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Interesting Facts

Lucky Bamboo is not actually real bamboo.  It is a member of the Dracaena genus which has no relation to bamboo at all.

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Lucky Bamboo   (Dracaena sanderiana)

Ribbon Plant

Lucky Bamboo (Dracaena sanderiana) is an evergreen, tropical, tender perennial that's native to Cameroon in tropical west Africa.  In it's natural habitat it grows with the understory plants in the tropical forest.  Because it is only hardy in zones 13a-15b it's typically used as a house plant and grown in water rather then soil.  Plants have thin upright stems with glossy green to variegated 6-10 inch long leaves.

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Plant Types: Aquatic, Interior Plant, Perennial, Shrub, Tropical
Light: Shade to Partial Sun
Height: 6 inches to 5 feet
Width: 6 inches to 1 foot 8 inches
Zones: 13a to 15b
Special Features: All or parts of this plant are poisonous, Attractive foliage, Grows submerged, Not North American native
Fertilizer: Miracle-Gro® Liquid All Purpose Houseplant Food
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Plant Care

Lucky Bamboo (Dracaena sanderiana) is only hardy in zones 13a-15b.  Because of this fact it can just be grown as a houseplant in the United States.  It needs to be grown in an area with bright indirect light and kept at moderate house temperatures.  Choose a location away from any vents or doors to prevent any sudden temperature changes.  Plants will grow better if grown in potting soil but will do very well if grown in water too.  When growing in soil choose a well draining potting soil that won't stay too saturated but will maintain a consistent moisture level.  When using water as a growing medium use filtered, non flourinated or chlorinated sources.  Lucky Bamboo is very sensitive to salts found in tap water so using a good source is critical.

Plant Growth:

Lucky Bamboo (Dracaena sanderiana) is a thin, erect, upright shrub growing to heights of 5 feet with 6-10 inch long glossy green or variegated leaves.  In cultivation plants often have twisted stems.  Cork screw stems are achieved by twisting plants in relation to the light source.  Plants grow toward the light and if twisted very slow, stems will form the classic cork screw form. 


Lucky Bamboo (Dracaena sanderiana) is rarely known to bloom in cultivation.

Soil and Irrigation:

Lucky Bamboo (Dracaena sanderiana) is most commonly grown as a novelty plant in water instead of standard potting soil.  The plant is very sensitive to salts found in tap water such as fluoride and chlorine.  Because of its sensitivity to salts, filtered watered should always be used to grow plants.  The water should be changed every 2 weeks at a minimum.  If filtered water is not possible then tap water should be allowed to sit out over night to let the chlorine evaporate before using.

Plants will also do very good when grown in potting soil as well as water.  Choose a well draining potting soil and a container that is not too big for the plants growth rate.  Plants grow slow so a large pot is not necessary.  Follow an irrigation schedule that will maintain moist soil but not overly saturated conditions or too dry either.


Lucky Bamboo does not like to be overly fertilized.  Plants will turn yellow and leaf edges will burn when too much fertilizer is used.  If plants turn yellow "stop" fertilizing them for a while until they turn green again.  When growing in water if available filtered H2O from your fish aquarium can be ideal.  Also organic fish emulsion fertilizer can be used when the aquarium isn't available .  Dilute to 1/10 the normal strength and substitute for plain water every third time that its changed.  Standard house plant fertilizer can also be used in the same manner.  Dilute to 1/10 the normal strength and substitute for the plain water every third time it's changed.

When growing in soil dilute the fertilizer the same way as when growing in water.  Fertilize plants every other week with the diluted solution.  The same types of fertilizer can be used for soil that are used for water.


Lucky Bamboo does not require any type of pruning to grow well.


Some common pests of Lucky Bamboo (Dracaena sanderiana) are spider mites, mealy bugs, scale, thrips and common root rots.