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Caring For Lucky Bamboo

Ask the Expert: Lucky Bamboo
I have a small lucky bamboo plant. I have only had this a few weeks, but a few of the leaves are turing yellow. Have I watered it too much or does it need to be out of the indirect light for a while? How often are you to water it, I use filtered water, and are you suppose to be able to see the water over the stones? Thank you! Jo Reyerson

Flower Shop Network Plant Expert Reply:

When caring for lucky bamboo remember this – lucky bamboo isn’t really a bamboo. It is actually a Dracaena sanderiana. As a result the plant needs to be placed somewhere it will not be in direct light, it will not get too dry or too cold.

I have found lucky bamboo will tolerate a wide range of living conditions if you follow a few suggestions:

  • Keep away from air vents. Don’t let the air blow directly on to the plant.
  • Don’t use tap water. It contains fluoride and chlorine which are harmful to lucky bamboo. Instead use distilled or filtered water or let you tap water rest in an open container for 24hrs before use – this will enable the fluoride and chlorine to evaporate.
  • Don’t over fertilize. This plant can go years without fertilizer. However, if the plant becomes spindly or pale, you can fertilize the lucky bamboo with a light solution of water-soluble fertilizer every 3mos.
  • Don’t place on a window sill that receives strong light.  Indirect light is better for lucky bamboo. It grows naturally in dense shade under a thick rainforest canopy.
  • Mist the air around your plant occasionally.
  • Try to keep your water level constant. Depending on the container, you will need to keep the rocks holding the lucky bamboo covered.

Now as for the leaves turning yellow there are usually two causes: too much light or too much fertilizer. I suspect yours has gotten too much light. If this is possible, move it a little farther from your light source and the new leaves should be ok.

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