko/iStock/GettyImages

In some cultures, lucky bamboo (​Dracaena sanderiana​) is thought to bring joy and prosperity to a household. Even for those who don't believe that, lucky bamboo is a beautiful and fun addition to any houseplant collection. One reason for the plant's popularity is that it can be grown in just water. However, knowing how to plant lucky bamboo in soil can help you grow a more well-established and larger plant.

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About Lucky Bamboo

Lucky bamboo is a herbaceous perennial and is a popular houseplant thanks to its easy-care nature. In Chinese lore, the number of lucky bamboo stalks has different mostly positive implications, including luck, love, wealth and health. Lucky bamboo is actually more closely related to succulents than to true bamboo (Bambusoideae), which is a type of grass.

Planting Lucky Bamboo

You can choose to grow lucky bamboo in water for a low-maintenance houseplant. When growing lucky bamboo in water, the roots must be covered with a layer of pebbles to help stabilize the plant. You should always use filtered water and make sure you change the water if it begins to look murky or dirty.

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If you have a bigger or more established lucky bamboo plant, you may wish to plant it in soil instead. Lucky bamboo can grow successfully in soil, but it will require some special care. Select a potting mix that's suitable for succulents. You must also select a suitable pot with drainage holes to prevent your plant's roots from becoming waterlogged. You can also add a layer of gravel at the base of your pot to aid drainage and act as an anchor.

You can then plant the root end of your lucky bamboo in soil. Lucky bamboo plants thrive in a damp environment, so you should make sure you are keeping the soil moist but not soggy. Use filtered or distilled water to prevent fluoride from damaging your plant. Making sure that the pot can drain excess water will ensure that the roots of your lucky bamboo (and therefore the plant overall) will stay healthy.

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Lucky Bamboo Care

Lucky bamboo grows naturally in the shade of larger plants, so it is best placed in an area with indirect light. It will need some light to grow, though, so a dark corner isn't an ideal spot. The plant favors temperatures in the range of 65 to 95 degrees Fahrenheit.

You can also fertilize your lucky bamboo during the summer months to help boost growth. It's important to use organic fertilizer, as high levels of salt or phosphorous can cause damage to your lucky bamboo. If any stalks become too long, you can trim them and put them in water to form roots. Once roots are formed, you can transfer your new stalks to the soil with the rest of your lucky bamboo.

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You can also train your lucky bamboo plant to grow in various shapes. This can be done by using wire to hold the stalks in place or by blocking light from parts of the plant. Stalks can even be twisted together over time.

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Annie Walton Doyle is a freelance writer based in Manchester, UK. Her work has appeared in The Huffington Post, The Daily Telegraph, Professional Photography Magazine, Bustle, Ravishly and more. When not writing, she enjoys pubs, knitting, nature and mysteries.

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