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Despite the common name, Lucky Bamboo actually isn’t bamboo at all. Dracaena Sanderiana are a native shrub to Cameroon, West Africa, and thrive in rainforests where they can grow up to five feet tall. Lucky Bamboo can grow either hydroponically or in soil. There are pros and cons to either option, so your decision is mostly a personal preference.
Receiving your Plant
The base of the bamboo will be wrapped in a plastic bag filled with gel. We do this to hydrate the plant while it’s in transit. When you take it out of the box, you can take the bag off and throw it away so you can plant it.
Planting in Water
The bamboo should be in a sturdy vase, with the water level sitting just above the roots. You can use pebbles or marbles to help keep the plant upright. Only give bamboo distilled, filtered water, as the minerals and chemicals found in tap water can be harmful and turn the leaves yellow or brown. Your plant’s leaves may also turn yellow if they’re too dry, so you can mist them every few days.
The water must be changed at least once a week, or the roots will rot. You don’t have to fertilize often, maybe once every three or four months, with a diluted water soluble fertilizer at one tenth the normal dosage. Do this when you’re changing the water.
Planting in Soil
Make an equal mix of thirds with sand, peat moss, and regular soil, for thorough drainage. Don’t put too much soil in the pot- just enough for the plant to sit comfortably, and for the soil to cover the base of the roots. You’ll only need about two or three inches, depending on the size of your plant. When lucky bamboo is in soil, you don’t need to water it too often. Place your finger into the soil to about your first knuckle, and if it feels dry, then water. If the soil gets to moist then the roots can rot, so try not to water too much.
Use the same fertilizer as you would in water, but you have to do it once a month. When the soil runs out of nutrients, you have to replenish that, so just replace one of the watering sessions with the fertilizer.
Lucky bamboo can’t tolerate direct sunlight. In their natural habitat, they’re usually shaded by other taller plants. Set them in a bright area but away from windows where they could be exposed to full sunlight. They like temperatures from about 60F to 90F. Trim off dead or yellowing leaves on the plant to encourage new, healthier growth.
Lucky bamboo are famous for being trained into dazzling shapes, like twists and curls. There are various techniques to shape the bamboo, such as placing a board above the bamboo so that the stalk will grow sideways towards the light, or wiring. You can wrap wire around the stalks to get them to bend whichever direction desired. To hold stalks together, use ribbon or twist ties so that they stand upright.
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