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Topping Lucky Bamboo

Ask the Expert: Lucky Bamboo — Can the plants be trimmed?  Mine is growing too tall for the window it sits in… If it can be “topped” where is the best spot on each “branch” to trim it shorter?

Thanks,  K Redford

Reply:

K,

You can top Dracaena sanderiana (lucky bamboo).  Make sure you have the following before you start: a sharp knife, a misting bottle, rooting hormone, clean container for topped piece and distilled water.

Where you top it will depend on the height you want the plant to be.  You will find a node (raised ring on stem) at the height you want the plant to be after you top it.  You will make you cut about an inch above this node.  If you want to start a new stem of lucky bamboo dip the cut end into the rooting hormone.  Let this dry overnight and then place in the new container filled with distilled water.  You need only a few inches of water in the new container.

Red Line Indicates Node - Yellow line indicates where to Make Cut

Red Line Indicates Node - Yellow line indicates where to Make Cut

As for the old stem leave it alone for a few days, then start misting it daily.  This will encourage new growth on the side of the cut.  Care for the old stem and the new stem the same way you always have except for fertilizing.  Wait a couple months before you fertilize the new stem.

Good luck and keep me posted on your progress.

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Comments

  1. In referring to your picture above, after you cut the offshoot, and mist the old stem, will new grow come out of where you cut the offshoot? Or will a new offshoot emerge somewhere else on the old shoot?

    I was told if you cut an offshoot off, you should seal it with wax to prevent bacteria from entering. Then new offshoots will emerge on the old stem below where it was cut.

    Thank you in advance.

  2. The new growth will form on the sides of the cut. You can use wax to seal the end , but I usually don’t.

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